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City of Shadows


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About the Author

Ariana Franklin was the award-winning author of Mistress of the Art of Death and the critically acclaimed, bestselling medieval thriller series of the same name, as well as the twentieth-century thriller City of Shadows. She died in 2011, while writing The Siege Winter.


As Berlin struggles under the challenges of a post-World War I world, secretary Esther Solomonova finds herself caught up in her boss's scheme-to authenticate young asylum patient Anna Anderson's claims that she is the Grand Duchess Anastasia and survivor of the Bolshevik massacre of the Romanov family. But as acquaintances of the would-be royal begin turning up dead, Esther is left to wonder if proving her identity is the least of Anna's problems. British author Franklin's novel effectively blends history and suspense with a light touch of romance. The pace effectively mirrors the social and political upheaval that took place in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, turning up the tension in the plot as the Nazis rise to power. Franklin's characterization is strong and believable-Esther is especially likable. She is plucky and clever, broadening the book's appeal to fans of crime, historical fiction, romance, and women's fiction. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [Readers interested in this period may also want to read Faye Kellerman's Straight into Darkness, which is set in 1929 Munich.-Ed.]-Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

British author Franklin (the pseudonym of a veteran historical fiction writer) makes the most of an original premise in this engrossing thriller that opens in 1922 Berlin. The German government is in crisis, inflation is staggering, anti-Semitism is rife, citizens are starving and Hitler has begun his rise to power. Horribly scarred Esther Solonomova works as a secretary for fake Russian nobleman Prince Nick, the owner of several Berlin nightclubs (think Cabaret) catering to the rich, the foreign and the deviant. Nick finds an inmate in a local asylum who claims to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, sole survivor of the slaughter of Russia's royal family. Prince Nick renames the inmate Anna Anderson, installs her in an apartment with Esther and sets in motion plans to get his hands on the money and jewels that Anna will claim as the heir to the Russian throne. But a mysterious Nazi is trying to murder Anna, and those near her begin to die. Franklin deftly orchestrates her characters on and off the world's stage, building suspense to a dramatic, surprising finish. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Engrossing thriller...Franklin deftly orchestrates her characters on and off the world's stage, building suspense to a dramatic, surprising finish."--Publishers Weekly
"Entertaining."--Kirkus Reviews

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