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The Queen of Bedlam Paperback – October 23, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Matthew Corbett Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set in Manhattan in 1703, this spellbinding sequel to Speaks the Nightbird (2002) from bestseller McCammon finds Matthew Corbett, a 23-year-old magistrate's clerk, on the trail of the Masker, a killer who stalks prominent businessmen. Matthew stumbles on the bodies of two of the Masker's victims, including pederast Eben Ausley, the headmaster of the orphanage Matthew once reluctantly called home. Plucky Matthew, who becomes a junior associate of the New York branch of a London problem-solving firm called the Herrald Agency, discovers a possible link to the crimes in the person of an elderly amnesiac patient in a mental asylum who's known as the Queen of Bedlam. Matthew and his cohorts later make a dangerous foray to the headquarters that the villainous Professor Fell maintains for young-criminals-in-training. McCammon brilliantly captures colonial New York and closes with a tantalizing cliffhanger that suggests more exciting sleuthing to come. (Oct.)
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About the Author

Robert McCammon is the New York Times bestselling author of Boy's Life and Gone South, among many critically acclaimed works of fiction, with millions of copies of his novels in print. He is a recipient of the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award, the Grand Master Award from the World Horror Convention, and is a World Fantasy Award winner. He lives in Alabama. Visit the author at RobertMcCammon.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416551115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416551119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William A. Greiner on November 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great sequel to "Speaks the Nightbird" that continues the story of early Americas first detective(in McCammons early fictional America that is!). This book is great ...but to be honest I did not find it as good as "Speaks the Nightbird'...but never the less it is a worthwild read.One reviewer said the book was boring...that is nonsense....I found it very engaging the first 300 pages .The last 300 pages is when the action really picks up and picks up it does. It is hard to put down.
It does have a cliffhanger...( without giving it away I do not know how the main character can resolve what seems like an impossible conflict) but knowing McCammon he will pull it off in the next book.If you liked "Speaks the nightbird" you will love this book and the charcters that populate it.If you have not read "Speaks the nightbird" read that one first...even though this is a stand alone story the first book establishes the lead charcter and will richly enhance your enjoyment of the second book as you witness the growth of the main charcter.
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Format: Hardcover
For the many of Robert McCammon's fans, it couldn't be a more wonderful experience than to finally have him back writing again after such a long period of inactivity. Known primarily for his horror fiction from the late seventies to the early nineties, Mr. McCammon said goodbye to the publishing industry when they refused to accept any writing from him, except that which pertained to the horror genre. One of his unpublished novels from the early nineties (Speaks the Nightbird) eventually made it into print five years ago. This is the historical novel that first introduces Matthew Corbett to the reading public. The positive reception of this book by the reading public was nearly overwhelming and certainly encouraged Mr. McCammon to write other books with Matthew Corbett as the lead character. In fact, The Queen of Bedlam is the second book in this highly suspenseful series, which takes place in Colonial America. The author is now at work on the third "Matthew Corbett novel and has plans to write at least two more books in this new series. I just hope that I'm around to read them when they're finally finished.

Though I don't generally read historical novels, Speaks the Nightbird certainly hooked me with its dark intensity and the need for its young protagonist, Matthew Corbett, to see justice prevail at all costs. Because I enjoyed this particular novel so much, I naturally sought out the second book in the series, The Queen of Bedlam, and wasn't disappointed with Mr. McCammon's unique gift for storytelling.

The Queen of Bedlam picks up with the character of Matthew Corbett a few years after his experiences in the Carolinas, having saved a woman from being burned at the stake for the practice of witchcraft.
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Format: Hardcover
I eagerly anticipated the sequel to "Speaks the Nightbird" and it was worth the wait. In "Queen of Bedlam" we again meet law clerk Matthew Corbett who fought to prove the innocence of an accused witch in "Speaks..." This time Corbett is on the trail of a serial killer as well as seeking justice for the abused children in the orphanage where he grew up. McCammon has an incredible ability to transport the reader to New York in 1702. This book is full of suspense as well as humor. I enjoy a,well written,historical mystery as well as the writing of Robert McCammon. "The Queen of Bedlam" gives a healthy dose of both.
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Format: Hardcover
For those of you looking for a horror novel from Mr. McCammon, this is not the book you are looking for. But give it a read anyway. And don't be daunted by it's apparent length. It's a relatively fast read that belies its 600+ pages.

As I read this, I thought Mr. McCammon must have had fun writing the book. I certainly had a lot of fun reading it. Besides being a good detective story, with good guys, bad guys, and eccentrics abounding in an early 1700s New York setting, there is a good bit of humor in the book. I was laughing out loud picturing the new governor's appearance in front of the city's 18th century movers and shakers. Among my favorite lines in the book is one dealing with the silver pocket watch that took a licking . . ., and another summing up the business philosophy of Polly Blossom, who runs the city's highbrow house of ill repute. I'll let you discover that gem for yourself.

I hope this is not the last we see of Matthew Corbett, Hudson Greathouse, Marmaduke Grigsby and the crew. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD was an incredible novel and easily went onto my list of top 20 books that I've read in my lifetime. Now McCammon honors us with a sequel, THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM, that totally stands on it's own and immerces the reader into a believable, convincing 18th century tale of shady characters, noble heroes, mysterious circumstances, horrendous murders, the political state of the time, numerous secretive past lives and most importantly - a sense of time and place that you can hear, touch and smell. The man does his research. You totally lose yourself into the novel's abundance of intrigue and care about the characters and their fates to the point of being emotionally drained at the end of each chapter. The last 100 pages will have you gasping to catch your breath!

I've been a huge McCammon fan since first reading MYSTERY WALK after reading a glowing review of that novel in the New York Times. Each of his books offer the reader a thrilling and unique experience. If you've not tried McCammon then THE QUEEN OF BEDLAM would be a good place to start. His writing is flawless and his imagination soars. Thank you Robert McCammon for giving me many sleepless nights as I absorb your creative world!
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