Got an email tonight. It asked about my review of The Silver Shadow. I was confused What about it? Then it hit me.
Yeah. I was supposed to have read and reviewed it for Saturday morning. As you can see, it is not Saturday morning. UGH. Last night I got busy cleaning and completely forgot to read and review that book. Okay, first I didn’t feel well and was lying around wishing I could just sleep it off. THEN I started cleaning when I felt better and voila! One book and review totally forgotten.
So… tonight, I picked up this book. I read it. And then, because I’m insane that way, at 1:40 in the we hours of this morning, I set off on my walk.
Because doesn’t everyone go for a walk in the dark after reading a book about a guy who bashed women in the head FOR walking around in the dark?
I’m not a jumpy sort of person, but I did pull out my phone. Twice. Of course, I tend usually to walk between 2:30 and 3:30, so there were more cars on the road–folks coming home from the bars. YAY! No one swerved or crossed over lines, so I think folks were sober. WOOT! But this book…
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How Was My Nightly Walk after Reading This Riveting Book?
I’m pretty sure The Silver Shadow is Liz Tolsma’s best book to date. I don’t say that lightly, because I LOVED The Green Dress more than probably all of the other books in the series (one still torments me a bit, though). Maybe it was just when I read it, or even that I just really resonated with the characters on a new level, but this one stands out more than all of Tolsma’s books. Polly Blythe (whose name really reminds me a lot of “Nellie Bly” of The Gray Chamber) is a beautiful combination of bold, feisty, uncertain, and vulnerable.
The crime–riveting. While motives and the actual culprit were fictionalized, I think Tolsma used the most actual people from the time in her book than in any other book, despite her claim that it is the most fictionalized of the ones she’s written. The fact that they never actually caught the killer, and she brought one to justice, of course makes that claim reasonable.
Of everything in the book though, two things stand out most to me.
First, personal motivations. I found that each character’s motivations for why they did what they did–particularly Edwin, his family, and Polly–were deep and layered. It wasn’t a simple case of a girl wanting to prove she could do a job as good as a man. One by one, Polly’s motivations were peeled back until you found a core beneath them that breaks your heart. The same is true for many of the characters.
Second, the characters’ faith. Each character had a different element of faith they demonstrated in quiet, natural ways that feel as if you’re watching faith in action by people who have no idea anyone would be observing.
While I received a review copy of this book free, I also purchased two of my own copies so… yeah. There’s that.
Recommended for lovers of historical fiction, true crime, and excellent writing that keeps you riveted to the page… and makes you look over your shoulder when you’re walking out alone after dark. 😉
The Silver Shadow is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Book: The Silver Shadow
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release date: May 2021
A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women
Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?
About the Author
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.
More from Liz
One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.
I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.
And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.
Then I sat down to research it more.
And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.
Eventually, I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.
In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 25
lakesidelivingsite, May 25
Reviewingbooksplusmore, May 25
For the Love of Literature, May 26
Bigreadersite, May 26
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 26
Texas Book-aholic, May 27
Genesis 5020, May 27
Christian Bookaholic, May 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28
Vicky Sluiter, May 28
The Write Escape, May 29
Betti Mace, May 29
Inklings and notions, May 29
Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 30
For Him and My Family, May 30
Rebecca Tews, May 30
Older & Smarter?, May 31
deb’s Book Review, May 31
Blogging With Carol, May 31
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1
Remembrancy, June 1
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2
Pick a Good Book, June 2
Connie’s History Classroom, June 3
Godly Book Reviews, June 3
Mary Hake, June 3
Through the Fire Blogs, June 4
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4
KarenSueHadley, June 5
Amanda Tero, Blog, June 5
Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5
Grace-Filled Writer, June 6
Pause for Tales, June 6
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 7
Blossoms and Blessings, June 7
Daysong Reflections, June 7
To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.