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For You Were Strangers (Hanley & Rivka Mysteries) (Volume 2) Paperback – November 18, 2015
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"The second volume in [the] Hanley & Rivka mystery series, For You Were Strangers, is a simply riveting combination of historical novel and detective mystery. A deftly crafted mystery/suspense thriller, For You Were Strangers clearly documents author D. M. Pirrone as a master of the genre." --Midwest Book Review
"In this well-researched novel, Chicago itself is the most memorablecharacter--a prairie metropolis full of legal and illegal grifters,hardworking immigrants, criminals, ladies of the night, and manyotherwise good-hearted, slightly skeptical souls...Readers with a lovefor, or burgeoning interest in, Chicago will find For You Were Strangers as satisfying as a richly coursed meal of the era." --Meg Nola, Foreword Reviews
From the Inside Flap
On a spring morning in 1872, former Civil War officer Ben Champion is discovered dead in his Chicago bedrooma bayonet protruding from his back. What starts as a routine case for Detective Frank Hanley soon becomes anything but, as his investigation into Champion's life turns up hidden truths best left buried. Meanwhile, Rivka Kelmansky's long-lost brother, Aaron, arrives on her doorstep, along with his mulatto wife and son. Fugitives from an attack by night riders, Aaron and his family know too much about past actions that still threaten powerful mendefective guns provided to Union soldiers, and an 1864 conspiracy to establish Chicago as the capital of a Northwest Confederacy. Champion had his own connection to that conspiracy, along with ties to a former slave now passing as white and an escaped Confederate guerrilla bent on vengeance, any of which might have led to his death. Hanley and Rivka must untangle this web of circumstances, amid simmering hostilities still present seven years after the end of the Civil War, as they race against time to solve the murder, before the secrets of bygone days claim more victims.
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It is an engaging second outing for these characters and we can hope for more. You get a real sense of the tensions in the young city of Chicago in these stories. Allium’s motto is “rescuing Chicago from Capone… one book at a time” and this series paints a picture of an earlier period than the days of gangsters. It is one of a number of books by the press that cover Chicago architecture in the 1880’s (Honor Above All), progressive politics of Hull House and other groups in the 1890’s (Death at Hull House, Her Mother’s Secret) and the lives of early Chicagoans in the first couple of decades of the twentieth century (Beautiful Dreamer, The Reason for Time). Chicago is a quintessential American city with many people in its past who deserve to be remembered. This is one of the books that succeeds in conjuring up one of those earlier times.