Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden – Book Review

Posted August 31, 2021 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden – Book Review

Carved in Stone

by Elizabeth Camden


Series: The Blackstone Legacy #1
Series Rating:
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date August 31, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: New York Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 352

Synopsis:

Gwen Kellerman is an heiress to the infamous Blackstone family, whose history of scandal nearly destroyed her. She now lives a quiet life at the idyllic college founded with her family's fortune and hopes to keep the tragedies of her past safely behind her.

Patrick O'Neill survived a hardscrabble youth to become a lawyer for the downtrodden Irish immigrants in his community. He's proud of his work, even though he struggles to afford his ramshackle law office. All that changes when he accepts a case to challenge the Blackstones' legacy of greed and corruption by resurrecting a thirty-year-old mystery.

Little does Patrick suspect that the Blackstones will launch their most sympathetic family member to derail him. Gwen is tasked with getting Patrick to drop the case, but the old mystery takes a shocking twist neither of them saw coming. Now, as they navigate a burgeoning attraction, Patrick is the only one who can save Gwen from new danger on the horizon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


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I have come to expect learning interesting tidbits of scientific progress during the Progressive Era when reading books by Elizabeth Camden. Her knack for weaving history with fiction in a compelling manner makes learning these things a pleasure.

Patrick and Gwen were separated by centuries of wealth and prejudice. He was a poor Irish immigrant lawyer, representing the down and out. She was an affluent heiress who, though she had experienced grief and betrayal, had always known a world of luxury. Admittedly, he was more prejudiced against her family than she was about his background. His pride almost caused him to lose out…

The complete cast of intriguing characters, each with ample means, motive, and opportunity to be responsible for the murder attempts perpetrated on Patrick’s client, left me wondering who the culprit could be until right before he was revealed.

One of my favorite characters, though he only appears through telegrams and discussions about him, was Count Dimitri. I won’t spoil him for you other than telling you that his dramatic and idiosyncratic tendencies made me laugh. I do hope he will appear in future Blackstones stories!

Dealing with unions, attempts to prevent the merger of the nation’s largest steel companies into U.S. Steel, and the development of a serum to treat tetanus, Carved in Stone makes history come alive.

If you enjoy historical fiction, you won’t want to miss Carved in Stone!

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About Elizabeth Camden

I am fortunate to have two careers I deeply love. I am a college librarian by day, and write novels on the weekends.

I become a librarian because I can think of no other career in which you get such a wide exposure to all aspects of recorded knowledge. I have been an academic librarian for fifteen years, where on any given day I get to research the sonnets of Shakespeare, learn what makes pelican feathers pink, or compile demographic statistics for starting a new company.

How does one become a college librarian? In my case, I got an undergraduate degree in History from Trinity University in San Antonio, then went on to earn a master’s degree in History from the University of Virginia, and finally a Master’s in Library Science from Indiana University.

But fiction has always been a wonderful escape for me, and I’ve wanted to be a novelist since the third grade when I was devastated by the bittersweet ending of Charlotte’s Web. I remember vowing to re-write the book with a better ending someday. Although I failed to appreciate how copyright law would thwart my ambition to write better endings for other people’s books, perhaps my early experience with sad novels is why I became a romance novelist.

I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing fiction is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others. For those aspiring writers who are interested in my road to publication, you can find it here.

I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it. Then when I was in my mid-thirties and just a few weeks after buying my first house, I met the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. My years as a single woman taught me many things. I learned to be independent and resilient. I learned how to manage my investments, earn and save enough money to have investments, mow my own lawn, fix the rickety appliances in my sixty-year old house, and spend the holidays on my own when travel to family was not possible. Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.

As for who I really am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.

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