Downton Abbey fans, did you know that Julian Fellowes drew the character of Cora Crawley, played by Elizabeth McGovern, in part from the American heiress Mary Leiter? Through her marriage to George Curzon in 1895, the six-foot tall, statuesque, American beauty became Baroness Curzon of Kedleston and Vicereine of India.
When her youngest child entered Kindergarten Mary Ruth Kuczkir’s husband issued an ultimatum: Get off your butt and get a job!
Later, adopting the pen name of Fern Michaels, she ditched that husband and wrote 99 books, most of them New York Times Best Sellers.
In her own words: “Is Fern Michaels a great writer? No. She is however, one hell of a story teller. When people ask me what I do, I say, I scribble and tell stories”.
Why would an upper-class socialite in Victorian England be the least bit interested in the death of a prostitute, one of society’s lowliest creatures?
Because the heroine of A Christmas Hope finds happiness and a sense of usefulness while volunteering at a clinic for women who have nowhere else to go, especially those who make their living on the street.
Claudine Burroughs, a secondary character in Anne Perry’s William and Hester Monk series, steps center stage in the author’s 11th Christmas novel. See A Christmas Hope book club questions below.
Can 522 reviewers be wrong in rating Philipp Meyer’s The Son at 5 stars on the amazon web site? My answer to that questions is yes. However, to be fair, other book club members thoroughly enjoyed this ponderous volume featuring a Texas ranching/oil family. Find book club questions for The Son below.
Topping out at 592 pages, The Son consists of three interlinking accounts, written in somewhat different formats and styles, relating the family’s history from the 19th to the early 21st century.
Throughout Meyer’s historical novel, the McCullough family is represented by three key characters: Colonel Eli McCullough, who was kidnapped at an early age by the Comanche tribe; his son, Peter, who was deeply affected by the massacre of Mexican neighbors for their land, and Peter’s granddaughter, Jeanne, a savvy oil heiress.
Eleven Pipers Piping is not your typical Christmas book. In place of yuletide cheer, there’s a puzzling death by poison. Christmas goodies are plentiful, but are they safe to eat. An abundance of snow hampers travel while providing excellent sledding opportunities for the village children. See Eleven Pipers Piping book club questions below.
Eleven Pipers Piping is the second book in a series of English murder mysteries by C. C. Benison, the nom de plume for Arthur Ellis Award-winning author, Doug Whiteway.
The protagonist, Father Tom Christmas, holds the Church of England living in a small village. There he resides with his daughter in a large Georgian vicarage staffed by a live-in cook, Madrun Prowse.