Cover Image: The Green Dress

The Green Dress

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Member Reviews

I couldn't put this down! I'm a fan of the True Colors series and this volume did not disappoint. Though I quickly figured out what was killing the family members, the book was suspenseful, and I did second-guess my conclusions a few times. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in historical crime fiction.
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What a great book. I really enjoyed this one. To me it was obvious what was going on, but I do like watching Forensic Files so there you go. I suppose when you trust someone it would be very difficult to believe they could be harming those they love.

I also had to research the person this book was about, just to see what happened. How scary to know this really happened and people can be so evil.

Liz did a wonderful job bringing these characters to life and making this story real to the reader, and heartbreaking. There were some very sad moments in this book, which of course made it even better.

A copy of this book was given to me by the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed this book. You're not sure which direction the story will take but it all unfolds very appropriately. I didn't realize it was a true story and wish I had known. Mysteriously family members keep dying and the fingers seem to be pointed in many directions. At last, the perpetrator is revealed and the green dress is explained (altho you basically already know). It was a very pleasant weekend read.
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This is the newest book in the "TrueColors" series. Like the others before it is very interesting.  Each book is based on an incident from history involving crime.  This one was based on a family member that was using poison to collect life insurance.  The characters are will thought out and believable. The story moves at a very fast pace and keeps you interested.  The author did a wonderful job of using the historical facts of the crime and making the story her own.  The one thing you will notice is that it is considered  Christian fiction book, the author does a nice job of interweaving the Christian faith in it with our being over powering. This was a good interesting read.
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Danger is far closer to her than she can imagine...

I've been looking forward to reading The Green Dress since first finding out that author Liz Tolsma would have a second title in the True Colors series. I've only read a few of her books but I've enjoyed each one just as I did The Green Dress. 

As with some of the other True Colors books, I think I may have actually heard of the true story behind the novel prior to reading it. As I read it I found myself Googling the facts and some of them rang a distant bell in my memory. 

I was caught up in the drama and emotion of the story right from start. I liked Harriet, though sometimes I wanted to shake her for her dogged naivete, and I thought Michael was great. I was also heartbroken at the death of one of the characters even though I knew it was going to happen. 

I think one of the best, and most chilling, parts of the story was how Liz Tolsma drew in some supernatural/creepy/spiritual threads. Seriously, you almost get goosebumps if you read it late at night like I did! Toss in some thunderstorms, midnight meetings, and psychopathic killers, and it will have you peering behind your doors after reading this book!

Blending true crime and historical romance, The Green Dress from Liz Tolsma is a must read for fans of either genre. Oh, and when you do read it be sure to check out the author's note at the end. It's totally fascinating. 

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
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This series is very interesting to me because each book is a fictional account of a true historical event from history…each event is associated with an unusual crime and are often stories I’ve never heard of before. I enjoy this “grittier” side of Christian Fiction as I’ve always been interested in true crime stories.

The Green Dress focuses on a family that continues to lose members due to a mysterious illness of an unknown cause. The entire story had a gothic feel to it and also felt very sinister. The “whodunnit” was fairly easy for me to guess but I still found myself fascinating by how it all unfolded, especially knowing that it was based on a true story.

This was a quick read and the story moved fast. I did find that it opened abruptly and the character introductions were a bit muddy and confusing at times. Overall this was a great story and one of my favorites from the True Colors series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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The Green Dress by Liz Tolsma is a wonderful addition to the True Colors series. All of the books in this series are written by different authors about historical American crimes that you don't want to miss if you love stories based on true crime, are inspirational and are strangely different suspenseful romances.
In the late 1800's Harriet Peters and Sarah Jane become friends out of need when they both find themselves widowed and struggling to meet their needs financially.
Death seems to follow Sarah Jane wherever she goes so when Harriet begins to suffer new and strange ailments her friend, Dr. Michael Wheaton begins to worry not only about her safety, but her life as well.
I've enjoyed many of the books in this series and look forward to reading more in the future.

I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
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The True Colors series has been fascinating so far. It’s interesting to read a story built around true crimes in history that each author puts their voice into.

The Green Dress is a little bit slower read than the previous books because it’s apparent who the culprit is fairly early in the book. Yet, through the eyes of Harriet Peters, readers get an insider’s look at the Robinson family and the dastardly occurrences in happening in their household.

Harriet is loyal to this family for believable reasons and her friendship with the young doctor adds a nice romantic element.

Every one of the books in this series has driven me to research more about these crimes, and The Green Dress is no exception.

Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?

My Thoughts:  This is a gripping story of one family as they lose one member after member to the same eerie circumstances.     This is the 5th book in the series "True Colors".  This story is hard to put down; and as you read you have to remember that this storyline is based on true life.   How can people be this evil?  Does greed lead people to do hideous crimes?  It seems to.  This is a novel that the reader will not be able to put down.  It is definitely a bing read.   The author keeps the reader entertained from the very first word until the last.   If you love a good mystery, this is a book that needs to be read.   I can't wait to read the next in the series.  Don't worry, if you haven't read any of the other books yet,  this is a stand-alone read; but you will certainly want to read the others in the series.
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The writing in this novel is pretty good--not stellar for the genre, but not poorly written either. Liz Tolsma managed to create intrigue and suspense throughout every twist and turn here. I had an idea of the end surprise but it still came as a little bit of a shock. The relationship developing between Harriet and Michael felt organic and it lightened the darkness in this novel. I would have asked for more levity here, as I found that light-hearted moments were few and far between and it was hard to read over long periods of time. The story began with darkness and despair, but it never seemed to let up until everything had resolved in the last chapter.
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My first thought of this book was how morbid the story line was!  I am not one to abandon books so I was going to hang in there although death seemed to cloud every paragraph in the book.  Then I found myself hooked in the book and trying to find out how the book would end.  When would the dying end?

The relationship between Harriet Peters and Dr. Michael Wheaton began to develop as they try to figure out why all the loved ones are dying.  They began to rely on one another as their friendship developed to a deeper level.  The sacrifices Harriet was willing to make to take care of others entrusted to her were remarkable.  Mostly, her faith in God to take care of her during a time of great far stood above it all.

I read the book very quickly and it was a very easy read.  I personally would like a little more light hearted conversations within the story but it was my tender heart that could not bear all the thoughts of continual death surrounding Harriet.  The fact that it is based on true facts makes it even harder to fathom and digest. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.
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3 Top Reasons I Absolutely Loved The Green Dress
Whew.  This won’t be easy.  But I’m going to do it.  So here goes.

1. Nail-biting suspense.
Seriously, she nailed the pacing of The Green Dress. I really think Liz’s best work comes in suspense, and you see it in certain parts of her WWII books and in these true crime novels.  This one, in particular, is her best work yet. I was so impressed and so eager to turn that page, that I read it… FAST.  And then some sections I reread again right away.   One of the biggest strengths of the suspense in this book is that you know what’s coming.  You know every bit of it.  This is suspense, not mystery.  You know who did what and how (although she doesn’t come right out and say it) and that gut-knowing is what keeps you riveted and screaming, “No! Don’t! NO!!!”

2. Multi-layered plot
Don’t mistake the simplicity of this story for it being simplisTIC.  It is not.  Instead, Liz layered the story at perfect intervals so that instead of knowing all and just seeing it unfold, you know what you know… and then learn some more, that reinforces what you knew and tells you what you’ll discover next.  As simple as it is (bad guy hurts people for selfish gain), it is also deeply complex.

3. Romance that didn’t make me squirm.
Okay, so Liz is much more effusive in her romance than I will ever be.  It seriously takes everything out of me to do romance, while she has characters who dance across the page with declarations of love worthy of Rogers and Hammerstein.  And her readers love it.  So, seeing the quiet reserve she gives the romance in this book (remember, compared to her others!) made the story richer for me.  This fit the characters.  What might have felt “over the top” in other books just feels reasonable and normal in this book. She kept it for situations it felt realistic and understandable.

Bonus reason that I loved The Green Dress?  Because she nailed one theological issue that usually I want to throw the book when I see.  YAY LIZ!
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The Green Dress
by Liz Tolsma

 Barbour Publishing, Inc. 
Barbour Books
 Christian  |  True Crime 
Pub Date 01 Jun 2020

I am reviewing a copy of The Green Dress through Barbour Books and Netgalley:

The Green Dress is a fictionalized account of a strange but true story.

The True Colors series is based on true, riveting, stories of American Criminal activity are explored through a unique stories of historical romantic suspense.

Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, when she did the Robinson family took her in treating her like one of their own.  Harriet becomes closer to Lizzie Robinson than Lizzie’s own siblings.  It’s four years later, now Lizzie has fallen deathly sick failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years.   Harriet cannot help but wonder how many people in one family could die from the same mysterious illness.  

Harriet and Michael put there own lives at risk, trying to find answers,   Will they be able to get to the bottom of what happened before anyone else falls victim, or will they themselves become the next victims.

I give The Green Dress five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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The premise of this book caught my attention and my interest was further peaked with the first few chapters! The story has mystery and a uniqueness that is interesting to read.  I liked the characters in the book and it did not take long for me to wonder what was going to happen to them next.  There is some suspense as the danger increases in the novel.  I thought the story was well written and well paced and it seems the author did her research!  I think the novel was further enhanced by the fact that it is based on a true story!  I liked reading this book and look forward to more in the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Barbour Books and Celebrate Lit.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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I have enjoyed and loved the True Colors series. The Green Dress does not disappoint. This is Liz Tolsma’s second contribution to the series. She such a talented storyteller and I love how she is able to bring about a based on true events tale. I was intrigued with the vivid historical details within the pages. She did a great job making me feel as though I was right there. Harriet’s story was one that kept me engaged from start to finish. I had no problem reading the whole book in one sitting. There was some suspense and mystery with a few twists and turns I could not have predicted it. I never knew what was going to happen next. 

I am giving The Green Dress a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy books based on true stories in American history. Great read!

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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Get out of the house.

There’s a fine line between providing enough detail and delving into the realm of the macabre when relating a horror story, especially when that story is true. The True Colors series by Barbour Publishing focuses on historical tales of true American crime, written as fiction but based on actual events. Often the main character is invented by the author to serve as an eyewitness to the crime, which makes for an interesting interpretation because while the narrative becomes biased according to that character’s viewpoint, it also increases the mystery as readers experience everything alongside the protagonist.

This was certainly the case for me as I read Liz Tolsma’s “The Green Dress.” So far, this is the only book in the series about a crime that I was not at least somewhat familiar with already, which was exciting in and of itself. I will admit that I figured out the crime and the whodunit by chapter two, and I was concerned that I would lose interest, wondering how the book could go on for 26 more chapters. However, my fears were unfounded, and I read almost all of it in one sitting. Tolsma’s talent shines through in this fact alone, as well as in the necessarily redundant nature of the tale’s occurrences. I was never once bored! I did, though, want to shout at the characters a few times so that they would see things that seem blatantly obvious to us as vicarious readers.

 What I appreciated most about this story is how Tolsma weaves together the historical truth, the faith element, and the color theme into one seamless tapestry. Everything coalesced and worked together well, which is no easy task when writing with so many elements already fixed in place from the outset according to the series parameters. One particularly touching moment in the story addresses Harriet’s concern about whether she is good enough to go to heaven, to which Michael replies, “Did He love you enough to send His Son for you? He did, didn’t He? Then that’s all you need to know. No more fear. Because, though I pray the Lord gives you many more years here, when it is your time to leave this earth, you can have assurance of where you will spend eternity. It’s not what you did. It’s what He did.” I love that this is included in the story because so often we forget that we are saved by grace, not by anything that we do. May our faith, like Harriet’s, grow and increase as we experience the magnificent power of the Savior’s love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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I am really enjoying this series. I have read several of the books in the series. Liz Tolsma has created a   story of a serial killer in 1880's Boston. This book has a lot of suspense, twists and turns in it. Harriet flees her arranged marriage to a much older man - and is taken in by a family in Boston. The family treats her like just one of the family members. However the family members one by one have developed a strange, hurtful stomach issues that ulimately leads to their deaths. The other main character, Michael the new doctor is a well written character also. I like how they partnered together to try and figure out what is causing the deaths. Michael, as a doctor knows that something does not make sense. I love how well written this story is - I love that the author did an amazing job staying true to history. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program. All thoughts are my own.
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I have read several of Liz Tolsma’s WWII books in the past and have enjoyed her ability to weave a beautiful story around tragic events. While this book is a departure from that particular era, I found this true crime novel to be not as far a leap as I thought; this story also deals with people’s cruelty and strange events that seem impossible yet remain based in truth.

Harriet is a likeable character for whom the reader is able to feel immediate sympathy. She has lost so much, and now stands to lose her best friend to a mysterious and painful illness. This brings her to Michael’s door, seeking help for Lizzie from the doctor just down the block from her own millinery shop. But the illness proves to be a different kind of danger than either is expecting.

The suspense ratchets up quickly, and having my own suspicions from the beginning, I couldn’t help but worry for Harriet and Michael both. Clues are hidden in plain sight, becoming clear as the tale continues, with a few instances of suspicion proving misplaced from early assumptions on my part. The author does a good job of giving enough information to keep the reader engaged, but without giving everything away from the outset.

I recommend this book for those who are interested in true crime stories but who don’t want foul language or gory details to be part of the content. This book does a good job of navigating a balance between reality and remaining clean, while still delivering a chilling story of suspense and man’s often inhumane treatment of others.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate LIt but was under no obligation to post positive remarks. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
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The Green Dress is part of a series of historical romantic suspense novels based on American criminal activity. As with the other stories I have read thus far, this was a riveting, sit on the edge of my chair journey through some very dark and scary days.

The characters were very well developed and very believable except for Sarah Jane Robinson. Not that the author didn’t do an excellent job portraying her, but that Sarah Jane Robinson’s behavior was, to me, unbelievable. Harriet was right in saying, “May God have mercy upon your soul.”

I felt the frustration of the police and those suspicious of the activity in the Robinson house as they sought actual evidence to bring charges against their suspect. Lives were lost in the waiting. Every time Harriet heard the voice saying, “Get out of the house,” or the green dress was mentioned I got chills. 

There were some very evil people balanced by some very virtuous ones. The fictional parts of this story were sometimes easier to believe than the factual ones. Both Harriet and I are very grateful that Dr. Michael Wheaton came along and risked his career on a bad feeling. 

This is a very good book. I thank both Net Gallery and Barbour Publishing for allowing me access to an ARC.
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n evil house and a green dress, what more could one want? I’ve read everyone of these True Colors stories of actual crimes interspersed with a bit of fiction. Many of the characters are real people you can Google and read more about, but a few are also fictionalized to make a more compelling story. I also like that each book is written by a different author. I am able to get to know the writings of new as well as familiar authors with each new True Colors story.
The Green Dress gave me many goosebumps and chills. A mother, Sarah Jane Robinson, birthed eight children but also held greed as more advantageous. One by one, members of her family are dying a horrible death attended by a Dr. Charles Beers. This illness seems to be contained within this house only. Is this a genetic problem or something else? 
Harriet Peters is taken in by the Robinson family and cared for after finding her destitute and hungry on the streets of Boston. She feels an obligation to them even though she’s treated like a babysitter and housemaid. She meets Dr. Michael Wheaton and together they try to find out the reasons for so many deaths in the Robinson family. I was held captive to this story and read it in record time. Even though True Colors is a series, each one may be read as a stand-alone. But I highly recommend reading them all. I’ve learned so much about these strange but true crime histories.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit but was not required to write a review.
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