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Bold Sons of Erin by [Peters, Ralph, Parry, Owen]
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Bold Sons of Erin Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Grave robbing and witches provide the atmospheric overture as Maj. Abel Jones, agent for Abraham Lincoln, investigates the murder of a Northern general in his fifth suspenseful adventure. In the preceding novel, Honor's Kingdom, the diminutive Welshman was in England working for the Union's interests, but here he returns home to "dear Pottsville" in Pennsylvania. Jones must journey deeper into coal country when Gen. Carl Stone, who had been recruiting Irish miners for the Union army, is found slain. The confessed killer has died of cholera, but a cautionary check of his grave finds interred instead the body of a young woman who has been stabbed to death. The intrigue thus triggered brings Jones up against a mad priest, local witch women and the tight-knit society of the Irish mining community (among its members is Black Jack Kehoe, later notorious in the Molly Maguires). Complicating the investigation are clues pointing to Russia and schemes for world revolution from the prewar years when the general went by the name of Carl von Steinbrock. Inevitably the investigation returns to the Irish immigrants, "Those famine lads cut loose to find their keep, in a world that did not want them or their kind." With this latest novel, the pseudonymous Parry-otherwise known as Ralph Peters, the author of thrillers (The Devil's Garden) and policy-wonk nonfiction (Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World)-ably advances his series of historical fiction. The usual amusing observations of his tight-laced hero and a rousing finale set during the grim battle of Fredericksburg are sure to please his devoted following.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Parry continues his excellent Civil War mystery series featuring Union Army detective Abel Jones. When a Union general attempting to recruit Irish immigrant laborers is murdered, President Lincoln assigns Abel to the case. During the course of his inquiry, he uncovers the putrefied body of a young girl buried in another man's grave. Sensing these two homicides are linked, he sets out to establish a firm connection between them. Abel's investigation contains several surprising twists and turns, culminating in a chilling admission of guilt from a greedy capitalist determined to maximize his profits during the lucrative war years. Another evocative and boldly executed historical whodunit irresistibly steeped in Civil War atmosphere and arcana. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 1280 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0811711331
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (August 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 11, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B0ZRJ7G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,351 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John W. Mountcastle on October 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After a recent discussion of James M. McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era", several students asked me what other books I would recommend in order to get a sense of what 19th century Americans were like. Their primary interest is in understanding why people responded as they did to the Civil War. Among those titles I suggested were several novels. Owen Parry's "Abel Jones" series was in that group. The latest addition to the Jones saga, "Bold Sons of Erin" goes a long way toward helping today's reader understand the great divergence in attitudes and motivations of those living in the United States during the Civil War. They were not all singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by any means.
I think this author is doing us a great service by exploring the complex nature of our society in that period. His curiosity is contagious and his readers are the beneficiaries of his beautifully written stories that probe, investigate, and explain the Americans of the 1860s. I admire Owen Parry's skill in every aspect of his plot development, with his characters wonderfully drawn, and the suspense building to an exciting and satisfying climax. Having said that, I have to say that I enjoy his marvelous descriptions of Civil War combat even more.
The last chapter of this book describes the surreal quality of the repeated gallant assaults of Ambrose Burnsides' Union army against Lee's Confederates at Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862. As seen through the eyes of Major Abel Jones, it was a day all Americans should never forget. He is a wonderful observer of the American scene and I will always be grateful that Owen Parry is telling his story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Owen Parry continues his Able Jones series with another book that gives a real sense of time, place and people. This time the place is Able's beloved hometown in the Pensylvania coal fields which turns out to be stranger than anywhere his travels have taken him so far. Once again the author gives us thumbnail sketches of historical figures. This novel has strong gothic elements, which were, for me, the least interesting part of the book. In additon to solving murders which nobody wants solved and working from limited information Able has to deal with his wife and son, who are changing in ways he did not anticipate. He also has to defend his staunch Methodism against enticing secular influences. Able is one hero aware of his own least partially. He does not take himself too the end. The book ends with a description of the slaughter of federal troops at the battle of Fredericksburg, which is, by itself, reason enough to buy this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Owen Parry has given us another gem in his series of Civil War mysteries, and this one is an emerald.
*Bold Sons of Erin* takes us to the anthracite coal region of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the home of our hero, Major Abel Jones (and a region where our author has family roots as well). In *Bold Sons* we meet the Irish miners who settled in the area, learn a bit about their hard lives, and consider both those who fought for liberty wearing Union blue and those who fought for their liberty to stay out of the war. They battled prejudice and the company bosses to eke out a living, and many served valiantly for their new country and died on the fields of Antietam and Fredericksburg. The author gives us much in *Bold Sons* to think about.
Parry paints a detailed picture of the coal towns and the region of central and eastern Pennsylvania in the early 1860s. We see the streets and shops and hear the voices and sounds. As other books in the series have done for other settings, *Bold Sons* helps us to imagine what life might have been like in that place and time. That's one of my favorite things about the series and about this book as well.
The mystery of the murder -- or rather, murders -- at the heart of the book grabs our attention at the very beginning, as the blade of a shovel hits the wood of a coffin, and the story develops wonderfully around it. In many passages the action is vivid. Again as in the previous four novels in the series, Parry's characters are rich and colorful and his writing makes me Irish green with envy. In every respect, *Bold Sons of Erin* is a very worthy fifth book in the Abel Jones series. As a fan of the series, I enthusiastically recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Abel Jones, a Welsh immigrant, is a soldier for the Union Army, seriously wounded during the early campaigns of the Civil War. Sent home to Pennsylvania to recuperate and rejoin his family, he is soon called back to service, this time in an investigative capacity. His high moral standards and his trustworthiness have brought him to the attention of President Lincoln, who has asked him to investigate the murder of General Carl Stone so that Lincoln and the country can avoid an international incident. The Germans and Russians are clamoring to know who killed Gen. Stone in Heckschersville, a community of Irish miners, and why. Gen. Stone has been recruiting Irish miners in Pennsylvania to the Union cause, and an Irishman has confessed to killing Gen. Stone.
The Civil War is raging, and local boys are dying. Wealthy mine owners are building personal empires while their workers endure abominable conditions. Revolutionaries and republicans are vying for political influence, churches and parishioners are trying to reconcile Darwin's Origin of the Species with their traditional beliefs, and women who have been the sole support of their families during wartime are being forced into subordinate roles when their men return from war. All these issues, well researched, play a part in the drama and add realism to the novel. Vivid personal glimpses of Lincoln, Sec. of State Seward, and other historical personages, combined with personal observations by Abel Jones, also develop a sense that these are real people engaged in real problems, subject to real, personal limitations.
This is not strictly a historical mystery, however. A strong sense of Gothic melodrama infuses the action, and a number of scenes are positively macabre.
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