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Indiana Belle (American Journey #3) by John A. Heldt

Thursday, July 7, 2016
Front cover of Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt. Reviewed by On My Kindle Book Reviews.

Source: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Fiction, Historical fiction, Time travel
Format: eBook
Publication Date: April 14, 2016

Back Cover

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.

Summary

In this third installment of the American Journey series, Cameron Coelho is writing a dissertation about Middle America in the 1920's. He hits dissertation paydirt when he procures some of the Bell family's journals and documents. Included with these documents is a picture of a young, beautiful society editor whose life ended violently in 1925. Obsessed with the young woman, Cameron reads her journal and discovers that the young woman's father figured out how to travel back in time. 

It does not take long for Cameron to figure out that one of the Bell family's descendants, Professor Geoffrey Bell, holds the key to traveling back in time. In an interesting twist, he decides to present himself to Bell as a candidate to travel back to the 1920's and attempt to prevent the murder of the beautiful young woman that he has fallen in love with.

Review

Having read the first two books in the American Journey series, I was pleasantly surprised when Heldt switched gears and had an aspiring time traveler seek out Professor Bell. This is not the only twist that the author included to keep the plot fresh and unique, but it is one that I can reveal without spoiling the story.

I enjoyed learning more about the Bell family line and how they stumbled upon time travel. It was interesting to see how Professor Bell dealt with the notion of an outsider fiddling with his family's timeline; this revealed more about his and his wife's characters than the previous books combined. He was quite grumpy about it at times, and I had a bit of a laugh at his expense when he was taken down a peg or two.

I was curious to see what Heldt would uncover with regard to an underlying problem within the community. Given the period, I thought that the issue might have something to do with Prohibition; however, he chose to discuss the KKK and used their history to add intrigue to the plot. I was stunned by how accurately he portrayed the KKK's influence in the community, and how the members' illegal activities extended beyond trespassing and terrorizing minority groups.

As with the previous books in this series, Heldt did his homework so that readers can immerse themselves in the period that he is writing about. From the setting to character development, Heldt has painted a realistic portrait of life, society, and culture in the 1920's. I highly recommend Indiana Belle to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or is interested in the 1920's.

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About John A. Heldt

Photo of John A. Heldt, author of Mercer Street. Reviewed by On My Kindle Book Reviews.
John A. Heldt, author. Photo courtesy of Goodreads.
John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

Have you read Indiana Belle or another book by John A. Heldt? If so, let me know what you think of his writing in the comments.

Enjoy!
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