Thursday Quotables – A Ring of Truth

“What happened?” Henrietta asked when they were back in the car together heading down California toward the Von Harmon’s apartment. Clive had been contemplating how much of Eugene’s story to share with her, and he still wasn’t sure how forthcoming he should be.

“I don’t think he did it,” Clive said finally.

Henrietta breathed a sigh of relief. “What happened then?”

“I’m pretty sure this Fr. Finnegan set him up. I think he planted the candlesticks on him. I need to pay him a little visit tomorrow.”

“But why would he do that? That doesn’t make sense! Eugene’s a favorite of him.”

Clive let that comment sit for a few moments as he considered to say next. He wanted to be honest with her, but how much should he reveal? It was a terribly inappropriate subject, one he didn’t necessarily want to broach, but he saw no other way around it if Henrietta were to really understand the gravity of the situation and its many gray areas. Perhaps it would be for the best, really, if she knew. “Henrietta…” he began unsteadily. “I’m pretty sure Eugene’s a deviant… a homosexual, that is.”

He looked over at her, but she was just staring straight ahead at the road. He was completely unprepared, then, when she said quietly, “Yes, I thought he might be.”

Thursday Quotables MemeBecause this series by Michelle Cox is called “Henrietta and Inspector Howard”, I’ll admit I was expecting something a bit different. More of a cosy mystery, where the mystery had a central role, if in a ‘cosy’ way.
Turned out, this is a romance with a mystery side thread, which was disappointing for me – which is entirely me, not a fault of the story.

Even if I’m not at all into romances, this was nonetheless a good one. The characters are well rounded and sympathetic and don’t normally go into the kind of unreasonable angst that I really don’t like in romances. Henrietta and Clive have some very serious matters to consider and overcome and they do it always in a credible way.
Yes, they are classic romance tropes (she’s young, daring and poor, he’s experienced, brooding and very rich), but they are handled in such a way that they feels real and convincing. I also liked that many threads are interwoven in the story. Henrietta and Clive’s love story is central to the plot, but there are side threads (the mystery one, but also the thread concerning Henrietta’s mother, and the one about her brother, the thread concerning Helen’s past) that are strongly set. Most of these side threads don’t find a resolution at the end (this is, indeed, and ongoing series) but they weave with the central story rather than proceed alongside, so that they feel part of it. I was not disappointed when they remained opened in the end, it actually felt quite natural.

The mystery thread turned out to be quite lame, I’m afraid, which was disappointing for me. But the romance is very strong, so if you are the kind of the romance reader, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this story a lot.


In post is part of the Thursday Quotables meme. If you want to discover more about this meme and maybe take part in it, head over to Bookshelf Fantasies


RING OF TRUTH (Michelle Cox) - As if getting to know each other better wasn't challenging enough, after Henrietta discovered Clive is in fact much more than a mere police detective, the mystery of a stolen ring gets in the way

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About the Author

I was born, raised and I still live near Verona (Italy), though I worked for a time in Dublin. I started writing fantasy stories as a kid. Today I’m a bookseller who reads fantasy, history, mythology, anthropology and lots of speculative fiction. Somehow, all of this has found its way into my own dieselpunk stories.

10 Comments on "Thursday Quotables – A Ring of Truth"

  1. I’m not, as a rule, one to go for romances, either. But I always do appreciate well-drawn characters. I value credibility, too. I’m glad you found that this one was a well-written story.

    • It was a good story. Personally, I think that, had it not being treated as a romance, it would have stand perfectly as a mainstream novel, focusing on the characters’ evolution more than on their romance.
      The author chose differently. The story is good, though, I’m certain lots of people will appreciate it 🙂

  2. I normally don’t read romances because they usually go into detailed sex scenes at some point and I just don’t like that. To me a sex seen is he kissed her, she melted into his arms and then one of them kicked the door shut, like an old Doris Day movie. As a matter of fact, I’ve been reading a lot of YA fiction with my daughter just to avoid the crap.
    Barbara In Caneyhead recently posted…Faith: #TheWordonWordsMy Profile

  3. Thanks Sarah – interesting way you’ve written the review … it’s not the sort of book I’d read, but you’ve given it a fair shot and given us something different to read as commenters – cheers Hilary
    Hilary Melton-Butcher recently posted…Easter Parade – a wee bit late …My Profile

  4. I appreciate romances but I’m not one to seek them out.I am like you, I appreciate mysteries.

    • I sure wish the mystery was a lot more prominent. It’s really a shame that it wasn’t really of any importance to the story… and one of the character himself acknowledge it.

  5. I quite like threads that remain loose and untidy 🙂 don’t like the endings neatly tied up in bows either 🙂
    Nilanjana Bose recently posted…Malfuf wa Malik*My Profile

    • Me too. to me the important part is wrapping up the main threads. Some of the side threads may ramain foggy or unsolved, because that’s how life is.
      But it’s a delicate and subtle balance, not easy to achieve.

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