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Queen of the Northern Mines: A Novel of the Civil War in California
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Since moving to Nevada City a few years ago, I have become somewhat obsessed with local history. I have done quite a bit of research, but had never read a book quite like Queen of the Northern Mines, which focuses on the Civil War era. I was astounded at some of the things I learned. It was obvious the authors had done their homework - what a wealth of information! Historical Fiction is always a fun way to learn history, and this was no exception. The book weaves several story lines together; for example, in one chapter I was on the edge of my seat as a Chinese hit man stalked his victim, and in another chapter was listening in on a secret meeting of secessionists. There were parts of the story so funny I laughed out loud. A fun, interesting and informative book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
What a lovely surprise Queen of the Northern Mines was! From the very first page, it grabbed my interest. The story focuses on Northern California during the Civil War era. The rich and complex historical details were a pleasure to read because they were gently wound around the novel's intriguing characters and fascinating storyline. The story is told through the point of view of its main character, Will Stafford who becomes interested in Molly, who runs a boarding house. A love triangle develops when Ida, Molly's teenage daughter, sets her sights on Will for herself. From mine owners, to orphans, to hitmen, there is something on every page to hold your interest. A true treat to enjoy and a wonderful historical fiction novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
Hey guys: The cover and the title may give a false impression. This book has plenty of action by "real men" and "interesting women" to make it a page-turner for us, too. All sorts of men and women of the times populate this book. The characters and their stories have plenty of grit without the authors resorting to sensationalism. (Think "Lonesome Dove," not "Deadwood" or "Bonanza," when looking for TV miniseries material.) And the book is about a lot more going on than the Civil War.

Is this book fiction? It seems more like history - but very entertaining to anyone with half an interest in those times and people. The authors bring a variety of characters to life with their exceptional skills at writing dialogue and describing adventures and dilemmas. These characters could have lived; and most of these things probably happened to those who did. Some of the characters and events are based upon well-researched history. And the authors respect readers enough to provide information about who is behind some of their fictionalized characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Richard Hurley and TJ Meekins share their love of California history with readers in "Queen of the Northern Mines - A Novel of the Civil War in California." The "queen" of the title, the Foothills town of Nevada (now Nevada City), played an important if little acknowledged part in the conflict.

The book contains romance, intrigue, deceit, betrayal, courage and sacrifice. Within its pages, the reader meets residents of many creeds and colors, including a powerful Chinese businessman, an attorney from Virginia, a widow who runs a stage way station with the help of her teenaged daughter, and a Native American orphan boy.

This book will appeal to Civil War buffs, as well as California history enthusiasts. Because it focuses on the people rather than long military discourses, "Queen" will also please fans of historical romance. The authors have accomplished a delicate balance - they've written a military story that isn't too gory and a romance that avoids becoming sacharrine.

Meekins and Hurley used historic local settings and people. The book's afterword details the figures and landmarks, and gives their significance. This attention to detail makes "Queen" worth reading from both a scholarly and pleasure perspective.

Disclosure: This review is based on a review copy of the book provided by the authors. No constraints were placed upon the review. All opinions are my own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
This native Californian learned plenty about my home state reading Queen of the Northern Mines. Even far-away California was deeply involved in the Civil War. The story is told through the eyes of handsome Virginian Will Stafford. The reader is drawn into the story from the first pages of Will's bone-jarring stagecoach ride, and swept along as he's drawn to Molly, the proprietor of Missouri House, and as he's adored by Molly's teenage daughter, Ida.
This work is painstakingly researched and you feel you are right there in the 1860's, along with Will, Molly, Ida, and a host of other rich characters like Nutim, the Maidu orphan, and Ah Tie, the Chinese mine owner.
For anyone who is an aficionado of the Civil War, California History, or just loves great historical fiction--Queen of the Northern Mines leaves you satisfied and waiting for the next installment of the characters we've come to love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Great story capturing my thoughts of early life during the Ca Gold Rush. The characters are charming and believable; the setting seems accurate, the story brings insights into early life in the Sierras
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on June 25, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As someone who lives in the area written about I found it fascinating to go "back in time" and streets that I travel took on a new meaning.
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Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book, with its familiar Sierra Nevada settings contrasted against the conflict of the Civil War. Many do not think about how the conflict tore apart communities in the West that had settlers originating from each side, and how that might have altered their lives. A good fictional account.
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on March 25, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
the authors have put together an interesting fun read. They tell an interesting side of California history that few of us knew about. I can't wait till they write a new book. I'll be first in line to read it.
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on April 24, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Loved it, my part of the country and didn't know there was any connection to the civil war. Recommend to anyone.
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