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Benjamin Franklin and the Quaker Murders Paperback – June 14, 2017
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"Benjamin Franklin and the Quaker Murders by John Harmon McElroy is a mystery ... rich in details about Franklin's life and 18th-century Philadelphia, which in 1785 was the world's largest English-speaking city after London. -- The Sons of the American Revolution Magazine
"An illustrious Founding Father adds supersleuth to his resume in McElroy's ... well-researched historical novel. ... An entertaining, educational mystery that neatly bridges the gap between fact and fiction." -- Kirkus Reviews
"McElroy's idea is an original one, and his plot engaging." -- Chronicles
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In this suspenseful page turner; two woman are found dead with the same bruise marks. Both bodies are found on the same man’s property, one of them in his own bed, how can he possibly not be guilty of murder. Only a Seventy-Nine year old Benjamin Franklin thinks differently. Franklin who wishes to remain the silent detective, enlists the help of Revolutionary War veteran James Jamison and brilliantly guides him though the many twists, turns and suspects.
The author John Harmon McElory, breathes passion and vigor onto this 'slice of life' tale of our young nations history. One can easily vision the streets, homes, alleys, bars and rivers of 1780’s Philadelphia. McElory’s characters and the many of this murder mystery suspects are believable. He does a masterful job putting the reader into the lives of some of history's most pivotal characters and making you see their perspectives while also learning a lot of history. One marvels at Benjamin Franklin’s wit and James Jamison’s honor, loyalty and tenacity. “ Benjamin Franklin And The Quaker Murders “ is an excellent ‘ who done it ‘ murder mystery, a suspenseful thriller a Love Story and you learn about a slice of America’s early history. John Harmon McElory’s writing is clear and crisp, and he does a good job making complicated issues understandable.
I received an advance release of this book to review.
When Benjamin Franklin learns of John Maul’s arrest for the murder of his sister-in-law, Franklin is irrefutably certain that the Quaker stonecutter is innocent. However, at seventy-nine years of age, he does not want to gain the reputation for solving other people’s problems. Really, who’s got time for that? He calls upon his trusted colleague’s grandson Captain James Jamison to investigate under his guidance. Given the strict instructions that Franklin must not be associated with the investigation, Jamison begins a systematic inquiry into the life of victim Lizzy Coons that takes him through Philadelphia to New Jersey and back.
I am a fan of historical fiction, especially mysteries, so I jumped at the chance to read this book. Since I read books set in various eras, I had no trouble adapting to the antiquated pace and cadence of the writing. As mentioned above, it is quite detailed, and while most of the information is pertinent to the plot, I do feel like the prose dipped into lecture mode on occasion. I admit that there was a passage after the climactic events of the revelation of the murderer’s identity that I skimmed over. I am not, as a general rule, a skimmer. There are also a couple of passages that had nothing to do with furthering the plot or character development that took me out of the story. That said, overall the writing is fluid and the text interesting.
The characters are well developed, even those with the most minor of appearances. Captain James Jamison makes a wonderful sleuth. His veteran status and gentlemanly manner open many doors for him throughout the investigation. Even with Franklin’s direction, he is no mere puppet. His intelligence and methodical tactics shine through. He is authentic and relatable, and I particularly enjoyed his remembrances of his juncture with George Washington. After all, our experiences make us what we are.
I enjoyed my time spent in the early days of America’s freedom with Jamison and Dr. Franklin and look forward to more adventures with this unlikely investigating team.
I received a copy of this title and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
When Benjamin Franklin believes the wrong man, a Quaker, has been imprisoned for the murder of a Quaker woman, he enlists the help of James Jamison, a former Continental Soldier, to try to find the real murderer. Thus begins an extremely interesting and informative search by Jamison, with Franklin in the background providing insights and courses of action, to see if the killer is still at large.
This book has several twists, and one of them, right in the middle, had me sitting up straight in my chair -- how did I not see that coming? Benjamin Franklin and The Quaker Murders is so well thought out and full of historical tidbits that it kept me engaged all the way to the end. Jamison is portrayed as having been with George Washington when he crossed the Delaware River, and his reminiscences of that time, as well as of other battles he in which he participated, were truly interesting.
I think this book is a definite must-read for historical fiction fans. I highly recommend it and hope to see future collaborations between Benjamin Franklin and James Jamison.
I received an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.