A disagreeable but believable portrait of Queen Victoria, intertwined with information about medical malpractice 150 years...



An enquiry into the death of Queen Victoria’s beloved Prince Consort.

Abandoning Jane Austen for the nonce, Barron trains her historical microscope on the House of Hanover, the Saxe-Coburg line and bedtime indiscretions that may have put Victoria unjustly on the throne and turned Prince Albert’s mind to suicide. The Prince had long enjoyed a private correspondence with Dr. Georgiana Armistead, a young woman who studied medicine in Edinburgh before Albert sent her to Cannes to see his son, Prince Leopold, who suffered from “the German disease” of hemophilia. Georgiana, the ward of barrister Patrick Fitzgerald, who had the effrontery to defend Victoria’s would-be assassin 20 years back, has her correspondence stolen, then burned. Patrick’s law quarters are ransacked and his law partner set upon and killed. The man behind all this mayhem, possibly at the request of the Queen, is Count von Stühlen, who does not shrink from two more murders and a touch of royal blackmail. After the Prince Consort’s death, his daughter Alice antagonizes her mother by wondering loudly and frequently why Victoria maintains that he died of typhoid when there are other, more sinister possibilities. As Alice repeats her accusations, making little headway, Georgiana and Patrick are assailed in France, in Germany and back in London. After a spot of torture for Patrick’s manservant, an arrest of Georgiana as an abortionist and more, Patrick’s syphilitic wife avenges one death, clearing the way for a confrontation with the Queen over her attempts at a dynastic coverup that leaves her to rule in peace and manufactured bereavement for another 40 years.

A disagreeable but believable portrait of Queen Victoria, intertwined with information about medical malpractice 150 years ago and royal genealogy. Interesting enough, but fans of Jane Austen (Jane and the Barque of Frailty, 2006, etc.) will want her back soon.

Pub Date: March 4, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-553-80524-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Bantam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.


Macomber (Be a Blessing, 2019, etc.) threatens to set her latest beach read in Paris, but her characters have other plans.

Maureen Zelinski and Jenna Boltz have been friends since college. Years ago, their plans to go to Paris were thwarted when Maureen found out she was pregnant. Now that they’re both single mothers whose children have left the nest, the time is right to dust off their passports and try again. In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, Maureen and Jenna don’t make it to Paris just yet. Instead, they stay in Seattle and pursue new love interests. Jenna, a nurse, meets orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rowan Lancaster in the emergency room after her mother falls and hurts her hip. Maureen, against her better judgment, accepts a date with Logan, a union plumber who frequents the library where she works. Jenna is afraid to date a co-worker after her workplace romance with her ex failed, but when Rowan proves to be a good listener, she’s more willing to discuss her options. Maureen doesn’t think she’ll fit in with Logan and his beer-drinking buddies, but she’s surprised when she enjoys their date at a football game. Meanwhile, Jenna worries about her children, Allie and Paul, as they navigate college and life. Though the story is primarily told from the two mothers’ perspectives, Allie breaks into the narrative with a surprising connection to Rowan. Maureen’s daughter, Tori, also takes on the role of confidante. The happy endings (and potential travel plans) unfold with a touch of realism to contrast the idyllic backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the false start, this heartwarming story sweetly balances friendship and mother-child bonding with romantic love.

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-18133-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

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Once again, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett gets mixed up in a killing whose principal suspect is his old friend Nate Romanowski, whose attempts to live off the grid keep breaking down in a series of felony charges.

If Judge Hewitt hadn’t bent over to pick up a spoon that had fallen from his dinner table, the sniper set up nearly a mile from his house in the gated community of the Eagle Mountain Club would have ended his life. As it was, the victim was Sue Hewitt, leaving the judge alive and free to rail and threaten anyone he suspected of the shooting. Incoming Twelve Sleep County Sheriff Brendan Kapelow’s interest in using the case to promote his political ambitions and the judge’s inability to see further than his nose make them the perfect targets for a frame-up of Nate, who just wants to be left alone in the middle of nowhere to train his falcons and help his bride, Liv Brannon, raise their baby, Kestrel. Nor are the sniper, the sheriff, and the judge Nate’s only enemies. Orlando Panfile has been sent to Wyoming by the Sinaloan drug cartel to avenge the deaths of the four assassins whose careers Nate and Joe ended last time out (Wolf Pack, 2019). So it’s up to Joe, with some timely data from his librarian wife, Marybeth, to hire a lawyer for Nate, make sure he doesn’t bust out of jail before his trial, identify the real sniper, who continues to take an active role in the proceedings, and somehow protect him from a killer who regards Nate’s arrest as an unwelcome complication. That’s quite a tall order for someone who can’t shoot straight, who keeps wrecking his state-issued vehicles, and whose appalling mother-in-law, Missy Vankeuren Hand, has returned from her latest European jaunt to suck up all the oxygen in Twelve Sleep County to hustle some illegal drugs for her cancer-stricken sixth husband. But fans of this outstanding series will know better than to place their money against Joe.

One protest from an outraged innocent says it all: “This is America. This is Wyoming.”

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53823-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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