From Publishers Weekly
Before becoming known by his Treasury of Victorian Murder historical true crime series, Geary published the occasional (fictional) adventures of an intrepid young woman named Blanche, since gone out-of-print. Collected by Dark Horse in a single volume, with a new introductory episode, these three chapters (structured as the heroine's letters home to her patient parents) have an American Gothic tone that won't surprise Geary's older fans, and a sense of rip-snorting fun that comes as something of a shock. Blanche is a bright and proper young lady who comes to New York in 1907 to study music, but gets caught up in horrific conspiratorial doings in the city's underworld of subway construction and secret cults. Later episodes follow the scrappy musical ingénue to Hollywood (bursting at the seams with big personalities, crime and labor unrest) and Paris (redolent with early 20th-century bohemian glamour and criminal undertakings). Geary's penchant for mixing historical education with bold and daring adventure makes for a winning combination that will likely have readers new to his series asking for more. (Apr.)
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*Starred Review* Casually intrepid Blanche Womack’s pianism propels her from her Kansas home to depths and heights the prairie does not know, and if she never plays Carnegie Hall, she also never complains. Arriving in New York in 1907 to further her studies, she boards in her new teacher’s Greenwich Village home, discovers the building sits atop immense underground caverns, and winds up jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge to escape the guardians of the caverns’ secret. For a while thereafter, she is the toast of the town, but in 1915 she takes a position in Hollywood. Though her employer soon closes shop in the wake of labor agitation, D. W. Griffith shows an interest in her skills—luckily, since her derring-do is essential for her and his rescue from a runaway balloon. By November 1921 Blanche is in Paris and, eventually, escaping dangerous pursuers from the exterior girders of the Eiffel Tower. Getting into the pickles that her courage and pluck, more than any of the interesting young men she encounters, get her out of is well more than half the fun here, for her creator is historical-ambiance specialist Rick Geary, who makes Blanche’s three cities as captivating and drolly amusing as any of the settings of his Treasury of Victorian Murder volumes. --Ray Olson