Gothic Suspense: 'The Kingdoms of Savannah' Book Review

'The Kingdoms of Savannah' book cover.
Immerse yourself in author George Dawes Green's latest novel.

The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green is an extraordinary novel. His writing is gorgeous and his plotting will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The historical detail is heartbreakingly real.

It opens at Bo Peep’s bar, where an archeologist named Matilda “Stony” Stone and her homeless friend Luke have gone for a drink on a spring evening in Savannah. However, by the end of the night, Luke will be dead, and Stony will have disappeared.

It appears that Luke died in an abandoned building set afire by its owner, Archie Guzman. No one in Savannah likes Guzman, a wealthy landlord known for evicting tenants. Guzman hires Musgrove Investigations to find out who set the fire; he vehemently claims he did not. Morgana Musgrove, the owner of the detective agency, takes on the case. The Musgrove Family is old Savannah, and the money Guzman offers is considerable and needed by Morgana, whose style is high and costly.

Morgana calls on her son, Ransom, to help in the investigation. Since leaving jail, Ransom has been living in Savannah’s homeless encampments. Eventually, all of Morgana’s adult children will get called into the investigation, whether they want to or not. They are a family rich in stories, personalities and complications. This is a wonderful read for the new year.

Contributed by Maureen Millea Smith, a retired librarian and a Minnesota Book Award–winning novelist. You can find her books at