Tantalizing tales of mistresses or murder. Take your pick with these five page-turners.
American presidents are no strangers to mistresses, from John F. Kennedy’s dalliances with Marilyn Monroe to Bill Clinton’s intern indiscretion. It’s far rarer, though, for a First Lady to keep a mistress, which makes the mysterious relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Associated Press reporter Lorena Hickok even more intriguing. Historians can’t agree if the “First Friend” was a close pal or a secret lover, but award-winning author Amy Bloom explores the relationship in the novel White Houses.
Chloe Benjamin garnered advance book buzz for The Immortalists, a tale of aging, longevity and family centred on four siblings who learn the date of their deaths, while Jessica Fellowes – niece of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and author of multiple series companion books – tackles a real-life unsolved homicide in the 1920s English countryside in The Mitford Murders, centred around Nancy Mitford of the notorious and aristocratic Mitford
And two former Canuck Giller Prize nominees hit bookshelves this month – Red Dog, Red Dog author Patrick Lane returns with a story of troubled pasts and a violent present in a B.C. sawmill town in Deep River Night, as Stanley Park scribe Timothy Taylor’s latest, The Rule of Stephens, is an eerie tale about a woman who inexplicably survives a plane crash only to find her life unravel in inexplicable ways.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2018 issue with the headline, “Of Mistresses and Murder,” p. 17.