“Messenger from Mystery,” by Deno Trakas

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Messenger from Mystery is Dr. Deno Trakas’s first novel, but he’s not unknown to upstate South Carolina readers. He holds the Laura and Winston Hoy Chair in English at Wofford and has published both fiction and poetry in journals and anthologies. The novel harks back to the latter years of […]

November Read of the Month: “Weary Kingdom,” by DéLana R. A. Dameron

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl We have moved from Michigan to South Carolina, which is not unlike a sailing ship lifting anchor. If I read DéLana R. A. Dameron’s Weary Kingdom properly, there’s some similarity, a movement from the familiarity of a home in South Carolina to a different world, Harlem and Brooklyn, where she […]

“Assassination at Bayou Sauvage,” by DJ Donaldson

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl DJ Donaldson is the author of a series of Andy Broussard / Kit Franklyn mysteries, most of which have been digitally published in the last half-decade or so. Donaldson’s mystery is readable, but if placed side-by-side with James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels, there are notable differences. Burke, for example, […]

“The Stone Pear,” by Elizabeth Genovise

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Elizabeth Genovise has yet to write a novel, but this fine short-story writer may soon accomplish that feat.  She’s the author of two short-story collections, A Different Harbor and Where There are Two or More, both reviewed in Southern Literary Review.  The Stone Pear is a single story published by […]

“Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty,” by John Boles

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl Dumas Malone’s six volume biography of Thomas Jefferson is nearing the half-century mark since publication.  Joseph Ellis’s biography appeared in 1996, followed by other biographies, some of which own a “tabloid” quality. Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello, however, is an insightful consideration of a story largely expunged from history […]

“By the Numbers,” by Jen Lancaster

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl The summer reading season is upon us; park-goers and beach-goers and vacation-goers and back-yard goers are relaxing with sun screen (we hope) and sun glasses and books and magazines.  Children will frolic. So much tonic for the spirit these lovely warm days; more so when readers look for wit and […]

“The Ex-Suicide,” by Katherine Clark

  Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl A few brief words on this novel’s title, first of all, since it philosophically “lurks.” We know that Walker Percy was no stranger to suicide with a good list of his family members having taken their own lives, and with Percy himself suffering from melancholy, an ailment different from […]

“One Good Mama Bone,” by Bren McClain

Reviewed by Daniel James Sundahl To begin: This is a book about a woman who talks to a cow and comes to believe she can learn some things from the cow, Big Mama Red, whose child is a steer named Lucky. The woman is Sarah Creamer and the novel is set in the 1950s in […]