This book made a refreshing change from my usual reads: no darkness, no grittiness, no foul language or shocking violence or gratuitous sex; just a diverting story told in a pleasant way.
Indiana Belle is like an old movie you’d watch on a Sunday afternoon with your family. It has all the ingredients for wholesome entertainment: a fun time travel story, a mystery to be unravelled, a disaster to be averted, and colourful characters (particularly the eponymous belle, Candice, who’s a bold woman for her time).
This is a light read that doesn’t ask the reader to think too hard (indeed, if you did, you may question the time travel mechanics). It’s what I’d call ‘a jolly good yarn’, with a writing style to match; on a single page you find the words ‘delightful’, ‘pleasing’ and ‘sweetly’.
One element of the style caught my eye. Mr Heldt likes to vary how he describes a character, so Cameron isn’t just ‘Cameron’ or ‘he’, he’s ‘the Rhode Islander’ or ‘the time traveller’ or ‘the would-be educator’ and so on. Depending on your perspective, this is either charming or distracting – I tried to go with the former, but did occasionally find myself thinking the latter.
Overall, I enjoyed the story, particularly for its 1920s’ setting, and recommend it for readers who want a nice, easy read with a feel-good factor.
* My rating: Four stars *
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Author: John A. Heldt
Genre: Historical fiction
Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.
Publication date: 14 April 2016
Length: 406 pages
Available from: Amazon