The Czech Book

A Rainee Allen mystery

Fiction - Mystery - General
264 Pages
Reviewed on 06/16/2022
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Author Biography

Award-winning author Lauren B. Grossman found global success with her debut novel Once in Every Generation. Her first Rainee Allen mystery, The Golden Peacock, was so well received that creating a series seemed like a natural progression. Grossman collaborated with her brother, Bernard Jaroslow, on the second book in the series, The Verona Exchange, a Rainee Allen mystery, and now this novel.
Ms. Grossman earned her degree in theatre and has performed in designed sets, directed, and produced numerous productions.
Ms. Grossman co-founded, co-published, and co-edited a performing arts newspaper. Because of the success of that newspaper, she and her co-publisher created a weekly radio talk show. She has had articles published and has earned awards for her short stories.
Ms. Grossman lives in Southern Arizona with her husband, two children, a dog and a desert tortoise.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

The Czech Book: A Rainee Allen mystery by Lauren B Grossman is an engaging mystery with well-written characters and a plot that moves fast. Rainee Allen is in Prague for her friend Shelley’s wedding when a bomb blast takes place, leaving Shelley terribly wounded just before her wedding. Before Shelley passes out, she gives a little black book to Rainee and says something that Rainee can’t remember. But a lot has happened that has left everyone baffled, including the unresolved theft of the Bohemian Crown Jewels just a few days before the bomb blast. Rainee must determine if there is a connection between the theft and the bomb blast and establish if her friend, Shelley, has been the target of the bomb blast. Most importantly, she must decode the message in the little black book and unravel the mystery before it is too late.

Lauren B Grossman writes complex characters and imbues them with strong humanity while crafting their personalities. Rainee is one of the most remarkable characters and readers immediately feel drawn to her curiosity and devotion to her friends. Another character that I couldn’t stop following is Oto and his role in this mystery is irreplaceable. The writing is perfect and Grossman excels in descriptive prose, always finding the right words to capture a moment, an emotion, an action, and the atmosphere. The imagery is strong, and from the first page, the author’s ability to create vivid images in the reader’s mind is clear. The mystery is introduced right off the bat with the explosive opening, a premise that leaves readers with many questions and compels them to seek answers. There are no breaks as readers follow the story, moved by the persistent suspense and the superior storytelling craft. The Czech Book will keep you guessing through every page, following every step of a likable protagonist as she seeks answers. I will be looking out for more of this author’s work.

Top Notch read

I read all three of the Rainee Allen series and have watched her mature as a character, Loved the books.
"The Czech Book, a Rainee Allen mystery" was a real suspenseful mystery. I could not put it down.
The premise was very clever. Having visited Prague, I was impressed with the description of the city - very true-to-life. Certainly made me want to revisit it.
I have watched the protagonist, Rainee Allen, grow since her first mystery "The Golden Peacock; a Rainee Allen mystery" and love that she's not a teenager or in her 20s. She's a mature woman in her 50s with wisdom that comes with the privilege of age. Love that.
I heartily recommend this book and all the others in the series.