Review: Death at Chinatown

Death at Chinatown (Emily Cabot Mysteries) (Volume 5)
by Frances McNamara

Series: Emily Cabot Mysteries
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Allium Press of Chicago
ISBN-10: 0989053555
ISBN-13: 978-0989053556

(Barry’s score 5 out of 5 stars)
Available @ Amazon Death at Chinatown (Emily Cabot Mysteries) (Volume 5)

My thoughts:

Damn fine mystery …

“Death at Chinatown” is the fifth book in the Emily Cabot mysteries series. I really hate to jump this late into a series, but I was in the mood for a good mystery after reading a lot of nonfiction.

Emily Cabot is an interesting character.  I am reminded of Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher, Carol O’Connell’s Kathleen Mallory, or Agatha Christie’s Tuppence. McNamara managed to create a character as interesting as the mystery she solves, and between you and me that’s saying something.

In addition to the interesting characters, I suppose that the historic nineteenth Century Chicago really came to life for me. I am really impressed with the historic feel of the novel. Of course, the mystery zeroes in on the Chinese community and I don’t think that I have read anything like this since James Clavell’s Tai-Pan.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and give it a solid 5 stars out of 5.

Product description:

In the summer of 1896, amateur sleuth Emily Cabot meets two young Chinese women who have recently received medical degrees. She is inspired to make an important decision about her own life when she learns about the difficult choices they have made in order to pursue their careers. When one of the women is accused of poisoning a Chinese herbalist, Emily once again finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation. But, before the case can be solved, she must first settle a serious quarrel with her husband, help quell a political uprising, and overcome threats against her family. Timeless issues, such as restrictions on immigration, the conflict between Western and Eastern medicine, and women’s struggle to balance family and work, are woven seamlessly throughout this riveting historical mystery. Rich with fascinating details of life in Chicago’s original Chinatown, this fifth book in the Emily Cabot Mysteries series will continue to delight history buffs and mystery lovers alike.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Cadence Group and Allium Press of Chicago. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Book of Lies

bookofliesBook of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Disinformation Books
ISBN-10: 1938875109
ISBN-13: 978-1938875106

(Barry’s score 4 1/2 stars out of 5)

My thoughts:

The “Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult” is an amazing collection of essays and articles, picked from some of the well known Esoteric minds, discussing the Occult. If you are like me, you will bounce from essay to essay in a chaotic manner gaining new insights with every turn of the page.

I suppose what impressed me the most was section 3 “Icons”. I really enjoyed Erik Davis’ article on Cthulhu, “Calling Cthulhu”, and his thoughts of Lovecraft. Another must read is Robert Anton Wilson’s “Leary and Crowley”.Section 6 “Secret Societies” has a must read essay by Tau Allen Greenfield on Wicca titled “The Secret History of Modern Witchcraft”.

All in all, “Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult” is packed with pictures and must read essays. It’s hard to believe that anyone could cram this many must-read articles in one 350 page book. I would caution readers that this book is not a lite-fluffy read. It is dark at times and the sections about drug use bothered me. That being said, I recommend “Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult” and give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Product description:

First published in 2003, Book of Lies was hailed as a 21st century grimoire and instantly became a cult classic. Now reformatted for the next generation of magicians and all counterculture devotees, it gathers an unprecedented cabal of occultists, esoteric scholars,and forward thinkers, all curated by Disinformation’s former “wicked warlock” Richard Metzger.

This compendium of the occult includes entries on topics as diverse and dangerous as Aleister Crowley, secret societies, psychedelics, and magick in theory and practice. The result is an alchemical formula that may well rip a hole in the fabric of your reality:

  • Mark Pesce, author of The Playful World, compares computer programming and spellcasting.
  • Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, father of Industrial Music and Rave culture explains how samples in a rave song can have magical consequences.
  • William Burroughs and the occult.
  • Nevill Drury, Australia’s most noted occult writer, tells of Dion Fortune, Austin Spare, and Rosaleen Norton.
  • Donald Tyson’s “The Enochian Apocalypse Working” ask if the seeds of the end of the world sown in the Elizabethan era.
  • A biographical essay on Marjorie Cameron, the fascinating character from Los Angeles’ occult and beatnik scene.
  • Hitler and the occult–Peter Levenda interview by Tracy Twyman.
  • Robert Temple on how his book The Sirius Mystery’s, controversial thesis (for which he was ridiculed) was proven by the Hubble telescope twenty-five years late.
  • An exclusive Anton LaVey interview by Michael Moynihan, author of best-selling book Lords of Chaos.
  • Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis, looks at H. P. Lovecraft’s Magick Realism
  • Robert Anton Wilson on Timothy Leary and Aleister Crowley
  • Comics genius Grant Morrison offers Magic for the people.

It’s all here and more!
Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Disinformation Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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In my mailbox: Hedgewitch Book of Days

Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
by Mandy Mitchell
Available: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Weiser Books
Amazon: Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year

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Book and product reviews with a steampunk twist

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