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A Pinchbeck Bride (Mark Winslow Series) Hardcover – March 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Stephen Anable's The Fisher Boy:

''Ingenious plotting and witty prose lift Anable's distinctive debut . . . A profusion of diverting red herrings and a clever twist help keep the suspense high through to the surprising conclusion.'' --Publishers Weekly (starred review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A young woman in Victorian finery is found strangled in Mingo House, a morbid brownstone and museum, a nineteenth-century time capsule in Boston’s Back Bay.  
Boston comic Mark Winslow and the other trustees of Mingo House are divided as to whether the place is sustainable as a museum. Mingo House itself seems cursed, for its origins in bullets and cannonballs and the family’s reputation as regicides in the execution of King Charles I. A number of people believe its walls conceal treasure, a stolen royal monstrance, and are willing to do anything to retrieve it. How are all of these things connected?


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Product Details

  • Series: Mark Winslow Series
  • Hardcover: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition edition (March 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590588568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590588567
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,748,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ChibiNeko VINE VOICE on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you like mystery then it's often troublesome to find books that actually have mystery in them rather than having a hero or heroine just walking through a mystery & having everything unfold for them with little to no footwork. It's incredibly frustrating because sometimes that takes the guesswork out of everything. Luckily for you, this book actually has it's main character do some actual sleuthing & footwork.

Mark Winslow's in over his head. Not only does he have to work on his standup routine but he also has to worry about being a trustee at a local museum dedicated to the Victorian era. Mingo House is well known for it's collection of curios... as well as for it's unsavory past of seances, stolen royal goods, & blood money. When Mark discovers a murdered young woman (in Victorian clothing no less) in the museum, he just can't help but investigate the murder. Is this the work of a calculated murderer or is Mingo House really cursed?

Readers will thrill at this latest entry in the Mark Winslow series, especially since there's so much here to like. Not only does Anable create a series with a gay lead, but he also manages to keep from making him the one note stereotype that can be seen in many mainstream mystery series. Mark is gay, proud of it, & isn't going to conform to anyone else's ideals. It's incredibly refreshing, to be honest.

Many will also like the rich atmosphere that Anable weaves for the audience as he also delivers a page turning mystery that will keep you guessing until the last few pages. (I know I didn't predict the ending until the very last part of the book!) You'll find yourself not only reading for those few more minutes longer, but you'll also enjoy the great interactions between the characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stephen Anable’s “A Pinchbeck Bride” is the second book in the Mark Winslow mystery series. The first is “The Fisher Boy”. Both books are engaging, and both show the reader how the passions of the past are repackaged in the present.

The common points between the books are a setting in eastern New England, an unusual property from the nineteenth century that is getting a twentieth century exploitation, and a history-buff, gay, stand-up performer / publicist as the narrator.

Unlike many other gay-detective series, these two books do not focus on the intimate or sexual relationships of the detective. Indeed only a mother-daughter pair and a boyfriend carry over materially from the first book to the second. In “A Pinchbeck Bride” the new characters are quite vivid; the others are comfortable friends, given their privacy. The narrator likes (partly invented) history and is aware of art. While these treatments cause both books to be balanced unusually, the result is natural, given the character telling the tale.

“The Fisher Boy” provides details on Mark Winslow’s background but is not necessary to read first, as there is little linkage to the stories.

Other reviewers have given descriptions of the plot of “A Pinchbeck Bride”. I like the stories for some sharp observations made, for prodding my understanding of earlier America, and for Mark Winslow’s curiosity, persistence, adaptability, and missteps.
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Format: Hardcover
The author is a little too involved in the history of his setting. Readers will be treated to several dissertations about the Mingo family. They appear to be a suspect lineage of ex-pats who left England under a cloud during the reign of Charles I and set up as arms dealers/manufactures in New England. They went on to enrich themselves during the Civil War. They may have made off with some important treasure from the royal vaults. That mystery is more interesting than that of a docent in the rotting Mingo mansion who is murdered whilst wearing Victorian clothes.

The language is arch and often funny, the observations on the kind of historic preservation here presented as the basis for bringing a vast group of characters together, are pointed. The writing is fine, but the story wanders too much for my taste and the excursions into seedy raunchy film making were unnecessary, in my view. This is the kind of mystery fiction that caters to fairly narrow tastes, and does it pretty well.
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By N. Wills on May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
One thing that I found unique was that the sleuth is a stand-up comic. I think that this is a first for me amidst all the cozy mysteries that I have read.

I really enjoyed this book immensely. I don't think that the characters were as well rounded as I normally like, but then again it may be that this isn't the first of the series and they assume that you read The Fisher Boy.

However, I really liked the way that the mystery and drama unfurled throughout the book. So much that I actually read this book in one sitting.

I think I will go back and read the first book. Just to see if I get a better perspective on the characters.

In conjunction with the Wakela's World Disclosure Statement, I received a product in order to enable my review. No other compensation has been received. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand. The opinions stated here are mine alone.
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A Pinchbeck Bride (Mark Winslow Series)
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