I cracked open The Edge of Ruinon Friday night, just as a light snow started to fall. By Saturday, when I was in the thick of the mystery, almost 30 inches of the white stuff had piled up outside. Sunday morning, I raced to the end of the book before setting out on a 10 mile snow run.

I therefore dub The Edge of Ruin by Irene Fleming (who also writes under the name Kate Gallison) my blizzard book (it will work as a beach book, too – it’s not published until April 27).

I’m not a big mystery fan, but this story about a murder on an independent movie set – a 1909 independent movie set – was perfect for being stuck inside.

It’s largely based on fact, too. In 1909, Thomas Edison (yes, THAT Thomas Edison) held a monopoly on the movie industry. He employed “Trust detectives” to bust up any independent companies. Sometimes they’d walk up to the camera and break it.

Yet – in this novel at least – Adam Weiss decided to defy Edison and create four movies anyway. But the book’s not really about him. It’s about his wife, Emily, who doesn’t agree with the plan but goes along with it since Adam sells all their belongings to get the film company off the ground. When he’s accused of a murder on the set, Emily takes over and tries to get the four movies made by deadline while also freeing her husband from jail, and avoiding being killed herself.

It had just the right touches of historical flare to make this a period mystery, but it didn’t go over the top with the details. It had enough characters who COULD have committed the murder to keep me guessing, too. Fun read for a long, frozen weekend.

We’re scheduled to get another foot tomorrow, and I’m flying out again on Thursday. I have nothing to read. That’s right – NOTHING. This thought is paralyzing. But I hope whatever I find is as fun as The Edge of Ruin.

For more in my blizzard book, here’s a trailer:

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.


  1. Peter Rubie on February 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I'm Peter Rubie, Kate's agent. Thanks for such a great review. Certainly I've been in love with this book since I first read the manuscript. And book two is on the way . . .

    As for something new to read, try Patrick Lee's The Breach . . .

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