The Adventures of Blanche
Rick Geary, . . Dark Horse, $15.95 (103pp) ISBN 978-1-59582-258-1
Before becoming known by his Treasury of Victorian Murder historical true crime series, Geary published the occasional (fictional) adventures of an intrepid young woman named Blanche, since gone out-of-print. Collected by Dark Horse in a single volume, with a new introductory episode, these three chapters (structured as the heroine's letters home to her patient parents) have an American Gothic tone that won't surprise Geary's older fans, and a sense of rip-snorting fun that comes as something of a shock. Blanche is a bright and proper young lady who comes to New York in 1907 to study music, but gets caught up in horrific conspiratorial doings in the city's underworld of subway construction and secret cults. Later episodes follow the scrappy musical ingénue to Hollywood (bursting at the seams with big personalities, crime and labor unrest) and Paris (redolent with early 20th-century bohemian glamour and criminal undertakings). Geary's penchant for mixing historical education with bold and daring adventure makes for a winning combination that will likely have readers new to his series asking for more.
Reviewed on: 03/16/2009