SBD 31 Bond Street

Remember how I was on and on about not liking historical novels based on real people? Turns out I was wrong. Maybe it's okay if I've never heard of the people in the book.

I'm listening to 31 Bond Street and loving it. It's based on a sensational murder that took place in the 1850s and most of the characters were real people. The descriptions of New York would be enough to sell me--and the little snippets from the newspapers are great.

There isn't the deep POV I'm used to, so I haven't bonded with any of the characters. But that's fine. It's an elegant book and all the research she did makes it richer, not dull--or at least not for me. The descriptions of the clothes and other details seem a bit much now and then, as in not really fitting the moment, but I like 'em.

I'm off to see if Ellen Horan has written more books. If she has I bet she'll stick with that milieu. I think it fits her style of writing, solemn and slightly removed from strong emotion.

UPDATE Drat. No other books listed for her.
UPDATE again: I'm not sure I loved the ending. Also, I looked up the details of the murder and the author took huge liberties with the event and the people --I'm not sure why, because the truth was even more wild than her version. (She added slavers and Indians and whatnot)


  1. I really like historical fiction and am not all that picky as to whether or not it includes real people so I may not be the most reliable person to suggest another but have you read Katherine by Anya Seton? Katherine was real (as are all the people around her) and I thought it was a fabulous book and a really interesting story... to say nothing of the incredible reality of Katherine and her life.

  2. Thanks, Rachel. I'm adding it to my list. I like Seton so it'll probably work for me.

  3. My favorite recent "historical" read involves two time periods. It's "Daughter of Time," by Josephine Tey. It's set in 1950s England (when the book was published, actually). A detective whose been hospitalized is spending his convalescence trying to figure out one of history's mysteries: who really killed the princes in the tower?

    I'm a history geek, so this was right up my alley.

  4. I love that book! I went through a major Tey-glomfest and that was my favorite of her books.


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