About the Book
Book: The Silver Shadow
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release date: May 2021
A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women
Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?
Click HERE to get your copy!
About the Author
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.
More from Liz
One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.
I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.
And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.
Then I sat down to research it more. And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.
Eventually I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.
In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
This is the most unusual book of the True Colors series thus far, in my opinion, which only makes it all the more intriguing. I purposely avoid book summaries, except for perhaps a very bare-bones version, when choosing which books to read, and in the case of this series, I usually recognize the case very early on. As The Silver Shadow progressed, however, and I still remained clueless, I really had to fight the urge to peek ahead!
Something that struck me from the beginning is that this case reminded me of Jack the Ripper, albeit less gruesome, due to the female targets and the nocturnal timing of the crimes, as well as the fact that the perpetrator was able to strike and escape each time. Liz Tolsma, as she details in her author’s note, takes artistic liberty with The Silver Shadow because little is known about the crimes themselves. So little, in fact, that only one text appears to mention them: Famous Crimes the World Forgot by Jason Lucky Morrow. A quick Internet search of my own turned up only one article, which also references this text. I won’t spoil the story by revealing the ultimate outcome; suffice it to say that this historic crime spree offers plenty of fodder for the imagination.
Tolsma provides some of the specifics of the crimes of The Silver Shadow committed between August 1900 and March 1901 in Denver, Colorado, crafting a fictionalized storyline around a young female reporter named Polly Blythe and police detective Edwin Price. Tapping into the mindset of the time period, Tolsma writes Polly as a burgeoning careerwoman fighting against the patriarchy in order to prove herself and achieve success. Polly opines: “It’s not that I’m after fame and fortune. I want recognition of hard work. Acceptance as a capable, intelligent reporter. That’s what I would like.” Which puts her directly at odds with the Silver Shadow, who believes that women “had to learn how to stay home and put their husbands and their families first.” Polly’s dogged determination challenges Detective Price to not only solve the case and protect the women of Denver, but also to come to terms with an old burden.
An absorbing combination of psychology, romance, and mystery make The Silver Shadow a must-read for fans of the genre while simultaneously demonstrating the emergence and subsequent repercussions of women’s rights in society. The insights into the perpetrator’s mind keep readers guessing and offer a speculated motive. A summary of the victims in the author’s note at the end of the story is very helpful for gaining perspective on the case as a whole. I do wonder about one of the fictional characters in the novel, whose story I don’t feel is fully resolved. Also, a pedantic point that is very likely no fault of the author but has niggled my senses: on the back cover, the detective’s name is given as Edwin Timmer, but his surname throughout the book is Price.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 25
lakesidelivingsite, May 25
Reviewingbooksplusmore, May 25
For the Love of Literature, May 26
Bigreadersite, May 26
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 26
Texas Book-aholic, May 27
Genesis 5020, May 27
Christian Bookaholic, May 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28
Vicky Sluiter, May 28
The Write Escape, May 29
Betti Mace, May 29
Inklings and notions, May 29
Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 30
For Him and My Family, May 30
Rebecca Tews, May 30
Older & Smarter?, May 31
deb’s Book Review, May 31
Blogging With Carol, May 31
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1
Remembrancy, June 1
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2
Pick a Good Book, June 2
Connie’s History Classroom, June 3
Godly Book Reviews, June 3
Mary Hake, June 3
Through the Fire Blogs, June 4
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4
KarenSueHadley, June 5
Amanda Tero, Blog, June 5
Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5
Grace-Filled Writer, June 6
Pause for Tales, June 6
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 7
Blossoms and Blessings, June 7
Daysong Reflections, June 7
To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.