Tawney Thursday: A Madness So Discreet

4 out of 5 stars
Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (October 6, 2015)

Goodreads Description:

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of

Tawney's Review: 

Thank You Harpercollins for sending an ARC for review. This in no way affected my opinion in my review.

A Madness So Discreet was a dark YA book that leaves you breathless! Poor Grace is locked away in an insane asylum in the late 1800s. All that keeps her company in the dark is the madness of lunatics in the asylum.

There's a reason Grace is locked away, some dark family secret that we yearn to solve throughout the book. And boy is it a doozy! Grace has a photographic memory, which saves her life. Dr. Thornhollow needs her help. He uses criminal profiling to solve murders and with her memory they are the perfect team! Sherlock and Watson better watch out. 

Together they chase a serial killer all the while Grace is trying to save her little sister from a similar situation.

The characters around Grace are wonderful supporters in this mad world. Some inmates are insane and others are not. What's sad is that most are just unwanted women who are locked away for putting too much on their family. 

This book was dark, dreary and absolultey thrilling! There were times I had to set the book down because of the tone. Poor Grace is put through the ringer but she escapes in the end a strong confident woman. If you want a fluffy book this one isn't for you. It takes the reader deep into madness and darkness with wonderful description and setting. And the ending leaves you shuttering for more.


  1. You don't often see books that are "dreary" and "absolutely thrilling!" It sounds like there is so much going on here. The internal and external conflicts are both so extreme and violent, and offer plenty of crossover despite how different they are. I dig the title and cover too!


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