Friday, January 29, 2016

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly - ESSENTIAL

Donnelly, Jennifer  These Shallow Graves, 482 pgs.  Delacorte Press, 2015.  $19.99  Content: Language: PG-13 (44 swears); Mature content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.   

 Jo comes from a wealthy family who loves her and she is fairly certain she is going to marry her longtime friend, Bram, who is even wealthier than her family.  But when Jo is called home from her boarding school because Jo’s father has died, Jo starts to question and investigate the business that her family was a part of.  Jo meets a news reporter named Eddie and together they are hoping to uncover the story of Jo’s father’s death and the questions surrounding his shipping company.  In a time period (1890s) when wealthy women were discouraged from engaging in “common” activities that might call their character into question, Jo challenges her gender roles.   

This is a fun, fast and compelling murder mystery that has a fantastic historical setting.  I couldn’t put it down.  The violence is rated PG-13, because there are men murdered and their bodies are examined by a coroner who gives descriptive explanations of their deaths.  The mature content is talk of sex.   

HS – ESSENTIAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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