Friday, May 02, 2008

Book review - THE BLACK DIAMOND by Jennie Gallant

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.02.2008

The Black Diamond by Jennie Gallant

From the back cover:


Eight months earlier, Sylvia Thompson’s sister had been hired by the wealthy Palin family to care for their young son. Then, suddenly, she had vanished. Disguised as the new nurse, Sylvia began living at Palin Park, in Devon, in hopes of discovering the truth behind her sister’s incredible disappearance.

All at once, Sylvia found herself trapped in a deadly web of conspiracy, extortion and murder, all somehow linked to the famous Black Diamond—a ring that traced its history back to Lucrezia Borgia.

Too late, Sylvia realized that she loved Rober Palin with a passion she had never dreamed possible. Too late, she realized she would be the next to wear THE BLACK DIAMOND.

Camy here:

Melodramatic back cover copy aside, this is an entertaining novel. Set in Victorian England, I think (I’m not a history buff—it opens with the heroine taking a ride on a train for the first time). It has elements of a gothic novel, with the narrative in first person.

The writing is clever and entertaining. Jennie Gallant is a pseudonym for Regency romance and contemporary romantic mystery writer Joan Smith (Imprudent Lady (love this book!), Murder Comes to Mind, among many others). I love her wit and skill at subtext in dialogue.

There is a point near the end where I thought the heroine’s reasoning was faulty, but she gets back on track eventually and, of course, there is a happy ending. I literally couldn’t stop reading once I started this book.

This is a wonderful novel for gothic romance fans or Victorian historical romance fans who don’t like excessive sex. The story is not a Christian romance, but it is clean and entertaining, a quick read that’s perfect for a rainy, thundering day.

(This book is out of print, but you can now get it as an ebook from the publisher, Belgrave House, or from

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for writing about this Regency romance author, Camy. I love this genre and my library has a copy, so I will read it soon.