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The Harlot's Tale: A Midwife Mystery (The Midwife's Tale) Hardcover – January 7, 2014
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Thomas brings readers to the England of 1645, a country torn by civil war. The city of York, now in Puritan hands, is suffering from a severe heat wave. The ruling Puritans are sure that it is a sign from God, punishing the citizens for their evil ways. They respond by clamping down still further on drunks, prostitutes, and those who utilize their services. This is not sufficient for someone. When a prostitute and her customer are found brutally stabbed, Edward, one of the city’s governors, asks his sister-in-law, midwife Bridget Hodgson, and her assistant, Martha Hawkins, to assist with the investigation. There is no shortage of suspects. As the bodies continue to pile up, Hezekiah Ward, a fire-and-brimstone preacher newly arrived in York; his son, named Praise-God; and their fanatic followers appear to be involved. Edward’s son Joseph is also concerned with ridding the city of sin. His brother, Will, who drinks a bit too much, assists Bridget and Martha as they uncover decadent behavior in high places while evading the killer. Historical-mystery readers will enjoy this well-plotted story featuring an assortment of strong women. --Barbara Bibel
“The second adventure for Thomas' midwife uses a mystery with plenty of twists, turns and suspects to illuminate a difficult period in British history.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Sam Thomas has created one of the most fascinating detectives in contemporary mystery fiction--a crime-solving, wealthy, widowed midwife in embattled 17th-century York, England. . . . Bridget is as fascinating, fun and fierce as ever. . . The characters are wonderfully drawn, complex and real. . . . enjoyably readable.” ―Cleveland Plain Dealer
Top customer reviews
If you aren't bothered by those things, the writing is good, and it is interesting to know more about the culture, customs and restrictions, especially of women, of the 17th century in England. The author has an innovative idea for the protagonist/investigator and the characters are well drawn.