Winning first installment in a planned series, sure to be loved by fans of both mysteries and historical fiction.



A Separatist healer is determined to identify a killer, even if it places her under suspicion for incompetence—or even murder—in Sullivan’s (Deadly Diversion, 2009, etc.) historical mystery.

In the strict religious community of Zoar, Ohio, healer and midwife Adelaide Bechtmann is already flirting with disapproval when she goes to her favorite riverside spot to meditate. Instead of finding peace, she discovers the body of 16-year-old Johanna Appelgate floating in the river. When she pulls Johanna out of the water, Adelaide knows the young woman couldn’t have drowned, due to the absence of water in her lungs. The Separatists are all too willing to dismiss Johanna's death as a tragic accident, so Adelaide’s attempts to find her killer ignite controversy in the closed community. Even her beloved husband, Benjamin, fearing the loss of their comfortable life, refuses to support his wife’s investigation. Adelaide’s knowledge that the young woman was pregnant complicates the situation, and she’s anxious that the “remedy” she prescribed may have contributed to Johanna’s demise. Adelaide struggles to preserve the reputation of the deceased girl, even as her own deteriorates, and she can’t help but remember her husband’s closeness to Johanna. The conflicts between homeopathy and traditional medicine, marriage and celibacy and the eternal struggle for power among the male Separatists are all interwoven in the finely drawn murder mystery. Award-winning Sullivan brings the Zoar community to life, imbuing both real and fictional characters with laudable qualities as well as flaws, although antagonists Simon, Martin and Gerda are unrelentingly unsympathetic. While enough background information on the Separatists is provided to prevent reader confusion, Sullivan is a little stingy with her backstory, hinting at Adelaide’s prior tragic error without ever fully explaining it. Sullivan’s otherwise expertly crafted, perfectly paced novel suffers from comparatively underdeveloped relationships between Adelaide and those presumably closest to her—her husband Benjamin and sister Nellie.

Winning first installment in a planned series, sure to be loved by fans of both mysteries and historical fiction.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1936214556

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Yesteryear Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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