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Friday, February 08, 2013

Frozen A Tidy, But Decent Historical Mystery

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Eleven years ago, in the middle of a fierce snowstorm, 5-year-old Sadie Rose was found in a snowbank, frozen almost to death.  She hasn't uttered a word since.  Only vague memories of that night remain, which is just as well.  Why would Sadie Rose want to remember the night she wandered into the blizzard looking for her mother, only to discover the woman had drunk herself to death?  It was better this way, wasn't it?  Instead of growing up in the brothel where her mother worked, she's being reared in a senator's home, enjoying all the luxuries his wealth can buy.  So what if the Worthingtons won't officially adopt her?  This life is infinitely better than the one Sadie Rose would have had otherwise.  Isn't it?

When Sadie Rose finds some old photographs of her mother, a powerful curiosity is awakened inside her.  Who was her mother, really?  What led her to succumb to a life of prostitution?  And what really happened on the night she died?  As Sadie Rose tries to make sense of the blurry images that haunt her memory and learn the truth about her past, she makes an even more powerful discovery—her voice.  But what she has to say could ruin reputations, if not lives.  And there are people out there who would gladly silence her forever ...

Set during a tumultuous time in history—a time of Prohibition and dirty politics—Frozen by Mary Casanova is a stirring drama about the eternal struggle between the powerful and the powerless.  Sadie Rose is a sympathetic heroine with a worthy goal.  It's easy to root for her success.  The novel's plot moves swiftly, keeping the story chugging along.  It feels contrived in places and the ending's too tidy, but all in all, it's a decent mystery that's both atmospheric and affecting.        

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a little bit of Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), sexual content and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-galley of Frozen from the generous folks at University of Minnesota Press (via NetGalley).  Thank you!


  1. This sounds like a great one. Thanks for sharing because I would likely have never stumbled across this book without your review!

  2. I almost downloaded this one too but then looked at my huge TBR pile and changed my mind. Glad you enjoyed it though.


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