Hot Best Seller

The Kingdoms of Savannah

Availability: Ready to download

Savannah may appear to be “some town out of a fable,” with its vine flowers, turreted mansions, and ghost tours that romanticize the city’s history. But look deeper and you’ll uncover secrets, past and present, that tell a more sinister tale. It’s the story at the heart of George Dawes Green’s chilling new novel, The Kingdoms of Savannah. It begins quietly on a balmy Southe Savannah may appear to be “some town out of a fable,” with its vine flowers, turreted mansions, and ghost tours that romanticize the city’s history. But look deeper and you’ll uncover secrets, past and present, that tell a more sinister tale. It’s the story at the heart of George Dawes Green’s chilling new novel, The Kingdoms of Savannah. It begins quietly on a balmy Southern night as some locals gather at Bo Peep’s, one of the town’s favorite watering holes. Within an hour, however, a man will be murdered and his companion will be “disappeared.” An unlikely detective, Morgana Musgrove, doyenne of Savannah society, is called upon to unravel the mystery of these crimes. Morgana is an imperious, demanding, and conniving woman, whose four grown children are weary of her schemes. But one by one she inveigles them into helping with her investigation, and soon the family uncovers some terrifying truths—truths that will rock Savannah’s power structure to its core. Moving from the homeless encampments that ring the city to the stately homes of Savannah’s elite, Green’s novel brilliantly depicts the underbelly of a city with a dark history and the strangely mesmerizing dysfunction of a complex family.


Compare

Savannah may appear to be “some town out of a fable,” with its vine flowers, turreted mansions, and ghost tours that romanticize the city’s history. But look deeper and you’ll uncover secrets, past and present, that tell a more sinister tale. It’s the story at the heart of George Dawes Green’s chilling new novel, The Kingdoms of Savannah. It begins quietly on a balmy Southe Savannah may appear to be “some town out of a fable,” with its vine flowers, turreted mansions, and ghost tours that romanticize the city’s history. But look deeper and you’ll uncover secrets, past and present, that tell a more sinister tale. It’s the story at the heart of George Dawes Green’s chilling new novel, The Kingdoms of Savannah. It begins quietly on a balmy Southern night as some locals gather at Bo Peep’s, one of the town’s favorite watering holes. Within an hour, however, a man will be murdered and his companion will be “disappeared.” An unlikely detective, Morgana Musgrove, doyenne of Savannah society, is called upon to unravel the mystery of these crimes. Morgana is an imperious, demanding, and conniving woman, whose four grown children are weary of her schemes. But one by one she inveigles them into helping with her investigation, and soon the family uncovers some terrifying truths—truths that will rock Savannah’s power structure to its core. Moving from the homeless encampments that ring the city to the stately homes of Savannah’s elite, Green’s novel brilliantly depicts the underbelly of a city with a dark history and the strangely mesmerizing dysfunction of a complex family.

30 review for The Kingdoms of Savannah

  1. 4 out of 5

    Catherine (alternativelytitledbooks)

    **Many thanks to NetGalley, @CeladonBooks, and George Dawes Green for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 7.19!!** When you step outside of your genre comfort zone, one of two things normally happens: 1) You are pleasantly surprised, intrigued, and grateful you took a chance on something new OR 2) you retreat back to your Comfort Corner, feeling a bit lost and disappointed...and wondering what on earth is WRONG with you? When it comes to Kingdoms of Savannah, all of the genre bending and some pe **Many thanks to NetGalley, @CeladonBooks, and George Dawes Green for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 7.19!!** When you step outside of your genre comfort zone, one of two things normally happens: 1) You are pleasantly surprised, intrigued, and grateful you took a chance on something new OR 2) you retreat back to your Comfort Corner, feeling a bit lost and disappointed...and wondering what on earth is WRONG with you? When it comes to Kingdoms of Savannah, all of the genre bending and some pesky pet peeves popping up landed me solidly (and somewhat unsurprisingly) under option two. It's just another night at the local tavern, Bo Peeps (referred to as simply 'Peeps' for most of the book) until tragedy strikes: a murder has occurred. Society debutante Morgana get swept up in the mystery, much to the chagrin of her children. As the book dives from locale to locale throughout Savannah, can the bizarre mystery of these 'Kingdoms' be uncovered and will the killer be unearthed? Or is Morgana the next to be 'disappeared'? I can't remember the last time when I felt such a strong disconnect from a book as I did with this one. After a strong and interesting start, I then realized the entire book only has FIVE CHAPTERS. Five. This is purposeful, for reasons of exploring the different areas/Kingdoms, but if there's one thing that bothers me, long passages with little break is probably at the top of that list. Then I realized that not only was the book set up this way, but there is character upon character upon character...another personal pet peeve. So many of these people were completely irrelevant, yet new ones kept being introduced all the time. SO frustrating when you already feel a bit lost and just want to feel grounded...and I was in desperate need for this for the entire book. Perhaps it's over my head, but I have to be honest and say that for about 70% of the book, I felt like all I was doing was reading a mishmash of Savannah history juxtaposed against characters 'gossiping' or telling old stories about people from the past. Since I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction unless it's interesting or small town talk, well, ever, I did not connect with the plot at all. I felt some of the atmosphere was there, but each time I tried to get lost in that feeling, a character would pop up and go on a rant about something or someone else. Sad to say, but the only aspect of this book I'll probably remember after this week is that a character actually referred to one of the World's Best Candies as "Reese's Butter Cups." 🙄 Not exactly the takeaway I was looking for when picking up a mystery book. I'm always game for trying something new, and although I was 1000% not the right sort of reader for this book, fans of Southern noir, fantasy, ghost stories, and historical fiction (probably safest if you're into all four of them) will probably fare better than I did. 3 stars #KingdomsofSavannah #partner

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”Flannery knew. Flannery got out, what a lucky girl.” I was just thinking about Wise Blood the other day. Who among us can forget Hazel Motes? Or the fragile creature, Flannery O’Connor, who brought him to life? Morganna Musgrove, doyenne of Savannah society, might think that Flannery got out, but people who grow up there never really leave Savannah behind. The Spanish moss that hangs from the live oak trees will always brush their faces. The music will always sway their hips. The thunderstorms ”Flannery knew. Flannery got out, what a lucky girl.” I was just thinking about Wise Blood the other day. Who among us can forget Hazel Motes? Or the fragile creature, Flannery O’Connor, who brought him to life? Morganna Musgrove, doyenne of Savannah society, might think that Flannery got out, but people who grow up there never really leave Savannah behind. The Spanish moss that hangs from the live oak trees will always brush their faces. The music will always sway their hips. The thunderstorms and the dripping rain will always haunt their memories. The scent of the magnolia trees will always permeate their senses. It’s a city of nostalgia, pinning for… what? I don’t think anyone is ever really sure. They just know they don’t like the present day, but living at any point in the past would require embracing something best left in the pages of history. Flannery might have got out, but Savannah rippled beneath her skin, a memory impossible to shake. This book isn’t about Flannery, but she haunts the pages as she haunts me from time to time. Maybe it is just impossible for me to read any book set in Savannah that doesn’t have me also thinking about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The author, John Berendt, described that book as a nonfiction novel, which puts it in the same category as In Cold Blood. This designation allows a writer to embellish and leaves the reader to wonder what is true, what is sort of true, and what is complete fabrication. I was working in the book biz when the Berendt book was published, and it was a rare person who came into the shop who didn’t leave with a copy. Readers in large numbers chose to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil because it was soaked in blood, intrigue, and scandal. George Dawes Green’s creation, the Musgrove family, is not unfamiliar with scandal. Their worst scandals are hidden in the folds of their family history, conveniently forgotten. Most people they know have similar problems with their past, so like with most things that can’t be fixed, it is just best to leave the past right where it’s supposed to be. When her husband passed away, Morganna Musgrove, along with a generous portfolio of investments, inherited a detective agency. She is tied into every aspect of Savannah society, respected by most, envied by more than a few, and distrusted by all four of her children. When a real estate developer is charged with arson and murder, he solicits the help of Morganna to clear his name, not because she owns a detective agency, but because of her connections that will allow her to ask the questions that people don’t generally want to be asked. Meanwhile a key witness has gone missing, a homeless archeologist who keeps muttering about a treasure of the Kingdom, a historical, near-mythical place that may have existed in some form two hundred years ago, but how does this tie into murder and arson? Morganna will need the help of all four of children and especially the help of her vivacious granddaughter Jaq, who keeps inveigling her way deeper and deeper into the dank and dark underworld that is far removed from the shrimp & grits, dinner parties, and mint juleps. George Dawes Green captures a Savannah few of us will ever see, from the homeless encampments that encircle the city to the maze of tunnels beneath the city streets to the gates of the old world mansions that were built on the backs of slaves. Green is an eighth-generation Savannahian, so this city is as much a part of his DNA as the chromosomes of his ancestors. The atmosphere in this novel is so evocative that at many different points I believed that I could smell the pink azaleas, coral honeysuckles, and violet lilacs permeating the air with their lush fragrances. The historical aspects that become entwined with this plot are based on real events, and in the back of the book, Green gives the reader further information about the existence of the Kingdom and other historical data that became relevant to the plot. So even though Green chose not to venture into the muddy waters of a nonfiction novel as did Capote and Berendt, every page felt like I was being given a tour of the real Savannah, Georgia. I want to thank Celadon Books for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. @CeladonBooks #KingdomsofSavannah #CeladonReads If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    Twenty-two year old Luke Kitchens, a big guy with an infectious laugh, was at Miss Bo Peeps, his favorite bar in Savannah, Georgia. His drinking partner, forty-three year old Stony (Mathilda Stone) was a contract archeologist. Jaq, the bartender, served up the drinks. Jaq was an inquisitive, spunky, future documentarian. Seemingly, Stony was a "poor homeless woman who thinks she lives in a fairy kingdom...The King's soldiers are the only free people to ever live in the State of Georgia...". That Twenty-two year old Luke Kitchens, a big guy with an infectious laugh, was at Miss Bo Peeps, his favorite bar in Savannah, Georgia. His drinking partner, forty-three year old Stony (Mathilda Stone) was a contract archeologist. Jaq, the bartender, served up the drinks. Jaq was an inquisitive, spunky, future documentarian. Seemingly, Stony was a "poor homeless woman who thinks she lives in a fairy kingdom...The King's soldiers are the only free people to ever live in the State of Georgia...". That night, Luke would be killed and Stony disappeared. Morgana Musgrove was the patriarch of "Old Fort", a Romanesque revival mansion circa 1880s. To the community, she was a gracious and generous benefactor who supported worthy causes. Annually, she hosted the Spring Soiree for the Disabled. To her four children, she was disparaging. A stay at "Old Fort" would allow Morgana to "find a way to get her claws in you and you'll be finished." A visit by her accountant would soon stir things up. As manager of Musgrove Investments, accountant Cooper informed Morgana that she was in possession of a small detective agency. How timely! A slumlord named Guzman had been arrested for the murder of Luke Kitchens. Luke, having squatted on the second floor of one of Guzman's dilapidated properties, could not escape the raging fire downstairs. Strong evidence pointed to Guzman, including the gas can found in his garage. "Musgrove Investments need(s) to take my case because your bank accounts are leaking like a sieve. Every business you own is losing money". He offered a retainer of $200,000. It sure will help Morgana keep up appearances! During a visit to Guzman in jail, he does something unprecedented. "He opens his mouth wide-inside a card propped up by his tongue...Stone Kings...Treasure...Keep safe and Give my Love." The plot thickens. Morgana browbeats her children into cooperating with her to try to solve the mystery of Luke's death, Stony's disappearance, and search for the King's Treasure, amid threats received. Who are their true friends? Who are their real foes? At Morgana's insistence, son Ransom helps her. After a seven month stint in prison, Ransom has resettled in one of the forty-odd homeless camps in Savannah. His encampment lies under the exit ramp of the Harry S. Truman Parkway. He lives there by choice. Morgana's granddaughter, Jaq, has her pulse on the investigation, despite dangerous interludes, and her camera, always at the ready to videotape. The rich, varied tapestry of Savannah was presented within the context of this historical fiction novel. Author End Notes included a discussion of the underground tunnels used by bootleggers during Prohibition and family wealth and privilege amassed through slavery. This captivating read is highly recommended. Thank you Celadon Books and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    This book reminded me of three other books I have read: Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters and Our Town by Thornton Wilder. George Dawes Green is a master weaver who is able to thread the the lives of individuals into a tapestry of mystery and suspense that covers a whole town. Morgana Musgrove is a truly unique addition to detective fiction; precisely because she does not fit the stereotype of what a 'detective' is. The dynamic between 'society' Mor This book reminded me of three other books I have read: Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters and Our Town by Thornton Wilder. George Dawes Green is a master weaver who is able to thread the the lives of individuals into a tapestry of mystery and suspense that covers a whole town. Morgana Musgrove is a truly unique addition to detective fiction; precisely because she does not fit the stereotype of what a 'detective' is. The dynamic between 'society' Morgana and 'family' Morgana adds to the tension and disorientation that builds as secrets are discovered. Truly original and atmospheric - highest recommendation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I received this Advance Readers Copy from Celadon Books for an unbiased review. This book is a novel but what got my interest was that it was based on fact. The story weaves around Morgana Musgrove as she recruits her children to investigate a murder and disappearance. The author weaves the past history of Savannah into the story. I found the author’s comments at end of book most interesting. I am so interested I started looking for a biography on Charles Augustus Lafayette Lamar. Maybe it was th I received this Advance Readers Copy from Celadon Books for an unbiased review. This book is a novel but what got my interest was that it was based on fact. The story weaves around Morgana Musgrove as she recruits her children to investigate a murder and disappearance. The author weaves the past history of Savannah into the story. I found the author’s comments at end of book most interesting. I am so interested I started looking for a biography on Charles Augustus Lafayette Lamar. Maybe it was the writing about a dysfunctional southern family, but I felt that George D. Green had a hint of Tennessee Williams in his writing. I enjoyed reading the book and recommend it to anyone looking for a good novel based on historical facts. The ARC soft back was 287 pages.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan - on semi hiatus

    To Kingdom Come... A man is murdered and a woman disappeard. As a mismatched camaraderie, Luke and Stony were well liked by many of the colorful frequenters of Bo Peeps, a local watering hole. What really happened to them that night? Inquiring minds want to know... Not the least of whom is doyenne Morgiana Mustgrove, successor to her ex husband's slightly shady detective agency. And with the promise of an impressive payday, she's moved into action investigating the incident - dragging her reluctan To Kingdom Come... A man is murdered and a woman disappeard. As a mismatched camaraderie, Luke and Stony were well liked by many of the colorful frequenters of Bo Peeps, a local watering hole. What really happened to them that night? Inquiring minds want to know... Not the least of whom is doyenne Morgiana Mustgrove, successor to her ex husband's slightly shady detective agency. And with the promise of an impressive payday, she's moved into action investigating the incident - dragging her reluctant son Ransom with her. I could tell from the beginning that this would be more than a standard mystery. The exemplary writing extended beyond the usual to create atmosphere without trying too hard with physical descriptions. An underlying sinister vibe while caring for some characters and despising others is subtly created between the lines. I love reading books like this! In addition, the author included after notes detailing the true underbelly of some of the darker elements of Savannah's history. Very interesting indeed. This review is overdue and I apologize for the delay. Thank you to Celadon Books and George Dawes Green for my gifted print copy. It’s much appreciated!

  7. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Morgana Musgrove is one of Savannah’s most respected, prominent and charitable women but behind the doors of her stately red-brick Romanesque home, she heads a fractured family. Her four grown children that have little time nor patience for their difficult mother. Her two daughters have little respect for her views and traditions and her two sons have no love for one another. After a local man is murdered, Morgana is hired to do investigative work for a local, wealthy developer who has been arre Morgana Musgrove is one of Savannah’s most respected, prominent and charitable women but behind the doors of her stately red-brick Romanesque home, she heads a fractured family. Her four grown children that have little time nor patience for their difficult mother. Her two daughters have little respect for her views and traditions and her two sons have no love for one another. After a local man is murdered, Morgana is hired to do investigative work for a local, wealthy developer who has been arrested as the prime suspect. A woman has also gone missing. The case unleashes dark secrets that the elite of Savannah would prefer to remain hidden. In this highly atmospheric and suspenseful book, a fascinating side of Savannah is revealed. In contrast to the city’s privileged, there is a parallel society of poor, homeless and disenfranchised people trying to survive. Two members of Morgana’s family are part of this world and find themselves involved in the investigation and could also be in danger. Sins of the past come to light and threaten those who run the city. Author George Dawes Green has woven in parts of Savannah’s true and complicated history which makes the story even more impactful. Many thanks to Celadon Books and CeladonReads for the opportunity to discover this impressive work of literary suspense. It was unlike anything I’ve read in a long time. The Kingdoms of Savannah will released in July - keep an eye out for it. Rated 4.25 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    A pretty good atmospheric mystery thriller. There's some historical bits woven into the story and the author provides some context at the end of the book. Probably doesn't quite meet the historical fiction definition but what he chose to loosely base the story around was interesting nonetheless. At the very least it felt like I learned a few things rather than my sole focus be on the whodunit aspect of the story. Every town has secrets and so does every family, right? Savannah, Georgia is the set A pretty good atmospheric mystery thriller. There's some historical bits woven into the story and the author provides some context at the end of the book. Probably doesn't quite meet the historical fiction definition but what he chose to loosely base the story around was interesting nonetheless. At the very least it felt like I learned a few things rather than my sole focus be on the whodunit aspect of the story. Every town has secrets and so does every family, right? Savannah, Georgia is the setting and a man has been murdered and his companion is missing. The Musgrove family ahs long been a part of Savannah society and have a variety of income streams, including a private investigation business. Widow and mother of four adult children, Miranda Musgrove, enlists the help of her family to dig up info about the recent murder. And let's just say that will create some issues for this already dysfunctional family. The story gets off to a intriguing start but fizzles soon afterward. I'd say it took about 100 pages before I was able to really hit a nice reading groove. Not sure what the problem was, could have been life stuff just creeping into my mind and messing with my concentration. But once it got my interest back, I was all in. The story alternates between many characters in the town including various family members. Other than a few minor people here and there it was fairly easy to keep track of everyone. This is not a simple mystery in the sense the author added some complex layers regarding the history of the South. It's what elevated the story as did the rather messed up Musgrove family. To be honest I can't say I really got to know every character in-depth but I don't consider that a bad thing. I doubt the writer will feature another book with this family but I'd be first in line to read it because I think there's a ton more to explore with these characters. A book can be read anytime of the year but this one practically begs you to read it on a hot summer day with a cold beverage nearby. Thank you Celadon Books for providing me with an advance copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    I really enjoyed this story. I will admit it took a little bit for me to really get into it, but once I did I was hooked and the story breezed by. The writing was good, and I loved the history being tied into the modern day mystery. I also really liked the characters, I feel like I’ve been on a run of stories with unlikeable characters, but this book broke that streak. Even characters that seemed capable of bad like Morgana also carried a lot of redeemable qualities and interest. I especially lo I really enjoyed this story. I will admit it took a little bit for me to really get into it, but once I did I was hooked and the story breezed by. The writing was good, and I loved the history being tied into the modern day mystery. I also really liked the characters, I feel like I’ve been on a run of stories with unlikeable characters, but this book broke that streak. Even characters that seemed capable of bad like Morgana also carried a lot of redeemable qualities and interest. I especially loved Jaq and her fierce desire for justice. The city of Savannah has a lot of secrets, but some more are discovered when a man is burnt alive in a building and the rich man who owned that building is charged with the murder. Every player has their own reason for getting involved. Morgana and the detective agency she owns (inherited, she is not a detective) needs the money. Jaq is determined for justice for the murdered as he was her friend and their friend Stony is missing and Jaq is also determined to find her. But there are mysterious players working against them and it is a race against time.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Haunting, complex, and intense! The Kingdoms of Savannah is a charged, gripping mystery that sweeps you away to Savannah, Georgia, and into the lives of the prominent, dysfunctional Musgrove family as they reluctantly, at the persistence of their matriarch Morgana, band together to solve the callous murder of a young homeless man and the disappearance of a middle-aged woman who seems to have discovered some long-buried secrets that at least one person is willing to kill to keep hidden in the past Haunting, complex, and intense! The Kingdoms of Savannah is a charged, gripping mystery that sweeps you away to Savannah, Georgia, and into the lives of the prominent, dysfunctional Musgrove family as they reluctantly, at the persistence of their matriarch Morgana, band together to solve the callous murder of a young homeless man and the disappearance of a middle-aged woman who seems to have discovered some long-buried secrets that at least one person is willing to kill to keep hidden in the past. The prose is powerful and polished. The characters are flawed, ruthless, and self-absorbed. And the plot is a captivating, menacing mix of life, loss, secrets, deception, privilege, resentments, greed, corruption, homelessness, familial drama, and harrowing truths. Overall, I found The Kingdoms of Savannah to be a gritty, provocative, tight novel by Green that’s a must read for anyone who loves a well-written mystery interlaced with a dramatic, family saga all mired in the dark, racially toxic history of the south. Thank you to Celadon Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Inés Molina

    I will start with saying that this book was intense, and absolutely a great book. I am glad to have been given the chance to read this book. A book with a mystery that claws it's hands out and grips you hard because that is how I felt while reading it. I liked the pieces of history of Savannah that was put into this story. To read a towns dark side, it's secrets is intriguing in itself. I could not believe it but as i read and uncovered. A great whodunit book that was well written. I will admit I will start with saying that this book was intense, and absolutely a great book. I am glad to have been given the chance to read this book. A book with a mystery that claws it's hands out and grips you hard because that is how I felt while reading it. I liked the pieces of history of Savannah that was put into this story. To read a towns dark side, it's secrets is intriguing in itself. I could not believe it but as i read and uncovered. A great whodunit book that was well written. I will admit that the cover really caught my attention at first, so not only is it well written but it's cover is eye catching and beautiful. There's a lot of history in every corner of the world and to read about Savannah was very exciting, i got invested in the characters and the mystery. I honestly think this is a book that everyone will like to read. It is a great southern tale that makes me want to go to Savannah myself.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mackey

    My gods, we may have to wait an eternity between books by Green but when he delivers one, he absolutely delivers and the wait is so very worth it! The Kingdoms of Savannah is packed full of history, gothic atmosphere - it is, afterall, Savannah - suspense, political corruption and more. It is the story of family, the south in all of its beauty and darkness and of ugliness of people, as well as a glimmer of their goodness. I loved every line of this book and want to read it all over again. This i My gods, we may have to wait an eternity between books by Green but when he delivers one, he absolutely delivers and the wait is so very worth it! The Kingdoms of Savannah is packed full of history, gothic atmosphere - it is, afterall, Savannah - suspense, political corruption and more. It is the story of family, the south in all of its beauty and darkness and of ugliness of people, as well as a glimmer of their goodness. I loved every line of this book and want to read it all over again. This is southern noir at its very best.

  13. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4 southern stars This is my second Savannah book recently and I do love Southern fiction! This atmospheric book features ghosts, tourists, lovely old mansions, and even homeless camps. The author is not afraid to dig into Savannah history and most of it isn’t pretty! One of my favorite characters in this one is Jaq, she’s a bartender at a Savannah bar and connected to one of the oldest families in town. The book starts out with a murder and a kidnapping, and the rest of the tale is trying to unrave 4 southern stars This is my second Savannah book recently and I do love Southern fiction! This atmospheric book features ghosts, tourists, lovely old mansions, and even homeless camps. The author is not afraid to dig into Savannah history and most of it isn’t pretty! One of my favorite characters in this one is Jaq, she’s a bartender at a Savannah bar and connected to one of the oldest families in town. The book starts out with a murder and a kidnapping, and the rest of the tale is trying to unravel those events. Morgana is the matriarch of Savannah society and just happens to still own a detective agency, a legacy from her late husband. She’s been retained to clear the name of a prominent Savannah citizen and she draws her whole family in to help. Her adult children are very interesting characters as well. Her two sons can’t stand each other, and her two daughters don’t like her views on things. As the investigation continues, family secrets and danger swirl around the characters. I really had to hold my breath to see if my favorite characters would survive to see the end of the book. I had to wonder, just what is the Kingdom of Savannah and why is it important? The ending has me a bit conflicted and I enjoyed reading the author’s notes at the end. It was interesting too that real historical elements are incorporated into the book. This one made for a great buddy read with Mary Beth and it would be great for book clubs too. My thanks to Celadon for the printed ARC. This one is scheduled to publish July 19, 2022.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you, Celadon Books, and George Dawes Green for the opportunity to read this book! It was released, yesterday, July 19th, 2022! “The soldiers of the King, they were free men. They weren’t slaves. Sharper, he lived in the Kingdom, and he was a free man.” THE KINGDOMS OF SAVANNAH Yesterday, I participated in the Little Free Library Book Drop for The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green. If you look up the hashtag, you can see where there are copies at Free Little Libraries from all around Thank you, Celadon Books, and George Dawes Green for the opportunity to read this book! It was released, yesterday, July 19th, 2022! “The soldiers of the King, they were free men. They weren’t slaves. Sharper, he lived in the Kingdom, and he was a free man.” THE KINGDOMS OF SAVANNAH Yesterday, I participated in the Little Free Library Book Drop for The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green. If you look up the hashtag, you can see where there are copies at Free Little Libraries from all around the country, and trust me, you want to read this book. The book begins with friends Luke and Stony meeting their friends at a bar. However, the night doesn’t turn out as planned, Stony is missing and Luke is murdered. The man who is suspected of murder is a notorious slumlord. He hires Morgana Musgrove who owns a detective agency. Her son, Ransom, and niece, Jaq has close ties with the homeless community and they investigate Luke’s murder. Their investigation takes them from the homeless communities to the homes of the elite and uncovers one of Savannah’s most important secrets. I loved the synopsis, everything drew me in. The prologue intrigued me. But then I hit the first chapter and I wasn’t sure if I would love it. Then I hit chapter two and I was hooked. I was fully immersed in this mystery with extremely complex characters. I think the one thing that really caught my attention is the dialogue. It is emotional, but full of wit.–Especially from Morgana. She is not a great mother, but you can’t help but enjoy her candor. I love Jaq and Ransom’s relationship, they are truly there for each other and want justice. However, I did appreciate the dive into the dysfunction of the Musgrove family. At first glance, this seems like a casual murder mystery, but the murder is committed to uncovering a secret in Savannah, one that many would die to protect. It really shows the darker side of Savannah, rather than the expansive plantations. I also want to point out that it is imperative that readers also read the historical note at the end. It adds so much depth to this mystery.

  15. 4 out of 5

    AndiReads

    I love a novel when the city or town is a character and with the Kingdoms of Savannah you get that - a broody, eccentric and atmospheric Savannah, always present and always unpredictable. If you loved Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, then you have the excellent opportunity to read it's contemporary cousin. This beautifully rendered novel is based on actual Savannah history. In Kingdoms, we meet Morgana Musgrove, a grand dame and matriarch of an old and wealthy family. It's her grandchild J I love a novel when the city or town is a character and with the Kingdoms of Savannah you get that - a broody, eccentric and atmospheric Savannah, always present and always unpredictable. If you loved Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, then you have the excellent opportunity to read it's contemporary cousin. This beautifully rendered novel is based on actual Savannah history. In Kingdoms, we meet Morgana Musgrove, a grand dame and matriarch of an old and wealthy family. It's her grandchild Jaq, however, that is the heroine and star of the story in my opinion. Jaq's friend dies in a house fire that must be arson and she is determined to get to the bottom of it. Along the way we meet a variety of relatives and characters that are truly larger than life. It's a beautiful story of murder and intrigue and the dark familial secrets that draw so many of us to thrillers. Best yet, George Dawes Green marries the secret and hidden underclass of Savannah, the day to day paycheck workers, the homeless and the mentally ill. If I haven't sold you on this book, let me tell you this - you will not forget it any time soon and you might book for your next vacation to Savanah as soon as you finish! If you love an atmospheric gothic, a larger then life, based on real-life story, or just want a complex familial thriller, then The Kingdoms of Savannah is for you! #Celedaon #ThekingdomsofSavannah #georgedawesgreen #savannah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    Involving, atmospheric, flawed. Just like its setting. Savannah, with her complicated history, plays a large role in this entertainment, and I found myself more intrigued with the details of history that George Dawes Greene sprinkles throughout, himself a native. There is a mystery, but the characters keep on coming, and this audible recording employs a large cast. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This book was so fascinating. An indepth dive into Savannahs sordid history. The amount of white and male washed history out there is like 85%. But the stories are out there just not always being told to entertain the tourists. This family was very dysfunctional with very interesting relationships that were controlling. One of them lived in the homeless encampments to stay away from his rich controlling southern mama. This i think was an important viewpoint. In humanizing the homeless experience. This book was so fascinating. An indepth dive into Savannahs sordid history. The amount of white and male washed history out there is like 85%. But the stories are out there just not always being told to entertain the tourists. This family was very dysfunctional with very interesting relationships that were controlling. One of them lived in the homeless encampments to stay away from his rich controlling southern mama. This i think was an important viewpoint. In humanizing the homeless experience. It's an epidemic in this country and although there are resources not everyone wants to be in society. Some are by choice, lack of money or employment, drugs or alcohol, untreated mental health issues, the list goes on. Society isn't a one size fits all box and it always reminds me of the factionless in Divergent. You don't fit in you get pushed out. I really enjoyed this one! The mystery was there and poor Stoney. There were a few suspects that could've been it. It wasn't exactly who I thought it was but you know it all boils down to money and land. There was history in this that was under the fictional story and the Gothic and lovely mossy trees of Savannah came through. Thank you Celadon books for the gifted copy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    This was an excellent whodunit. Set in the picturesque Savannah, Georgia this is a real southern-based mystery. The author did a magnificent job of weaving an elaborate plot with evocative characters. I especially enjoyed Morgana Musgrave, the shrewd matron socialite with a Creula Devillesque appeal. Although the mystery was good, I was honestly invested in the characters more. Recommend if you like a good ol'fashioned mystery with a southern vibe. Thank you Celadon books for this complimentary This was an excellent whodunit. Set in the picturesque Savannah, Georgia this is a real southern-based mystery. The author did a magnificent job of weaving an elaborate plot with evocative characters. I especially enjoyed Morgana Musgrave, the shrewd matron socialite with a Creula Devillesque appeal. Although the mystery was good, I was honestly invested in the characters more. Recommend if you like a good ol'fashioned mystery with a southern vibe. Thank you Celadon books for this complimentary copy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Was give this ARC by a Barnes & Noble co-worker who knew I have a deep love for Savannah and it's been one of the best books I've read this year! It's a murder mystery but it's also about family- both the ones we're born into and the ones we choose for ourselves. It's about the corrupt power wielded by the old-money elite & the denizens of the shadow communities of Savannah's homeless camps, both with their own stories & secrets. I loved that there were also historical figures & facts interwoven Was give this ARC by a Barnes & Noble co-worker who knew I have a deep love for Savannah and it's been one of the best books I've read this year! It's a murder mystery but it's also about family- both the ones we're born into and the ones we choose for ourselves. It's about the corrupt power wielded by the old-money elite & the denizens of the shadow communities of Savannah's homeless camps, both with their own stories & secrets. I loved that there were also historical figures & facts interwoven with the fiction. Would most definitely recommend! The book also made me REALLY miss Savannah & the Thunderbird Motel!

  20. 5 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    At first blush, I thought I wouldn’t like this novel only because the beginning was a bit slow. But like most novels, one needs to get past the 30% point before giving up. I’m glad I stayed the course. The Kingdoms of Savannah reads like a gothic noir. It’s dark, it’s seedy, it’s suspensul, and reeks of corruption. There are a number of characters in the novel. But only a select few are the major players. And those players really carry the story. For the most part, I liked all of the characters fo At first blush, I thought I wouldn’t like this novel only because the beginning was a bit slow. But like most novels, one needs to get past the 30% point before giving up. I’m glad I stayed the course. The Kingdoms of Savannah reads like a gothic noir. It’s dark, it’s seedy, it’s suspensul, and reeks of corruption. There are a number of characters in the novel. But only a select few are the major players. And those players really carry the story. For the most part, I liked all of the characters for their roles — whether it be villain or hero. The plot contains a number of twists and that’s what kept me going forward. Other than that, there were a lot of hills and valleys. Patience pays off toward the end where the reader is rewarded with a somewhat unexpected outcome. Four satisfying stars. I received a digital ARC from Celadon Books through NetGalley. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    I struggled with this book. It’s very atmospheric, but it was also slow. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it didn’t. The detailed writing was beautiful, but it was also overwhelming to me at the same time? I was enjoying the words, but I kept getting lost and had trouble paying attention. By no means is this a bad book, I just don’t think I’m the right audience. It would be much better suited for those who love those southern Gothic vibes in a book. Thank you celadon books for the earl I struggled with this book. It’s very atmospheric, but it was also slow. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it didn’t. The detailed writing was beautiful, but it was also overwhelming to me at the same time? I was enjoying the words, but I kept getting lost and had trouble paying attention. By no means is this a bad book, I just don’t think I’m the right audience. It would be much better suited for those who love those southern Gothic vibes in a book. Thank you celadon books for the early review copy!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    Savannah is one of my favorite cities full of charm, grace, and beauty. At least, the Savannah that I know is. This novel reveals the ugly underbelly not limited to the homelessness that surrounds it; corruption abounds. The city’s hideous history of slavery is ignored particularly by those with standing in Savannah’s high society. Nothing remains a secret forever.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. I really enjoyed the First Impression on BookishFirst and was drawn in to the immediacy of Luke's and Stoney's situation. But from there it just meandered a bit too much. Maybe Southern Gothic isn't my thing, but I struggled to get emotionally invested in this story. The setting is gorgeous. It's so incredibly atmospheric - dark, gritty, makes you want to take a shower at the end to get clean. Author George Dawes Green draws such a convincing picture I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. I really enjoyed the First Impression on BookishFirst and was drawn in to the immediacy of Luke's and Stoney's situation. But from there it just meandered a bit too much. Maybe Southern Gothic isn't my thing, but I struggled to get emotionally invested in this story. The setting is gorgeous. It's so incredibly atmospheric - dark, gritty, makes you want to take a shower at the end to get clean. Author George Dawes Green draws such a convincing picture of Savannah that vividly jumps off the page (yet at the same time makes me never want to take a visit there). But the story itself fell a little flat for me. It lacked the tension I was hoping for and there were so many POV switches that it left me scrambling to remember who was who and what their role was in the story. I guess I wish that there were fewer people that were fleshed out more. For example, the book revolves around how horrible Morgana was and how she destroyed her children, but we never really see that--we're told, but in the book itself, Morgana doesn't really seen like the evil demon woman she supposedly is. It just all left me with a very "so what?" feeling. I wouldn't *not* recommend this book. The writing is lovely and that's what kept me involved. I also appreciated the history and obvious attention to detail the author had for his former home. Those who love this type of Southern noir would like it I'm sure. It just wasn't the book for me. Thanks very much to Celadon and BookishFirst for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for a review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    3⭐️ This is definitely one of those books that I think many people will love, it just wasn’t the perfect book for me personally. It is extremely atmospheric, painting a picture of Savannah in such vivid detail you easily lose yourself in it. The plot however suffered from some of the atmosphere - getting lost in long meandering descriptions, constantly shifting POV’s and a large cast of characters, some of whom felt very underdeveloped. Morgana in particular felt like a missed opportunity. She i 3⭐️ This is definitely one of those books that I think many people will love, it just wasn’t the perfect book for me personally. It is extremely atmospheric, painting a picture of Savannah in such vivid detail you easily lose yourself in it. The plot however suffered from some of the atmosphere - getting lost in long meandering descriptions, constantly shifting POV’s and a large cast of characters, some of whom felt very underdeveloped. Morgana in particular felt like a missed opportunity. She is painted to be this wicked evil matriarch pulling the strings of her family like a puppet master, but we don’t get to see that side of her at all, just hear her described as such a few times by her kids. There was a lack of tension or suspense in the way the mystery unraveled, perhaps because the story focused more on the location and family drama and less on the actual mystery plot. When things began to pick up toward the end, it felt a bit rushed to get to a conclusion and left me wanting just a bit more from the ending. One thing I did really enjoy was the way the author mixed in factual historic events with this fictional story and appreciated the author note which provided more information as well. I do think someone looking for a slow burn, character driven Southern Noir will love this one. The writing is beautiful and it is one of the most atmospheric novels I’ve read lately.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angel (Bookn.All.Night)

    Lately books seem to keep finding me at just the right time. I don't believe I would have heard of The Kingdoms of Savannah if a review copy wasn't sent my way by Celadon Books. This was a perfect escape. First off, before you snag this one, just know it's not a fast read. It's not meant to be. It's chock full of atmosphere, mystery and Savannah's history...a lot of which isn't good. It's meant to be digested and contemplated. I love books like this once in a while. Aside from the historical porti Lately books seem to keep finding me at just the right time. I don't believe I would have heard of The Kingdoms of Savannah if a review copy wasn't sent my way by Celadon Books. This was a perfect escape. First off, before you snag this one, just know it's not a fast read. It's not meant to be. It's chock full of atmosphere, mystery and Savannah's history...a lot of which isn't good. It's meant to be digested and contemplated. I love books like this once in a while. Aside from the historical portion of this one, there is also a family dynamic at play. One that is dysfunctional on a level that defies logic (at least for me 😂). I really loved this part of the book. You just never know what goes on in a family's circle. If you have ever read and enjoyed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I think you will love this one. I sincerely appreciate Celadon Books for providing me with a review copy. All opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Monnie

    Ever since I read John Berendt's wonderful book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I've had a bit of a fascination for the city of Savannah, Georgia (the heat, humidity and rumors of creepy-crawly things in the Spanish Moss trees notwithstanding). Couple that with a love of the mystery/thriller genre, and I was delighted to get my hands on a copy of this book (that it arrived in paperback format instead of Kindle notwithstanding). It turned out to be an intriguing, engrossing story, althou Ever since I read John Berendt's wonderful book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I've had a bit of a fascination for the city of Savannah, Georgia (the heat, humidity and rumors of creepy-crawly things in the Spanish Moss trees notwithstanding). Couple that with a love of the mystery/thriller genre, and I was delighted to get my hands on a copy of this book (that it arrived in paperback format instead of Kindle notwithstanding). It turned out to be an intriguing, engrossing story, although I must say the sheer number of characters - no matter how interesting they were - was a chore for my aging brain to keep straight. At the center is Morgana Musgrove, one of Savannah's prominent ladies, who has four adult children who also play significant roles. Inexplicably, the elderly Morgana oversees a detective agency and is hired to do some sleuthing on behalf of a wealthy developer who's been arrested for the murder of a local man. At the same time, a well-known local woman has turned up missing - a woman who often is called in to do archeological digs to make sure properties under development don't contain remains of the past (mostly meaning dead bodies). One person who's especially concerned is Jaq, Morgana's granddaughter; she hears tales that the missing woman has found some kind of "treasure" on a nearby island - one rumored to have been inhabited by a long-ago generation. Whether the woman has been kidnapped or is in hiding because of it remains a mystery - one Jaq is determined to solve as she probes the city's historic past that includes an extensive maze of sewer tunnels that for the most part are known only to the homeless. Along the way, Jaq looks to others for help getting to the truth; problem is, it's nearly impossible to know who to trust - and all the evidence suggests the answer is no one. All in all, well worth reading and a revealing look inside the city's dark history. Thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review a pre-release copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica White

    If you guys haven't notice yet, I really love reading books that are set in places I've lived. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to read The Kingdoms of Savannah by fellow Savannahian, George Dawes Green. This book had all of the Southern Gothic aspects that I love. It had small town politics and local corruption. It even had detailed the dreary underground history of Savannah itself. I was enthralled in the story as I followed the streets I've wandered along myself. The deep seeded undergr If you guys haven't notice yet, I really love reading books that are set in places I've lived. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to read The Kingdoms of Savannah by fellow Savannahian, George Dawes Green. This book had all of the Southern Gothic aspects that I love. It had small town politics and local corruption. It even had detailed the dreary underground history of Savannah itself. I was enthralled in the story as I followed the streets I've wandered along myself. The deep seeded underground history of Savannah is what really drew me in. The lore, dramatics, and honesty really tied the story together. The Kingdoms of Savannah follows one family that goes back for generations. The Musgroves have been a staple in the community forever. Everyone knows head of the house, Morgana took control of her late husband's investigative firm. They know about the feuding brothers, David and Ransom. Ransom started running with the homeless crowd and quickly found himself wanting to stay. Sisters Bebe and Willou became familiar faces when one became a nurse and the other a Judge. But then there's granddaughter Jaq. The film student/bartender who just wants to know who murdered her friend, Luke. You'd think with a family like hers, they'd be able to get answers in a snap. But that's not always the case. Jaq begins searching for answers herself and uncovers some of the darkest secrets that the city wanted to keep hidden. The privilege of this family seeps through the pages. But the secret history of the Kingdom is what keeps you reading. I absolutely loved this book. I cannot wait to hear George Dawes Green speak next month! Huge thanks to Celadon Books and NetGalley for sending me an ARC!!! Kingdoms of Savannah comes out July 19, 2022! More reviews at A Reader's Diary!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Alexander

    I’m honestly not sure how I felt about this book, The Kingdoms Of Savannah. It initially grabbed my attention and I found it’s story to be intriguing, but after the prologue I struggled to get into this book. I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did and I was a bit disappointed by it. I’m not sure why exactly I struggled to get through this book, since it had a good story and characters, but I’m thinking this just wasn’t the right book for me. Even though I didn’t particularly en I’m honestly not sure how I felt about this book, The Kingdoms Of Savannah. It initially grabbed my attention and I found it’s story to be intriguing, but after the prologue I struggled to get into this book. I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did and I was a bit disappointed by it. I’m not sure why exactly I struggled to get through this book, since it had a good story and characters, but I’m thinking this just wasn’t the right book for me. Even though I didn’t particularly enjoy this book, I can definitely see how many readers will find this book to be a delightful read. Overall, this book was well written and intriguing but ultimately I feel this book just wasn’t for me. I had never read a book by George Dawes Green before and I would definitely be willing to give a different book of his a try, I really wish I had enjoyed this one more than I did.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Malheim

    This was sent by Celadon for our book group to review. I finished it first and can’t wait to talk about it. I really enjoyed it and flew through it because I NEEDED to know how it ends! I did have to take some notes at the beginning because there are A LOT of characters, and I am not always the best at keeping track of them. Once the plot started to seriously form it became much more manageable. I enjoyed the history of Savannah it presented. Having never been there it was written in such great d This was sent by Celadon for our book group to review. I finished it first and can’t wait to talk about it. I really enjoyed it and flew through it because I NEEDED to know how it ends! I did have to take some notes at the beginning because there are A LOT of characters, and I am not always the best at keeping track of them. Once the plot started to seriously form it became much more manageable. I enjoyed the history of Savannah it presented. Having never been there it was written in such great detail that I feel like I could easily find the locations talked about. I truly enjoyed this and will be recommending to fellow readers.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Thank you to Celadon Books for asking me if I wanted to read this book! Otherwise, I probably would have skipped over it and missed out on an amazing read. As the summary says, many people see Savannah as "some town out of a fable." This book negates that delusion with a reminder of the largest slave auction, the huge homeless camps, and the almost secret history of the Soldiers of the King and the Kingdoms. This history is counterbalanced by the dysfunctional Musgrove family, who could probably Thank you to Celadon Books for asking me if I wanted to read this book! Otherwise, I probably would have skipped over it and missed out on an amazing read. As the summary says, many people see Savannah as "some town out of a fable." This book negates that delusion with a reminder of the largest slave auction, the huge homeless camps, and the almost secret history of the Soldiers of the King and the Kingdoms. This history is counterbalanced by the dysfunctional Musgrove family, who could probably have held up a book all on their own! But combined, this book is as heavy with story and character development as the humidity in a southern town. I am impressed that so much was held within 304 pages! Thanks to Celadon Press for a copy of the book. This review is my own opinion.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...