It’s with a great deal of pleasure I direct your attention to an upcoming book by friend, and college roommate, Mary Matthews. Emeralds, Diamonds and Amethysts is the sequel to Splendid Summer, a novel of the Roaring Twenties set in San Diego.
The emerald, diamonds, and amethysts in the title refer to what was known as Suffragette Jewelry, with initials of the colors of the stones being a message to give women the vote.
I created the cover art for both novels, which feature my own dear Tasha-cat in the roll of the novels’ magical, mystery-solving cat, Tatania. Like my own Tasha, magical cat, Tatania, is a deaf, white cat with extraordinary perceptions. As the author says, Tatania helps solve mysteries, “without missing a nap.” Mary Matthews also recently honored Tasha and her fictional counterpart, Tatania, with a donation of $1000 to an animal shelter where both novels are set.
In my review of Splendid Summer on Amazon.com, I refer to the novel as the “other coast’s Boardwalk Empire,” which is an apt description, as the eras overlap, though Splendid Summer is far less bleak and violent!
My review of Splendid Summer:
Splendid Summer was an introduction to a new world to me, the Roaring Twenties at a luxury hotel on the coast in San Diego. When the new season of Boardwalk Empire came on, just this week, I realized that show took place in the same time-frame as Splendid Summer, which I had read earlier. It increased my interest in both Boardwalk Empire with its dark, damp gloom, and wicked characters, and Splendid Summer with its brighter west coast setting and far, far more innocent characters. As we grow to find redeeming traits in the Boardwalk Empire characters (I hope), I expect the characters in Splendid Summer’s sequels to grow darker as they delve into this world of crime in the ’20s.
Splendid Summer is a short novel introducing an innocent girl being plunged into the darker side of the Roaring Twenties through helping to solve the murder of her uncle. Grace is more than a bit naive, and a bit vapid at times, yet shows much promise to grow and discover the era and her new world, letting us see it through her eyes.
A character I was most intrigued by, yet who got too little screen time in this story, was the magical white cat, Tatania. I very much look forward to seeing her role develop in future stories in this world.
This book is light reading, not very long. At times I found the narrative a tad scanty and lacking detail and development, yet at the end I still ended up with a very vivid set of imagery of the setting. The characters are also not fully fleshed out, yet show promise of growing more through future adventures. This is, really, a nice setup for future tales to come.