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on 11 January 2017
I really enjoyed it! A great adventure with a fabulous character! Well worth a read!!
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on 23 May 2012
Phew, what a read! I've just finished it, and I feel like I've been with Clara, Lisa and Heather, and I'm exhausted with all the antics we've been through! What a great movie it would make too.
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on 7 July 2012
Adventure stories involving ancient religious mysticism are not generally on my reading list. However, this one made it my way when I was looking for something easy to sink into during a business trip. I was certainly glad it did. It gets 5 stars because it did exactly what I wanted it to do - distract me for a few days with something fun and not overly taxing.

Clara Bow is clearly aimed at either a younger audience (or an older audience that is young at heart - it is hard to tell from the style of prose but this also isn't a children's book) but provides a type of classic adventure not easily found anymore which was truly refreshing. Although supernatural threads of the story are familiar from folklore and religious symbolism, the story itself is fresh. The 'classic' component stems from the familiarity you instantly have with some of the thematic elements. You can start thinking Dan Brown style Freemason-esque conspiracies here but you would be wrong. Where Brown is hokey and cliched, Dale spins his tale off in unexpected directions which shows the writer's sense of real story and originality whereas someone like Brown just taps into what topics are hot now and weaves them into a tale. While that style works and seems to produce hits, ultimately Dale's more off-the-wall approach to story telling has created a more timeless tale that will stand up to reading by future generations.

Content-wise this is clearly not grouped with the high-brow ponderous literature, nor is it philosophical. And I don't suspect it is meant to be. Dale's style clearly knows what it is about and that is about spinning an adventure story. I would say 'contemporary' adventure except I think Dale's style is more accessible and likely to still hold appeal in the future. It is calculated to keep you up late reading for a few nights while you tag along with the protagonist and put the pieces of tense (and sometimes creepy) puzzle together. Dale throws in enough human elements and human flaws to make us beleive Clara Bow as the pensioner accross the road and make us more shocked as we discover the changes she goes through.

The setting of the tale is also another star character in this tale. For a change we have something strikingly British that has avoided the cliche of mixing magic with toffy nosed brats in boarding school (no Hogwart hell here) and also avoid the other extreme of black cabs, red buses and cockneys. It is set in a plain English city that is identifiable as such without the cliched tags.

Added to all that, the story is skillfully and firmly closed while the affairs of Clara as a character with a new life are left anything but resolved so I guess it is possible that this is the first in a series. Either way, the story stands on its own nicely.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking simply to be properly entertained.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 February 2014
I found Clara Bow a compelling and entertaining book. Clara Bow wakes up in a morgue, having 'died' at the age of nearly eighty, only to wake up in the body of her 58 year younger self. Just before her death, a number of strange things occur, such as the body of her long deceased husband is found with the appearance as he looked when she last saw him, forty years on his death, cryptic letters and phone calls received. Clara, together with her daughter (whom Clara now looks younger than) and teenage granddaughter, have to unravel a masonic mysteries and a biblical curse and encounter mythical monsters and demons. Its a female Indiana Jones adventure and set in Birmingham, England, with locations you could actually imagine the story happening in the Second City.

It was highly enjoyable and a surprisingly good page turner. It is very well written, and the style is very much a cosy mystery/adventure genre - with a twist. The female protagonists are very likeable and the characters have been fleshed out well. I hope there will be more stories written about Clara Bow. If you like books by Elizabeth Peters or Charlotte Mcleod, you might like to give this book a go.
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on 1 November 2013
For a while I kept wondering when the Seal of Solomon would appear but I quickly realised the story was more about the "Clara Bow" part of the title. When I downloaded the book I suppose I was expecting something that dealt primarily with mythology and ancient history and in which the characters played a supporting role.

What I found however was quite the opposite. The mythological and historical background was was simply that - a background. I found this to be very definitely an action or adventure story but one in which the characters, especially that of Clara, took centre stage.

I found Clara to be a wonderful character and one who developed in a way that made her feel real for me.

In the past I worked in a role that involved providing care to older people and I found the way in which Clara experienced being old as real. As a reader I was not told about growing old but I felt I was actually able to see something of this through Clara's experiences and to empathise with her in what she was facing.

I enjoyed the way the author worked the strands of the plot but for me it was the elderly Clara who carried the story forward.
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on 26 July 2014
Enjoyed reading this book. Found that I had to really concentrate to keep up with which character was which as at a couple of points several were introduced at the same time.
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on 28 October 2012
A fantastic spell-binding novel.

A mystifying adventure with Clara Bow - the main character whom you will grow to love by the end of this novel. Emotional,exciting,entertaining,intriguing,fascinating.appealing - what more can I say? I thoroughly enjoyed this book - totally captivating from the start.

Michael Dale has a lovely contemporary writing style. From the onset, I found myself hooked. The story slows briefly as you get a little further into the novel - mainly, so that the author can become a little more descriptive in regard to characters/setting the scene/background etc. - but not for long - the adventure begins to get interesting ......

Brief description:
Clara Bow - the main character in this book has been thrust into an adventure by a husband she thought was dead over forty years earlier. She now gets a second chance at life. She finds herself thrust into an adventure involving Freemasons, ancient Biblical curses and the terrifying Jinni ........

This novel is a superb introduction to the characters and gives us an insight into their world. I look forward to reading further adventures with Clara Bow and friends.

'mystery-thriller-fantasy-adventure' an intriguing, exciting novel - YOU GOTTA READ IT!!!
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on 25 August 2014
Wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but I had to keep reading it because the clever twists & turns made you want to know more. In the end it was a very good read.
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on 21 December 2013
A new twist on things, not your average fantasy fiction. Its a bit Benjamin Button and a bit Indiana Jones Ark or the Covenant. I liked it a lot.
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on 5 January 2014
Good interesting story, not normally my type of book but enjoyed the book and would recommend it.....i didnt like the way it ended though!!!
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