Christine's Book List Reviews and News -Books for people who love the mystery of the past. Independent mystery reviews, news and interviews.
This is the first Lillian Stewart Carl book I've read. She is the author of many short stories and novels all revolving around history and myth, music and magic. In the Secret Portrait Carl gives us a great deal of history, spiced lightly with a ghost story. Carl's story and her characters had me reading every spare moment I had. MacLyon's conspiracy theory moments which are laced through the book had me laughing out loud. Carl's skillful story telling, the history and the discussion of how conspiracy theories effect the past and the present make the Secret Portrait a mystery worth reading.
Carl has an insightful take on how family myth and fascination with one's heritage can be carried too far. Genealogists, historians, and others will probably be able to pick out these subtle themes in the Secret Portrait. Once they recognize themselves they should reflect on how they construct their own realities. How much should we live out our own heritage? Readers, think on that a moment….
Myself, I haven't gone over the edge of living out my ancestors' heritage. Yet. I've just become obsessed with searching for my roots. So much so that when I can't work on my family history I try and solve fictional ones. Ahh…. Well… Carl and I have solved this one. Well, really, she had me guessing until the end …. Now I'm off to finally reading Murder at Monticello. Rita Mae Brown, myself, and a cat have a mystery that involves genealogy to solve. Until then…Christine
The Secret Portrait ISBN: 1-59414-307-2 Five Star