Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak - Review

A Matter of Grave Concern
by Brenda Novak


Bestselling author Brenda Novak unearths love in the darkest of places.

When Maximillian Wilder hides his noble identity and joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but Max knows he must gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could earn.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max almost as much as Jack. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene to protect her, no matter the risk to his plan…or his heart

This book just blew my socks off!  Invoking the dark and moody atmosphere of Daphne DuMaurier's Jamaica Inn and its undercurrent of secrets, evil and innocence, this historical novel will transport you to an era of body-snatchers and evil men you normally are not used to.

This novel is a puzzle with clues.  The clues are discovered along the way and as we are able to match the puzzle pieces, our vision of what this story is really about and how it develops is enhanced.  Not all is what it seems.  Sometimes the lines between good and evil are blurred for the greater good. We have an intrepid protagonist in Abigail, who defies the norms of her time for the love of her father and his work.  We are also given a cast of characters who on the surface may appear to be one thing, but later on we find out the truth to our surprise.

I found this novel by Brenda Novak a gratifying find.  I love her writing, but have only read the Whiskey Creek series.  In reading this novel, I found a new depth to her writing as well as a sensuality that is worth praising.  Tactfully written, our author gives us a story we will not soon forget.  The passionate love affair that runs as the undercurrent and heartbeat to this story, is one that will stay with me for years to come.  Hurrah to you Brenda!

About the Author
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.

Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader's Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.

When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking--she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!

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