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Book Review: Who Killed Vivien Morse? by Diana J. Febry

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Who Killed Vivien Morse? (DCI Peter Hatheral Mystery #4)Who Killed Vivien Morse? by Diana J. Febry
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Who Killed Vivien Morse? is the 4th book in the ‘DCI Peter Hatheral Mystery’ series written by Diana J. Febry. I enjoyed the book a lot, but I’m kicking myself now for breaking one of my normally cardinal rules — Don’t read a series out of order! Truthfully, you can read this as a standalone novel; I just prefer to read them in order, and I don’t know what possessed me not to do it here. That said, I can confidently say I will go back and pick up the others later this year, so I’m current and caught up on author Febry’s clever and fun series before a new one (hopefully) comes out.

Written in third-person POV, our perspective shifts from not only the main detectives on the case but to the criminal and a few other people involved in the case; it’s done by chapter, so you won’t be confused at all. A police-procedural of sorts, we follow Hatheral and his team while they try to find who killed a young social worker in a small English town. While I wouldn’t exactly call this a cozy, it’s within such a range but also has a nice foray into a bit darker and more visceral (all in a good way). I liked the puns and balance between light and heavy; it clearly shows the author’s vast range.

As for plot… we’ve got a prison escape, a missing fortune, a young girl who was run down by a car, a mysterious social worker’s client visits, an odd family hiding secrets, and a stranger who is snooping in people’s cottage windows. What could they all have to do with one another? At first, I thought I’d figured it out, but by 2/3 of the way, I was thrown for a nice loop and rethought my guesswork. The characters are vivid. Some are flighty, a few are mean, and another group are purposefully misleading. It keeps you on your toes as a reader trying to decide what they know that we don’t know. I like these kinds of tales because we can play detective or sit back and watch it unfold ourselves. I did a little of both!

Febry’s first few chapters are extremely well-written. I’m only focusing on those because that’s what often makes or a breaks a book for me. It’s not necessarily about whether the plot is good, but how well the author paints the picture for a reader. It flowed quite well, and I found myself immediately immersed in the detective’s life, the victim’s tragedy, and the various clues being dropped about. I connected with the writing style as a fellow author and felt we had a similarity in sentence structure and flow… hence why I probably found this such an easy read. Kudos to the author for nailing the first few chapters, so that readers know right away they’ve found a solid one!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: The Seasiders by A. J. Griffiths-Jones

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The SeasidersThe Seasiders by A.J. Griffiths-Jones

The Seasiders is a light mystery novel written by A. J. Griffiths-Jones in 2016 and published by Creativia, the same press where I’m published. I like to sample different authors’ books throughout the year to see what everyone’s styles are like. I always end up enjoying the books and this was no exception.

At first, the story is very simple. A husband and wife, Dick and Grace, own and operate a small b&b in the UK. Grace’s family originally ran the place, but once they retired the business transferred to their daughter. Dick does very little to help out. He does his best to build the foundation for an outdoor patio, but he breaks the cement all the time. He can’t use the booking system, and he is possibly afraid of the washing machine. Grace loves him, but part of her wants an escape. We meet a few of their guests and neighbors all the while knowing something weird is going on, just never quite certain what it is. By the end, the truth comes out in quite a twist and we are left wondering what really happened along the way. I’m being purposely vague so readers won’t feel any spoils nor try to guess for themselves. It’s a very different kind of mystery book, but still a good one to experience.

Griffiths-Jones relies on typical encounters between a husband and wife, neighbors, and guests at a hotel to tell this story. Through preparing a meal, checking in/out, running errands, or overhearing conversations, the plot unfolds and thickens. A guest goes missing. Money has been stolen. Police are investigating but they won’t say for what. It’s in the hidden details that readers must find the actual events that have occurred. It’s a careful and deliberate writing style to balance facts and missing facts. When a writer can do this and achieve a wonderful ending, it’s a sign of talent.

On the shorter side, probably more of a novella, it’s easy to digest in a couple of hours. Grab a cup of tea, perhaps a tasty snack, and sit by a fire this winter. Immerse yourself in each new character and try to figure out the connection to the plot. Sometimes it’s clear, others it’s not until the end. The author drops several red herrings, but there’s also a few solid clues you might miss. I enjoyed the descriptions as it painted a mostly clear picture of the setting, scenery and characters, but left enough for me to fill in the blanks as I saw fit in my connections to the book. That’s always my favorite style — not too detailed, but not too vague.

A lovely story, a few surprises, a good afternoon read to get familiar with the author’s styles and talents. I’m definitely glad I took this one and look forward to checking out her other books in the upcoming year.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Murder on Tyneside by Eileen Thornton

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If you’re a fan of British crime thrillers, cozy mysteries, Agatha Christie-esque puzzles, or charming women who are inadvertently thrown in the middle of a murder, Murder on Tyneside is a book you will enjoy. Author Eileen Thorntondelivers quite a caper with a wonderful side slice of charisma and old-fashioned wit with the launch of her Tyneside mystery series. The book was published in late 2016 amidst a sea of her other fun-sounding stories, but this had the most appeal when I decided to sample a Thornton novel. At the time, I hadn’t realized it was a series nor did I know what Tyneside was, but its premise drew me in. Now I’ve been happily clued into both!

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Recent widow in her mid-50s, Agnes Lockwood, travels back home to try to figure out what’s next in her life. From the very first chapter, you can tell she misses her husband, but she’s also practical enough to want to enjoy the rest of her life despite the recent loss. I fancy her as a cross between Nancy Drew and Miss Marple… not quite young enough to be a funny, flirtatious girl about town, but not old enough to seem like a nosy aging neighbor. She’s witty and smart, but cautious and curious all the same. Someone I’d love to have a few drinks with and study the people sitting in the room around us. And that’s basically how she solves the crimes. What starts off as a series of jewelry heists in the hotel where she’s temporarily residing turns into a couple of murders. A mysterious man has been following her, and sometimes he seems innocent, yet at others we clearly know he’s got ulterior motives. When Agnes meets a former high school friend AKA potential new love interest, she finds herself privy to all the information on the case given he’s the lead detective doing the investigating. It’s always good to have that kind of access to the clues, right?

Thornton has an easy, breezy writing style that makes you feel invested yet not over-stimulated. It’s not quite a cozy or a thriller, but a fine balance of good old-fashioned detection and intuition combined with a few fun chase scenes, double crossing curious dialog and a tad of necessary romance. At times, it felt like I was sitting there with Agnes re-telling me the story days after it happened. It was driving me a bit nuts trying to guess how the thief was breaking into the hotel rooms given all the facts we learned about access cards, keys and background checks. Thornton cleverly leads us on a path to miss the obvious. I’m usually good at guessing the how, but this time I was stumped. I was certain who the criminal was, and I am glad I at least got that part right!

I’m curious where the author plans to go with the series, as I know there is at least one other book already published, but what about the future! Some clues were left behind in this series debut, and I’m sure there’s a secret about Agnes’ husband’s death at some point, not to mention what’s really going on with her sons’ sudden move to Australia. She tells us why she chose not to go with them, but not much more… a good way to invest readers in the characters without knowing too much about their lives. Throw in a few areas of conflict with the other members of the police, a peculiar hotel setting, and a lovely woman who needs a new purpose in life, you’ve got all the makings of a strong following.

I’m glad I bought this book when it was on-sale last month, and I believe it will be again sometime later this year. Mark it on Amazon or other book sites so you can catch the sale and enjoy a new series. Now I need to figure out what book might be next for me from this author… another Tyneside or should I chance a completely different stand-alone book from Thornton’s body of works.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: What Happened in Vienna, Jack? by Daniel Kemp

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Why This Book

I’m beginning to read more from a few publishers that publish other books I’ve enjoyed, and this author is under contract with one of those companies, Creativia. What Happened in Vienna, Jack? by Daniel Kemp fell into my lap while it was on sale via Amazon last month, so I allotted it to February and made it a current read this week. I always look forward to clever and complex thriller and suspense fiction, and this one hit the spot. Kudos to the author!

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Approach & Style

I read this ~350 page book via Kindle Reader on my iPad over four days and six hours. It is a British period piece focusing on a few decades in the mid-twentieth century involving a spy, military, police, murder, intrigue and war. And that’s just the beginning! The language is very intricate and detailed. The story hops through the past and the present. It focuses on a few different critical characters you get to know little by little — or all at once! But my favorite part is how it offers up a true British nostalgia and ambiance.

Key Thoughts

Espionage and murder… could it get any better when it comes to solving a mystery? Author Kemp provides all the suspense and thrills in this very descriptive story. Main detective Patrick is very charismatic in an offbeat way, but he will also stand out as a highly intelligent and trustworthy confidante you enjoy sharing the read with. He’s not quite the narrator, but you get that feel from how the book is written.

I appreciate the skills necessary to weave together this type of tale. When you have multiple decades and secrets to track, it could be easily confusing. But it’s not. There are many twists and turns, surprising reveals, and eye-squinting characters who make you wonder… ‘what’s going on here?’ — but soon enough you start pulling the past together. Then the ending portion kicks in… and you’re back to guessing all over again!

I enjoyed this read. It’s partially in my typical reading choices, but it’s more of a spy novel that I’m used to… think a bit James Bond like. I am more a horror thrillers chasing serial killers or historical fiction type of reader. But this bring some elements from both and offers a good tale with a what feels like a realistic setting. I’m sure the author’s career helped played a big role in developing this story. Add in the various facts / stories we all know about World War II and how the ‘underground network’ works, then you’ve got a strong read.

Summary

I’m impressed with the author’s ability to weave a highly complex plot over multiple time periods and characters, in particular how well written the language in the story is. I recently learned it’s part of a book series, where two are already written and a third is on the way in the future. Very exciting for any true British crime fan!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Review: The Return of the Native

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The Return of the NativeBook Review
5 out of 5 stars to The Return of the Native, a novel written by Thomas Hardy, first published in 1878 and subsequently re-issued a few times with additional revisions. It’s rare for me to give out a full 5 stars, but this book will always hold an extreme and special place in my heart. It was the start of my adoration of the English countryside. It was a true story of love, life and reality. Watching the drama unfold over the years, chapter by chapter, was phenomenal. I was there while it happened, at least it felt so to me. Hardy had a unique ability to transport me to his vision. I felt connected to him as a writer and a storyteller. I loved every character. I couldn’t decide who should end up with whom. It’s that good… you see all sides. You want everything. But sadly, you cannot have it. The fighting felt true to form. The depression made me melancholic. I fell in love with the main characters and would have done anything to see them happy when I first read it. I’ve read it three times, roughly every ten years. I’m due again in the very near future. Perhaps we should buddy read it!



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: El Conde Lucanor

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El Conde Lucanor Book Review
3 of 5 stars to El Conde Lucanor by Don Juan Manuel. So… I read this in a Spanish literature class about 15 years ago. I wrote a paper — in Spanish — about my thoughts on the story. I’ve cut / paste here… it’s all in Spanish, and I remember about 90% of the translation! For English-speakers, I’ve cut/paste a translation below the Spanish.

Una de las obras mas importantes de la Edad Media (Siglo XIV) en Espana es El Conde Lucanor o Libro de Patronio de Don Juan Manuel. En 1335, Don Juan Manuel termino de escribir la gran coleccion de cuentos que lleva por titulo El Conde Lucanor. Esta obra maestra de la ficcion espanola en prosa son una parte de la narrativa medieval. Esta obra estuvo el principio del florecimiento de la narrativa en Espana.
Don Juan Manuel nacio en Escalona en 1282. Era nieto del rey Fernando III y sobrino del rey Alfonso X. El era un miembro de la alta nobleza y tomo parte activa en las luchas politicas de su tiempo. La mayor ambicion a lo largo de toda su vida fue ayudar a sus hijas casaron con herederas del trono. A menudo Don Juan Manuel lucho contra su rey, sus parientes y los temas del tiempo. El se murio en Cordoba en 1348, pero nadie esta seguro que este era el ano. Don Juan Manuel era el intelectual arquetipico de su tiempo y como escritor si importancia era extraordinaria.
Don Juan Manuel anticipa las obras maestras de Il Decamerone del italiano Giovanni Boccaccio y The Canterbury Tales del ingles Geoffrey Chaucer en el siglo XIV. En El Conde Lucanor, Don Juan Manuel utiliza una estructura especifica en todos los cuentos. Emplea en esta obra un formato uniforme en los cincuenta y un cuentos de El Conde Lucanor. En la primera parte, el conde Lucanor se le presenta un problema. En la segunda parte, en vez de aconsejarle de manera directa, su ayo Patronio le narra un ejemplo. En la tercera parte, hay una moraleja. Don Juan Manuel escribe al final de cada cuento una moraleja, la cual de forma explicita revela el tema del cuento.
El libro consiste de cinco partes. La primera, la mas larga, es una recopilacion de cincuenta cuentos. Las otras cuatro partes, muy breves, son una serie de sentencias de estilo bastante oscuro. Los ejemplos de los cincuenta cuentos son variadisimos y en ellos esta presente toda la sociedad del siglo XIV. Los temas principles son la honra y el estado, la educacion de los jovenes, la idea de la fama, la defensa de las tierras y la salvacion del alma. “La importancia de El Conde Lucanor, obra estructurada en forma de breves relatos que imparten una leccion moral, estriba no solo en el caracter entretenido de las narraciones y en la gracia de su lenguage. En otra mano, hay la cantidad de problemas humanos y universales que el libro aborda con singular agudeza (Aproximaciones 20).”
Un ejemplo de uno de los cuentos en El Conde Lucanor es “Lo que sucedio a un mozo que caso una muchacha de muy mal caracter.” En este cuento, hay una introduccion, ejemplo, y moraleja como en todos los cuentos. En la introduccion el conde Lucanor esta hablando con Patronio sobre un amigo en que esta tratando de casar con una mujer muy rica y mas noble que el, pero la mujer tiene muy mal caracter. El conde Lucanor le pidio consejo a Patronio para su deudo. Este problema muestra la diferencia entre la clase alta y la clase baja. Don Juan Manuel estuvo diciendo que la clase alta es muy mala y la clase baja es muy buena. La razon para esa es que la esposa mala estuvo de la clase alta. El esposo estuvo de la clase baja. Despues de la introduccion del problema, Patronio le dio un ejemplo sobre un hombre de un pueblo de hace muchos anos.
En el ejemplo de Patronio, el hombre tambien tiene que casarse con una mujer muy mala o el padre le mataria a el. Las familias de los esposos creen que la mujer le mataria al esposo, sin embargo lo contrario es que ocurrio. Del principio del matrimonio, el esposo (el mozo) decidio que le daria ordenes a su esposa. Entonces, ella seria muy loca en la cabeza. El quiere demonstrar que el es “el hombre de la casa.” El dice al perro “danos agua a los manos.” Despues le dice al gato, al caballo y a la mujer la misma cosa. La esposa creia que estaba loco y no le decia nada. Entonces, la mujer, que esperaba de un momento a otro ser despedaza se levanto muy de prisa y le dio agua a las manos. Otro dia, los padres y parientes de los dos fueron a la casa, y al no oir a nadie, temieron que el novio estuviera muerto o herido. Sin embargo todos recibieron una sorpresa porque ellos vieron que el hombre tuvo controla de su esposa. Parece que los casados son contentos hasta su muerte. Despues del ejemplo, Patronio le dice al conde Lucanor la moraleja.
La moraleja del cuento es que “todos los que hubieren de tratar con vos les deis a entender desde el principio como han de portarse.” En el fin del cuento, el conde Lucanor tuvo consejo que estuvo bueno. Don Juan Manuel escribio un cuento excelente porque la estructura ayuda a los lectores entender mucho. El Conde Lucanor de Don Juan Manuel es un cuento muy interesante. Todo el ser humano deben leer.

English Translation
One of the most important works of the Middle Ages (14th century) in Spain is The Count Lucanor or Book of Patronius of Don Juan Manuel. In 1335, Don Juan Manuel finished writing the great collection of short stories entitled El Conde Lucanor. This masterpiece of Spanish fiction in prose is a part of medieval narrative. This work was the beginning of the flowering of the narrative in Spain.
Don Juan Manuel was born in Escalona in 1282. He was grandson of King Ferdinand III and nephew of King Alfonso X. He was a member of the high nobility and took an active part in the political struggles of his time. The greatest ambition throughout his life was to help his daughters marry heirs of the throne. Often Don Juan Manuel fought against his king, his relatives and the subjects of the time. He died in Cordoba in 1348, but no one is sure that this was the year. Don Juan Manuel was the archetypal intellectual of his time and as a writer if importance was extraordinary.
Don Juan Manuel anticipates the masterpieces of Il Decamerone by Italian Giovanni Boccaccio and The Canterbury Tales by Englishman Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. In El Conde Lucanor, Don Juan Manuel uses a specific structure in all stories. In this work he uses a uniform format in the fifty-one stories of El Conde Lucanor. In the first part, Count Lucanor has a problem. In the second part, instead of directly advising him, his tutor Patronio tells an example. In the third part, there is a moral. Don Juan Manuel writes at the end of each story a moral, which explicitly reveals the theme of the story.
The book consists of five parts. The first, the longest, is a compilation of fifty stories. The other four parts, very brief, are a series of rather dark style sentences. The examples of the fifty stories are varied and in them is present the whole society of the fourteenth century. The main themes are honor and status, the education of the young, the idea of ​​fame, the defense of lands and the salvation of the soul. “The importance of Count Lucanor, a work structured in the form of short stories that impart a moral lesson, lies not only in the entertaining character of the narratives and in the grace of their language. In another hand, there are the number of human and universal problems that the book deals with singular sharpness (Approximations 20). ”
An example of one of the stories in El Conde Lucanor is “What happened to a young man who married a girl of very bad character.” In this story, there is an introduction, example, and moral as in all stories. In the introduction Count Lucanor is talking with Patronio about a friend in which he is trying to marry a woman very rich and nobler than he, but the woman has very bad character. Count Lucanor asked Patronio for advice. This problem shows the difference between the upper class and the lower class. Don Juan Manuel was saying that the upper class is very bad and the lower class is very good. The reason for that is that the bad wife was from the upper class. The husband was from the lower class. After the introduction of the problem, Patronio gave an example of a man from a village many years ago.
In the example of Patronio, the man also has to marry a very bad woman or the father would kill him. Husband families believe that the wife would kill her husband, however the opposite is true. From the beginning of the marriage, the husband (the waiter) decided that he would give orders to his wife. Then she would be very crazy in the head. He wants to show that he is “the man of the house.” He tells the dog to “give water to the hands.” Then he tells the cat, the horse, and the woman the same thing. The wife thought she was crazy and did not say anything. Then the woman, who was hoping to be torn apart at once, rose very quickly and poured water into her hands. Another day, the parents and relatives of the two went to the house, and not hearing anyone, feared that the boyfriend was dead or injured. However they all got a surprise because they saw that the man had control of his wife. It seems that the married are happy until their death. After the example, Patronio tells Count Lucanor the moral.
The moral of the story is that “all who will deal with you will give them to understand from the beginning how they should behave.” At the end of the story Count Lucanor had good advice. Don Juan Manuel wrote an excellent story because the structure helps the readers to understand a lot. The Count Lucanor of Don Juan Manuel is a very interesting story. All human beings should read.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger’s Tragedy, The White Devil, The Changeling

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Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger's Tragedy, The White Devil, The Changeling Book Review
3 of 5 stars to Three Revenge Tragedies: The Revenger’s Tragedy, The White Devil, The Changeling by Cyril Tourneur. I read these plays in an English course in college and have resurrected excerpts from a paper and my notes. I enjoyed the play. Language and style was a little stilted. But it’s very plot and character-heavy, which I always enjoy.

There are three basic families in this play: The Duke’s family, the Duchess’ family, and Gratiana’s family. The Duke has two sons: Lussurioso, the eldest, and Spurio, the bastard son. The Duchess has three children: Ambitioso, Supervacuo, and her Youngest Son. Gratiana also has three children: Vindice (Piato), Hippolito (Carlo), and her daughter Castiza. Recently, the Old Duke was poisoned. When this Duke died, a new Duke, who was the one who murdered him, replaced him. The Duke and the Duchess have recently married, and their family is quite a corrupt bunch. The Duchess’ Youngest Son has raped Lord Antonio’s wife. Vindice is out for revenge against the Duke and his family because the Duke killed Vindice’s lover Gloriana. He now carries around her skull, and often talks to it. Spurio is angry because he is an illegitimate child. He seeks revenge against his family also. In this play, everyone seems to be against everyone else. By the end though, they all end up in jail, or dead.

Dramatic Action:
[I.i] – Vindice tells us that the old duke was poisoned and the new duke has two sons. One is illegitimate (bastard) and now the Duke has remarried. The Duchess also has three sons, and together they are all a corrupt and vile family. Vindice, Castiza, and Hippolito discuss with their mother Gratiana how the Duchess’ Youngest Son raped Lord Antonio’s wife. Hippolito works in the Court and will help Vindice disguise himself to get revenge on the Duke.

[I.ii] – The Youngest Son is in Court. Spurio secretly wants his stepbrother dead. The Duke and Lussurioso do nothing at first about the Youngest Son’s trial. Then the Duke stops the hearing until they meet again. The Duchess wants to kill her husband the Duke because he is doing nothing. She and Spurio are having an affair. Spurio hates his father and his stepmother, but he is sleeping with her to get revenge.

[I.iii] – Vindice is disguised as Piato. He becomes Lussorioso’s attendant with Hippolito’s help. Piato pretends to be very worldly and Lussurioso loves him. They talk about their disgust with women’s lack of trust. Lussurioso wants the virgin Castiza, and asks Piato to get her for him (this is Vindice’s sister). Vindice leaves angry.

[I.iv] – Antonio learns that his wife has died because she didn’t want to be dirty after the rape. Piato and Hippolito agree to get revenge on the Youngest Son for the rape.

[II.i] – Lussurioso sends gifts to Castiza through Piato. She will not accept them, and does not recognize her brother in his disguise. Piato tries to convince Gratiana to get Castiza to accept Lussurioso. Gratiana and Castiza talk about her virginity, and Gratiana asks her daughter to prostitute herself to Lussurioso for money. Gratiana has fallen at this point. Castiza doesn’t believe that Gratiana is really her mother with the way that she is talking. Gratiana tries, but is unsuccessful. Piato leaves.

[II.ii] – Lussurioso thanks Hippolito for Piato. Piato tells him that Castiza hasn’t decided yet. Lussurioso plans to visit her that night. Vindice wants to kill him. The news of Spurio/Duchess affair reaches Hippolito and Vindice. They overhear Spurio talk about how Gratiana lead the Duke to think Castiza was unchaste so he could have her. Hippolito and Vindice talk about cuckolds. Piato tells Lussurioso about the Duchess/Spurio affair, and the plot to kill the Duke. Lussurioso is shocked.

[II.iii] – Lussurioso runs into the Duke and Duchess in their bedroom, but he thinks it is Spurio and the Duchess. He tries to kill him, but the guards come in. He can’t say that he thought it was Spurio though, so he goes to prison. Vindice sneaks out so that he doesn’t get caught. Spurio shows up and wants to kill the intruder. Supervacuo and Ambitioso plead their stepbrother’s case not knowing what was really going on. Lussurioso will be released, but no one knows this yet.

[III.i] – Supervacuo and Ambitioso talk about killing the Duke as well. They plot to do it.

[III.ii] – Lussurioso wants to be released. He does not know yet that he has been pardoned.

[III.iii] – Supervacuo and Ambitioso try to trick the guards into killing Lussurioso by saying that the Duke wants it done.

[III.iv] – Supervacuo and Ambitioso visit their younger brother, and talk about how they want their brother killed, meaning Lussurioso.

[III.v] – Vindice and Hippolito talk about the Duchess/Spurio affair. Vindice carries around the skull and talks to his beloved Gloriana. He has dressed her up. He also poisons the mouth. The Duke arrives and sees the skull. He kisses the mouth when no one is around. The Duke realizes that Hippolito has betrayed him, and that he is dying. Vindice and Hippolito ridicule and torture him. Vindice then kills him.

[III.vi] – Ambitioso and Supervacuo talk about letting their brother die, but they also talk about getting their other brother, the Youngest Son, out of jail. Lussurioso, the formerly jailed brother arrives. They think that he was killed already, so they leave to find out what happened. They realize that the guards killed the wrong brother (the Youngest Son!).

[IV.i] – Lussurioso is with Hippolito and they talk about Piato and the Duchess/Spurio affair. Lussurioso wants revenge on Piato for lying to him about the affair. It really happened, but Lussurioso thinks Piato is lying. Lussurioso learns that Hippolito has a brother named Vindice (who is really Piato). He asks to have Vindice made his attendant as well to kill Piato. Now, he has to kill himself. Lussurioso learns that his father, the Duke, is missing.

[IV.ii] – Hippolito and Vindice, now out of disguise, talk about the Duke being dead. Vindice will dress the Duke up in Piato’s clothing, and then become himself again. Then, they will pretend to kill Piato, when they really killing the body of the dead Duke. Vindice promises to become Lussurioso’s attendant and goes off to kill Piato for him. Hippolito and Vindice go off to find their mother.

[IV.iii] – Spurio and the Duchess are together. Ambitioso and Supervacuo want to kill him.

[IV.iv] – Hippolito and Vindice see their mother. They learn how she has fallen and tried to get her daughter Castiza to pretend she is not a virgin. Gratiana begs forgiveness, and they do forgive her. Castiza then comes in and agrees to prostitute herself to Lussurioso. Gratiana has now changed her mind and begs her not to do it. Castiza says to her mother that she was only kidding – it was a test to see if her mother was still crazy. She would never have done it anyway. She is too pure.

[V.i] – The dead Duke is disguised as Piato. Hippolito and Vindice talk. Lussurioso arrives and Vindice stabs the dead corpse. Lussurioso then says that he knows it was the dead Duke. Vindice and Hippolito are scared that he knew their plan. However, Lussurioso says that he knows Piato did this, and that he has escaped. He says that he knows that Vindice and Hippolito did not know it was really the Duke, even though they did. All learn of the Duke’s death at this point. The Duchess knows that Spurio is not happy any more with the actions around the house. Lussurioso is now proclaimed the Duke, and he banishes the Duchess for having the affair. Supervacuo and Ambitioso then want to kill Spurio for what he did to their mother.

[V.ii] – Vindice and Hippolito talk with Lord Piero about the sinful dukedom.

[V.iii] – Lussurioso is made Duke. Lussurioso then wants Spurio the bastard killed. He also wants Ambitioso and Supervacuo killed. Vindice and Hippolito are the ones who will do it. This is when a Revenger’s dance is put on as well as a dumb show pretending to kill people, but they are really killed. They talk about the treason going on. Ambitioso, Supervacuo, and Spurio are all slain. They try to blame it on another Lord in the room who was not even part of the action, but he won’t take the blame. Lussurioso is then killed. Antonio is happy because everyone that has been evil has been killed or banished. His late wife’s rape has been avenged. However, then Vindice and Hippolito step forward and tell him everything that has happened. They confess to murdering the Duke. Antonio is angry, and he has the guards take them away to be killed. Antonio hopes that all the treason and evil is over finally.

About Me
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