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These Shallow Graves
Cover of These Shallow Graves
These Shallow Graves
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From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people...
From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people...
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  • From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people will go for love and revenge. For fans of Elizabeth George and Libba Bray, These Shallow Graves is the story of how much a young woman is willing to risk and lose in order to find the truth.
        Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.
        Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort shot himself while cleaning his pistol. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was a partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.
        The more Jo hears about her father’s death, the more something feels wrong. Suicide is the only logical explanation, and of course people have started talking, but Jo’s father would never have resorted to that. And then she meets Eddie—a young, smart, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. But now it might be too late to stop.
        The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and this time the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

    Praise for These Shallow Graves:

    "These Shallow Graves delivered all that I adore: lovely prose, historical intrigue, unique characters and setting. I devoured this book!"-Ruta Sepetys, New York Times bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy

    "An intelligent, personable heroine-Jo Montfort's hopes for an enlightened future uncover a dark past, resulting in a splendidly hair-raising tour of the brightest and darkest corners of Victorian New York."-Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity and Black Dove, White Raven

    "A fast-paced Gilded Age crime thriller that plunges its intrepid investigative-journalist heroine into the sordid underworld of nineteenth-century New York City and into her own family's dark secrets."-Julie Berry, award-winning author of All the Truth That's In Me

    "Jo Montfort is a gutsy modern heroine in a beguiling tale of old New York. Money, murder, betrayal, and family secrets....I loved spending time in this world!"-Elizabeth Ross, author of William C. Morris Award finalist Belle Epoque

    [STAR] "Fast-paced and thrilling...a smart, insightful, timely depiction of a young woman poised on the brink of a new world after the shattering of another."-Booklist, Starred

    [STAR] "Action-packed chapters propel this compelling mystery...[and] the injustices Donnelly highlights remain all too relevant."-Publishers Weekly, Starred

    [STAR] "A riveting historical mystery-thriller...[that] succeeds as a wonderfully paced thriller, a heart-pounding romance and an unflinching look at the hard choices one young woman must make when society disparages her dreams."-Shelf Awareness, Starred

    "A beautifully written mystery."-School Library...

Excerpts-

  • From the cover Chapter One

    Miss Sparkwell’s School for Young Ladies

    Farmington, Connecticut

    September 17, 1890

    “Trudy, be a dear and read these stories for me,” said Jo Montfort, laying out articles for her school’s newspaper on a tea table. “I can’t abide errors.”

    Gertrude Van Eyck, all blond curls and dimples, stopped dead in the middle of the common room. “How did you know it was me? You didn’t even look up!”

    “Duke told me,” Jo replied. Duke’s Cameos were Trudy’s favorite brand of cigarette.

    Trudy sniffed her sleeve. “Do I smell?”

    “You positively reek. What does Gilbert Grosvenor think of you smoking cigarettes?”

    “Gilbert Grosvenor doesn’t know. Not about the ciggies, or the bottle of gin under my bed, or that utterly swell boy who delivers apples,” Trudy said, winking.

    “Slang does not become a Farmington girl, Gertrude,” sniffed Libba Newland, seated nearby with her friend, May Delano.

    “Neither does that fringe, Lib,” said Trudy, eyeing Libba’s badly curled bangs.

    “Well, I never!” Libba huffed.

    “And I’m sure you never will,” Trudy said archly.

    “Stop being awful and read these, Tru,” Jo scolded. “My deadline’s tomorrow.”

    Trudy sat down at the table and helped herself to a jam tart from Jo’s plate. It was three o’clock—teatime at Miss Sparkwell’s—and the common room was crowded with students on break. Everyone was chatting and eating except Jo, who was busy finalizing the layout for the second edition of the Jonquil.

    “What do we have this week?” Trudy asked. “The usual tripe?”

    Jo sighed. “I’m afraid so,” she said. “There’s a piece on the proper way to brew tea, a poem about kittens, Miss Sparkwell’s impressions of the Louvre, and advice on how to fade freckles.”

    “Ye gads. Anything else?”

    Jo hesitated, working up her nerve. “As a matter of fact, yes. A story on the abuse of girl laborers at Fenton’s Textile Mill,” she said, handing one of the articles to her friend.

    “Ha! So funny, my darling!” Trudy said, smiling. Her smile faded as she read the first lines. “Oh dear God. You’re serious.”

    Trudy kept reading, riveted, and Jo watched her, thrilled. Jo was a senior at Miss Sparkwell’s and had written for the Jonquil during her three previous years at the school, but this was the first important story she’d written. She’d worked hard to get it. She’d taken risks. Just like a real reporter.

    “What do you think?” she asked eagerly when Trudy finished reading.

    “I think you’ve lost your mind,” Trudy replied.

    “But do you think it’s good?” Jo pressed.

    “Very.”

    Jo, who’d been perched on the edge of her seat, shot forward and hugged Trudy, a huge grin on her face.

    “But that’s entirely beside the point,” Trudy said sternly as Jo sat down again. “If you hand in the layout to Sparky with that story in it, you’re done for. Detention for a week and a letter home.”

    “It’s not that bad. Nellie Bly’s pieces are far more provocative,” said Jo.

    “You’re comparing yourself to Nellie Bly?” Trudy asked, incredulous. “Need I remind you that she’s a scandalous lady reporter who meddles in...

About the Author-

  • Jennifer Donnelly is the author of three adult novels, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose, as well as the young adult novels These Shallow Graves, Revolution, Stepsister, Poisoned and A Northern Light, winner of Britain's prestigious Carnegie Medal, the L.A. Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award. She lives and writes full-time in upstate New York. You can visit her at jenniferdonnelly.com or find @JenWritesBooks on Twitter.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Kim Bubbs skillfully gives voice to Josephine Montford, a wealthy young woman in late-nineteenth-century New York, and her love interest, an aspiring reporter named Eddie. Together, they set out to track down the man who murdered Jo's father, a newspaper publisher. Donnelly describes Jo's "porcelain coolness" as a "veneer" under which lies a "fierce intelligence," and Bubbs's portrayal deftly reflects those traits. She reveals Jo's education and privilege through genteel enunciation and a level tone, which make her moments of na•veté more believable. Jo's intelligence especially comes through in her fast-paced, passionate exchanges with Eddie. The poor denizens of the city, also competently portrayed, are effectively juxtaposed with the privileged. E.M.C. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 17, 2015
    Josephine Montfort, one of the wealthy elite in 1890 New York City, is supposed to finish school, marry a suitable gentleman, raise a family, “and that is all.” But smart, self-assured Jo desires more from life—and wants to become a reporter like Nellie Bly. When Jo’s father unexpectedly dies, and she discovers that his death wasn’t an accident, she teams up with an intrepid reporter named Eddie to find out what really happened. They uncover secrets that upend everything she has known, and
    Jo risks her reputation as they visit checkered parts of the city and she starts to fall for Eddie. While this isn’t a short book, Donnelly’s (Revolution) action-packed chapters propel this compelling mystery. Through Jo’s sheltered perspective, readers learn about class disparity right alongside her, and Donnelly is as adept at describing an opulent ball
    as she is a seedy neighborhood. Though some of the constraints placed on female behavior during that time period have faded, the injustices Donnelly highlights remain all too relevant. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House.

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