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Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Blurb from Goodreads:
Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.
My Review:
Unfortunately what could have been a really interesting concept and book did not work for me.  This was so predictable -- sheltered rich girl longs to explore the gritty streets of New York and falls in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks that is hell-bent on destroying her rich family.  I could appreciate Jo's motivation -- she seemed to have a good heart and really just wanted to solve the mystery of her father's death -- she was so infuriating in how she went about it.  Had this actual been dark like the description and cover promised, it may have been better.  Instead, this book was a light mystery, heavy on the cheese factor and "romance" and I was extremely bored reading it.  The writing wasn't bad and the historical accuracy seemed to be well done but they couldn't save the plot for me.

I would recommend this to fans of light historical fiction -- although this is, ostensibly, a mystery, it felt really fluffy to me.  These Shallow Graves was released earlier this week, and you can purchase HERE!  
"Don't worry, my darling," Trudy said.  "You'll only get a few days' detention, I'm sure.  Unless Sparky expels you."  
"You're such a comfort," said Jo.  
Trudy smiled ruefully.  "What can I say? I merely wish to smoke. Sparky can forgive that. You, on the other hand, wish to know things.  And no one can forgive a girl for that."


  1. Oh that sticks about this one. I love the cover and thought the blurb sounded good. But a light mystery and fluff is not what I would want from this. Great review!

  2. Ah, predictable is the worst. I have this for audio, shouldn't take me too long to get through it...

  3. I really wanted to read this one since it sounded like a good mystery and I'm not a historical fiction reader. But you're not the only I've seen that hasn't liked this book. I think I'll wait to see a few more reviews before taking it off my TBR list. Great review!


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