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Seneca Falls Inheritance Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Paperback Edition edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425144658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425144657
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her historically authentic and cleverly entertaining first novel, Monfredo skillfully meshes life in Seneca Falls, N.Y., immediately before the First Women's Rights Convention in 1848 with a page-turning suspense story. Charming spinster librarian Glynis Tryon, like her fellow townspeople, is shocked by the sudden deaths of wealthy Friedrich Steicher and his wife, but she is more surprised by the appearance of a woman who says she is the daughter Steicher never knew. Before the woman can prove her allegation, however, she is murdered. Although suspicion falls heavily on Friedrich's only son, Karl, he denies the woman was his sister, even when her husband comes to town to lay a claim on the estate. Unofficially deputized, Glynis questions those who might have spoken to the woman, and continues the investigation of a second, related murder when the sheriff becomes ill. Historical figures, foremost Elizabeth Cady Stanton, are woven seamlessly into this well-modulated, satisfying tale.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Glynis Tryon, busily cataloguing the books that Friedrich Steicher bequeathed to the Seneca Falls library, politely refuses a stranger's request to handle the Steicher family Bible (included by mistake) and then directs the woman to the livery to hire a carriage; she's off to Waterloo in search of her mother's friend- -Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The woman is murdered first, however, and between stocking the library shelves and canvassing the local women about a possible women's rights conference, Glynis learns that the victim was the illegitimate half-sister of Karl Steicher, who thought he was the sole heir to his father's fortune. Furthermore, the woman's husband, Gordon Walker, decides to sue for his dead wife's share. Meanwhile, it's up to Glynis and the constable's deputy, Jacques Sundown, an Indian, to discover who would most benefit from Rose Walker's death--and then to tie this murder in with the killing of a saloon girl. Nicely conceived first novel, which makes good use of Genesee (malaria) fever, Jane Eyre as a threat to job security, and the First Women's Rights Convention of 1848. More romantic than rabid feminists might like, but a telling glimpse at Bloomers, childbirth, and abused wives of the mid-19th century. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Miriam Grace Monfredo lives in western New York State, the scene of her critically acclaimed Seneca Falls Historical Mystery Series. She is a historian and a former librarian. Monfredo's first novel, Seneca Falls Inheritance, Agatha nominated for Best First Mystery Novel 1992, is set against the backdrop of the first Women's Rights Convention held in 1848. Since then she has written eight more novels that focus on the history of America and the evolution of women and minority rights. Her latest book, Children of Cain, is the third volume of a Civil War trilogy set in Washington D.C. and Virginia, during the Union's 1862 Peninsula Campaign.

Monfredo's Brothers of Cain was awarded the 2001 Herodotus as the year's Best Historical Mystery. She is the recipient of the 2000 Career Achievement Award for Historical Mystery Writing by Romantic Times. Her second book, North Star Conspiracy, was chosen for the statewide 2002 "Alaska Reads A Book" program; it was also chosen by the Alaska Association of School Librarians for the 2002-03 "Battle of the Books" motivational reading program . North Star Conspiracy was also chosen for the 2005 Brookline Reads The Same Book in Massachusetts, and by the 2005-2006 Central New York Reads Consortium.

The Voice of Youth Advocacy selected her fifth book, The Stalking Horse, as one of 1998's best adult mysteries for young adults. She was the recipient of the 1996 Writing In Rochester Award presented by Writers & Books.

Her short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies,including two Best of the Year collections, and she is the co-editor of two historical mystery anthologies.
Monfredo occasionally teaches writing workshops at Rochester, NY's literary locus, Writers & Books. She lives on historic Irondequoit Creek with three dogs and two cats, and hosts a motley gang of itinerant mallard ducks.

Customer Reviews

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A very good history and mystery mix.
Sue Breen
The book is set in Seneca Falls New York in 1848, just at the time of the famous Women's Rights Convention.
S. Schwartz
Overall, it was a very worthwhile read.
Phyllis Berenson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book and the other four Ms. Monfredo currently has out do an extraordinary job of incorporating women's history and lesser-known history into fascinating mysteries. I encourage you to read them in order, starting with this one, because she builds the characters throughout the series.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was recommended to me when I recently visited family back east for the first time in many years. I had asked directions,especially wanting to take my 18-year old daughter to the Women's Rights Museum in Seneca Falls on the drive from Seneca Lake to Syracuse. I remembered having seen the small blue sign along the rural highway and always regretting not having turned there. Being a teen in the 60's, I marveled that the consciousness-raising and role changes that were exploding then (and that now have made so many unappreciated opportunities for girls and women) began in the Finger Lakes area where my great grandparents had settled and my parents grew up! This novel recreates that era and makes the instigation of radical activities by Elizabeth Cady Stanton understandable through the description of the female and male character's lives. While an important theme, the women's rights information is peripheral to the main story. Some detail about characters is obvious but not distracting in the intention to prepare the reader for a series. As this is the first of a series written about a time of restricted public behavior for women, Glynis Tryon's cautious hesitance is understandable and realistic as she follows her instincts and intelligence to solve the murder. I have ordered more books in the series, and expect the maiden librarian's confidence to increase, just as we womenfolk each get more uppity as we proceed through life, finding that our feelings and ideas matter and that we can make a difference.
The description of life along the Erie Canal, the foods served at Thanksgiving dinner, the vegetation and weather were surprisingly familiar to me. My elderly father took me into the Post Office in PennYan, N.Y.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Whether you're a devoted mystery reader or just looking for a good book for the train-ride, this novel is worth a look. Glynis Tryon is an interesting protagonist--she's smart, she's kind, and she knows what she wants. In a nutshell, she's the kind of person you'd like for a friend. And Monfredo has a talent for expanding her characters, so that her Seneca Falls is populated by a whole town of people you'll get to know over the next few books, and will always be glad to see again. The next two books, North Star Conspiracy and Blackwater Spirits, are among the best mysteries I've ever read. But if you're going to read any of these books, make sure you start with this one, so that your familiarity with the characters develops along with the whole storyline. (I read North Star first, then had to go back and read this one and North Star again, in order to get the full effect.) This is a wonderful series--if you're at all interested in American history, you absolutely must r! ead these books--and a very good first novel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By watzizname VINE VOICE on March 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Glynis Tryon novel, and it is a rousing good story set against the background of Seneca Falls, an actual (NOT fictional) small town in the western part of upstate New York, in 1848, the year when the first women's rights convention was organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and others. The convention took place in Seneca Falls.

The main characters of the story are fictional, but many of the minor characters are real people of the time. The historical background is well-researched and mostly accurate. (I can't point to any historical inaccuracy, but even the best historical scholarship is unlikely to produce perfect knowledge of every detail.)

Whether you are just looking for great light reading or for a story that enhances your knowledge of the early history of the women's movement, you'll find it here, and you'll also enjoy the sequels, North Star Conspiracy, Blackwater Spirits, The Stalking Horse, Must the Maiden Die" and others.

NOTE TO HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHERS: These novels, and the novels of Kenneth Roberts (Rabble in Arms, Arundel and several others) provide an excellent means of bringing American history alive for your students, and getting them interested in the subject.

watziznaym@gmail.com
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Davis on April 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Seneca Falls Inheritance" is both the story of the birth of the women's suffrage movement in 1848, and the murder of a woman who tried to exercise her economic rights in a world where women were viewed as inferior beings. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the 19th Century's most influential women, makes an appearance at the beginning of her long career in fighting for women's rights; she is joined by the leading fictional character, Glynis Tryon, Seneca Falls' "free thinking" librarian, who will fight her own battles to help discover the identity of a murderer. The plot raises several important issues of both the 19th Century and today: domestic abuse, discrimination, illicit relationships, and how women are judged differently than men when it comes to aggression and tenacity. There's also a hint of romance between Glynis and the town's constable, plus a connection between the librarian and her recently departed patron. This is both an entertaining and informative novel.
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