31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan (Harper, March 30, 2010), 352 pages

31 Bond Street opens in 1857 New York City. Wealthy dentist Harvey Burdell is found brutally murdered, in his own home. Emma Cunningham, the widowed mother of two teenage daughters, is accused of the murder, but not before she’s trapped inside her home for weeks by officials with not-so-secret political ambitions. Henry Clinton puts his reputation and practice on the line to defend her.

Everything seemed aligned for me to absolutely love this book. A murder mystery, set in a historical framework, with racial, gender and socioeconomic issues in the fore. It touches on the impact of both the press and the law on peoples’ lives. What could be better?

The novel is a fictional account of an (apparently famous) actual murder trial, which is fun. I enjoyed the illustrations and snippets from newspapers that opened some chapters. Interestingly, my favorite characters were minor players.

I was a bit annoyed at how the narrative went back and forth in time. I had trouble keeping track of the chronology at times, although usually a nonlinear narrative isn’t a problem for me. It was incredibly slow getting around to the information that did, eventually, make me care deeply about this book. Still these are minor issues.

I found the setting absolutely engrossing, vividly drawn and fascinating. I love when that happens!

Bottom line: 31 Bond Street didn’t quite wow me, but I’ll definitely be looking forward to more from Horan. This was a fun, enjoyable read, a great story.

Read an excerpt.

There’s been talk of a movie based on the book — I think it would make a terrific film — and anyone who has read the book can enter the “Cast the Movie” Contest; the prize is handmade truffles from Bond Street Chocolates as well as a signed first edition of the book. The contest is open internationally; it closes August 31, 2010.

About the author
Ellen Horan previously worked as a freelance photo editor for magazines and books in New York City. She has a background in painting and visual art. 31 Bond Street is her first novel.

Check out the rest of the TLC Book Tour stops for 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan.

Other reviews
Devourer of Books
Bookin’ with Bingo
Killin’ Time Reading
The Book Book

Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher, as part of the TLC book tour.


10 responses to “31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

  1. Sounds like a pretty good book Hannah with a good mix of plot. The mixing of times has bothered me in books occasionally as well. It has to be very clearly written to pull it off and I find in most cases, its not done well.

    I am interested that this book may become a movie. I think I will see if my library can put a copy on my list for me, it couldn’t hurt to take a peek at it. 🙂

  2. I’ve had my eye on this book for a while now. It sounds like something I would enjoy, although I’ve just completed two books that gave me a bit of problem as I read them. They were both well written, but ended up having some issues with them. Ah well, such is the reading life. I’m off to put this one officially on my wish list or to look and see how much the Kindle edition is going for.

  3. It’s not often that I come to love a book that’s slow to get into, so it says a lot that you did with this one.

  4. Even with the narrative switching back and forth, I’m glad that, ultimately, you found it to be a great story! Thanks, Hannah, for being on the tour. We really appreciate all the time you put into it!

  5. I am glad you enjoyed this one. There were a few minor kinks but, like you said, it is engrossing!

  6. I won this book in a contest :), but then sacrificed it for a charity book basket :/

  7. Despite a glitch or two, this book is on my want to read really soon list.

  8. Hannah, just got back from travel abroad, and catching up on blog reviews. So pleased to see my book featured — you have a thoughtful and interesting blog! Ellen

  9. Pingback: Words from my reading « Word Lily

  10. Pingback: Ellen Horan, author of 31 Bond Street, on tour July 2010 | TLC Book Tours

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