Benjamin Franklin and The Quaker Murders Kindle Edition
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|Length: 249 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
At first glance, it is a police-procedural before the invention of police: a mysterious murder, an obvious suspect, but a case that unravels quickly and leaves you wondering what exactly DID happen to Lizzie Coons? There's a bit of action, a bit of romance, and a lot of old-fashioned detective work (that wasn't yet old-fashioned in the 18th century).
At another level, the book is a love story to the United States in its infancy, just after the end of the Revolutionary War. The descriptions of daily life, of political and social concerns, and of both cityscape and countryside will bring you back in time to when the nation was young, when endless possibilities lay just over the horizon, and colonists are just learning how to be Americans. I found myself keeping Google Maps open on my iPad next to my Kindle to trace the action through and around early Philadelphia.
But at the highest level, this book is a celebration of one our most honored citizens, and one of the most remarkable men in history. The scenes with Benjamin Franklin sparkle with the character of the man, and his dialogue (much of it adapted from his "Autobiography") comes off naturally, not forced or stilted.
Highly recommended, and since the ending seems perfectly set up for a sequel, I look forward to revisiting this world.
I received an advance release of this book to review.
It couldn't really be described as Great Literature (capital G, capital L). It's not Dostoevski or James Joyce. But, when you get right down to it, I never really enjoyed reading Joyce or Dostoevski. This book, on the other hand was fun.
As historical fiction, it did a great job. I'm not intimately familiar with the customs and happenings of this era. I feel better informed than before I read it. And yet, it never beat me over the head with the differences. Instead it let little details seep gently in as I was enjoying the plot and the characters.
As a murder mystery, it kept me on the edge of my seat. I was clueless about the perpetrator until the author revealed the facts. And yet, when I look back, I SHOULD have been able to guess from the clues given. That's how I judge a good mystery.
As I was reading this, I found myself caring about the characters. I found myself caring about what happened next. I'm looking forward to re-reading it when I get the chance.
As a side note, I greatly appreciated the fact that there was no gratuitous graphic sex or violence. (As a murder mystery, of course there was a murder, which, by its definition is violence. But the it was neither graphic nor gratuitous.) It's a book I could comfortably share with my elderly parents or a bright tweenager, and enjoy the conversations likely to come up in the ensuing discussion.
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Benjamin Franklin and The Quaker Murders by John Harmon McElroy
Benjamin Franklin and The Quaker Murders
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