(Review) A Ring of Truth, A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel, #2 by Michelle Cox
Publisher: She Writes Press, SparkPoint Studio, LLC
Edition: Paperback, Advanced Reader Copy
Pages: 313 printed pages
Source: Free copy from SparkPoint Studio, LLC
Book #1, A Girl Like You
Henrietta Von Harmon, age 19, and Inspector Clive Howard, age 36, are newly engaged. Clive is a Chicago detective. The time period is the 1930s. The main theme of the book is the couple meeting each other's families and coming to terms with their polar differences. In addition, a minor mystery over a ring is introduced in the story, and family secrets are exposed in the Von Harmon family.
I consider the story to be a family saga and less of a mystery or focus on Clive's detective work.
His detective work is brought out in a few scenes. At the end of the story, a significant surprise brings excitement before its conclusion.
A Ring of Truth is a book that holds stories behind the main story. It is apparent from the opening pages something is terribly wrong in the Von Harmon household, and I am not referring to their poverty. Mrs. Von Harmon is an angry bitter woman. The logical question is why? Henrietta as the eldest child of the large family feels a responsibility to provide support, and this includes financial support. She worries about her younger siblings and feels guilty if she is not there to "fix things."
I love family stories. In A Ring of Truth, only a couple of the siblings are given any kind of spotlight. One brother has a secondary story. I love reading about personalities of family members and their "role" in the family. I love reading about their own stories among the main story. I am hoping in future novels of this series the siblings of Henrietta will have more of their lives exposed.
The mystery behind Mrs. Von Harmon's anger is hinted at in the beginning and explained by her later. I am hoping in future books in this series Mrs. Von Harmon will make peace with her past.
Henrietta and Clive, as all couples, have decisions to make regarding their role as husband and wife. A big problem is their differences in upbringing and economic status. Clive's family is the "upper crust" of society. His mother is a snob. A polished icy snob. His father is a more civil.
When the story begins Henrietta is left to have a long visit with Clive's family at their estate. If she is to be Mrs. Clive Howard, she must learn to handle the estate affairs. I enjoyed this part of the story best. How are Henrietta and Clive going to handle their differences? Will the engagement continue? How will they compromise?
I loved reading about 1930s culture and standards, music, clothing, and language.
The affects of World War I is included in the characters stories.
What I did not see is the strength of Henrietta as an astute solver of crimes. I did see Clive's role as detective in brief. In this book, his focus is on Henrietta and not so much on his job. I want to bring out this last point, because I feel it needs to be explained, this story is more about them as a couple and less about any mystery or crime. Yes, a mystery and crime is in this story but minor.
I enjoyed reading this story but was not swept away.