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Bartlett House Paperback – October 15, 2010
Chris Poirier of Web Fiction Guide writes of Bartlett House:
Bartlett House is a great read. At times, I found it riveting, and even when it s not, the writing is still as smooth as silk.
The story begins with a deliberately set fire in an old, abandoned house, in one of the better parts of town. A body is found, and before long, we meet the prime--though by no means only--suspect: Will Adelhardt, the 20-years-her-senior boyfriend of the victim. He's a history professor, twice divorced; a quiet, lonely man. And while the story doesn't explicitly rule him out as the murderer, it seems highly unlikely that he's the guy.
Friends with both Emmy (the victim), and Will, is Lucy Hidalgo, a freelance journalist who has an inside connection on the police force, and a raft of questions of her own. The circumstances of Emmy s death...don t sit well her, nor with Will they seem very out-of-character for Emmy and, even through her grief, she starts trying to piece together what happened.
The story has a lot of texture. It's set against a backdrop of modern social justice issues in Portland, Oregon. Emmy was involved with street youth which may have had something do with her death; Lucy is involved with workers rights movements and unions; Will s a bit of an old-school Socialist, and that was the context in which he and Emmy first got together; Chris is a lawyer in the Public Defender s office, and her husband is on the city council. Issues of poverty and class and money are woven skillfully into the fabric of the story, and we start to wonder just how much these issues were at the heart of the murder. There are a lot of people directly or peripherally involved in the events, and we meet them through the eyes of the main characters, in the hours and days after the murder. People start to wonder just how well they know anybody, as details come to light that raise more questions than answers.
I think Bartlett House is one of the best web novels out there. If I found it in a bookstore, I'd pay money for it. --Chris Poirier on Web Fiction Guide
Amber Simmons on Web Fiction Guide writes:
It isn't often that I get to leave a 5 star review, but what can I say? McLean and Poncy can write. --Amber Simmons on Web Fiction Guide
About the Author
Patricia J. McLean lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works for a social service agency helping at-risk families find housing. She is married to co-author Duane Poncy.
Duane Poncy is a former journalist-activist now trying to make novel-writing a full time career. He is currently working with Patricia on another Will Adelhardt/Lucy Hidalgo Mystery, and Sweetland, a science fiction trilogy. He is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation.
Poncy and McLean have been active in the Portland, Oregon poetry scene, and co-edited Raising Our Voices, an Anthology of Oregon Poets Against the War, which recently won a place on the list of Oregon's 150 most important poetry books, compiled by Poetry Northwest and the Oregon State Library.
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Top customer reviews
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Personalities. They were the true basis of
The books plot. A man wishing to resume
His relationship with his estranged daughter .
But when I started reading Bartlett House by McLean and Poncy I knew within the first 10 pages I was hooked and as someone who wants to read fiction, but finds so much of it of it tedious, this was a delightful experience!
McLean and Poncy give interesting and vivid descriptions without belaboring the point. The mystery is woven well with an intriguing plot line and fascinating cast of characters.
I chose to read Bartlett House slowly, savoring the journey and unraveling the mystery.
Kudos to McLean and Poncy for converting a stale non-fiction reader into an inspired reader hoping to find other good reads as I await the next installment. Alexandra Ryan.