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Pale Ghost: A Joseph Fisher Colonial Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Clayton Emery
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Amid the flames of frontier war, one man spies murder... 1703 New England is ravaged by flintlock and tomahawk. Mohawk warriors and French Marines kill, loot, and burn, then drag captives away to slavery and torture. Yet Joseph Fisher tracks an evil worse than war. For a murderer has used the raids to cover a trail of butchery and betrayal. Travelers vanish, soldiers muster, fanatics rail, and pirates ply the waves. Even dead men walk as a killer strikes again and again. Raised by Indians, schooled by Jesuits, trained by Puritans, Joseph is a man of three worlds who belongs to none. Condemned by society and crippled by consumption, his only weapons are an iron will and a keen mind. "Let justice be done, though the heavens fall." No one will stop Joseph from digging up the truth. "When it comes to creating an authentic atmosphere for the historical mystery, Clayton Emery ranks with the best in the genre." Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

The genesis of this book came from, of all things, a map.  "Why," I wondered, "do Maine and Massachusetts have so many Indian place names, yet New Hampshire has almost none?"  Since no one could tell me, I turned to books such as Charles E. Clark's THE EASTERN FRONTIER and the histories of Frances Parkman.  (The answer is, smallpox had killed so many Indians that New Hampshire was empty when the settlers arrived.)  Along the way, I learned how New England was settled (the complete opposite to how Daniel Boone, say, conquered Kentucky).  Yet NO ONE knew the local histories, even life-long Yankees.  So I kept digging...  And along the way, reading about savage crimes and narrow escapes and how hundreds of "White Indians" were "rescued" from the tribes, a book began to coalesce...  Eventually I had a string of crimes, but I needed a detective.  An outsider, an outcast, a free thinker, a man with nothing to lose.  So was born Joseph Fisher, a "White Indian" who doesn't even know his real name, and has no home or relatives.  He's been educated by travel and life among the Penobscots, the Jesuits, and the Puritans, yet he's separate from all of them.  And he's contracted the life-stealing "consumption" (tuberculosis) that so plagued the tribes.  (Otherwise, he'd be a super-smart Hawkeye.)  What better time to commit a blatant murder than during a hellacious French and Indian raid?  Who who besides Joseph Fisher would ever spot the clues?  And tie them to improbable disappearances that everyone else shrugs off?  Joseph has no home, no future, no prospects, only his razor-sharp mind.  And dying by inches, he's not afraid to buck authority.  In this case, Puritans, pirates, Mohawks, Jesuits, murderers, and more.  Thus does Joseph carve out his own destiny in the new American being born - same as you and do every day.

About the Author

Clayton Emery is a umpteen-generations Yankee, Navy brat, and aging hippie who grew up playing Robin Hood and War in the forests of New England. Read more of his stories at

Product Details

  • File Size: 454 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050YV23A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,470,240 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling read January 13, 2014
I read this book a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It reads like a mystery thriller, however it is set against the fascinating backdrop of colonial America, with stark, realistic pictures of what life would have really been like for people then. The plot is skillfully weaved among a variety of historical real life events, making for a fantastic read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Formatting problem...and now not available on Kindle? February 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is not for the writing at all, as I was only able to stand reading about a chapter. The text is enormous, and all in boldface. The problem is not with my Kindle or iPad - no other book has or has had this formatting/display issue.

If this can be corrected, I will be happy actually to read the book and revise my review accordingly!
Added 1/5/13: I'm sorry to admit that I forgot about this until now, and am sad to see that the book is no longer available on Kindle. I sincerely hope that this is not a result of my one star 'review'.
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More About the Author

Clayton Emery is an umpteen-generations Yankee, Navy brat, and aging hippie who grew up playing Robin Hood in the forests of New England. He's been a blacksmith, dishwasher, schoolteacher in Australia, carpenter, zookeeper, farmhand, land surveyor, volunteer firefighter, and award-winning technical writer. He currently lives in Washington, DC, where he works for the Department of Homeland Security. Check out his books on Amazon, and watch for The Republic, an upcoming TV show he created.


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