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Reaping the Whirlwind: A Trent Tyson Historical Mystery Kindle Edition
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No one suspects foul play when an old recluse dies behind locked doors.
The doctor claims the old woman’s heart gave out, and Deputy Sheriff Trent Tyson doesn’t give the case another thought until the medical examiner finds poison.
This death is just one in a series of unusual deaths happening in Tyson’s quiet town, which takes the deputy sheriff on the hunt for answers while the rest of the town is cause up in local hysteria, starstruck by visiting celebrities William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow. Within a week, Deputy Sheriff Trent Tyson is on the tenuous trail of a serial killer who snuffs out the unwanted, the disabled—the most helpless and lovable—without reason and with no mercy.
Reaping the Whirlwind is a historical mystery set during the real events of the Scopes evolution trial in 1925 Dayton, Tennessee. The mystery weaves through trial events in an accurate portrayal of this pivotal case that forever changed the U.S. education system.
About the Author
Rosey Dow is an award-winning, best-selling author and ghostwriter of more than 40 titles with sales of more than half a million copies. She won the national Christy Award for Reaping the Whirlwind and her ghostwritten books have been published under Simon & Shuster. Her book series Colorado has sold more than 250,000 copies to date.
Rosey is also the TV host of “Now It’s My Turn!” on The Awake TV Network and the radio host of “The Prospect Profiler.” Her articles have appeared in 50 Plus Today, The Modern Warrior and Medium.com, and she has been quoted by Dell. An editor and writing coach for both fiction and non-fiction, she has homes in central Arizona and northern Florida.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B0BT141GD6
- Publisher : Morgan James Fiction (June 13, 2023)
- Publication date : June 13, 2023
- Language : English
- File size : 2335 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 378 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,044,434 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #9,049 in Christian Historical Fiction (Kindle Store)
- #9,401 in Religious Historical Fiction (Kindle Store)
- #15,642 in Historical Mysteries (Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The story begins in Dayton, Tennessee on a rainy Monday evening in the spring of 1925 when the chess game between Deputy Sheriff Trent Tyson and Dr. Adam St. Clair is interrupted by a concerned neighbor calls to say that Mrs. Ida Johnson is not answering her door. An investigation discovers that the woman has died, apparently of a heart attack. But then the medical examiner finds that the woman was poisoned by tansy weed. Did she take some by accident or was the old woman murdered? When the next person shows up dead with the same symptoms, the answer seems obvious. But there is no obvious connection between the victims and the more Tyson investigates their lives the less sense it all makes. Meanwhile, the town is gearing up for the Scopes trial as William Jennings Bryan, Clarence Darrow, H.L. Mencken and a horde of others descend on Dayton. None of these famous people become part of Tyson's murder invesigation, so Dow is able to stick to what they actually said instead of having to make things up for them to fit into the main plotline.
Ironically when I started reading this book I kept wondering when we were going to get to the trial (the meeting in Robinson's Drugstore where they hatched up the idea for the trial does not take place until page 136) but once the trial was underway I kept thinking that Deputy Tyson was spending too much time at the trial given that there is a serial killer running loose in Dayton. The Scopes Trial is basically the backdrop for the last third of the book, but you know that there has to be some sort of connection, albeit indirect, between the idea of prohibiting the teaching of evolution and these murders. However, the link is not obvious, so I doubt you will see the ending coming.
Dow does a good job of picking highlights from the Scopes Trial, both in the courtroom and on the streets of Dayton, to include in her novel. She pays attention to the speech on admitting the scientific testimony by Dudley Field Malone, which I greatly admire and which Scopes called the dramatic highpoint of the trial (and not the celebrated cross-examination of Bryan by Darrow). Malone is usually largely ignored in accounts of the trial, so every little bit of giving him his due helps. Dow's perspective on the trial and the subject of evolution is made clear in the materials before and after the story, but those beliefs do not intrude on the story, especially since there are characters reflecting both sides of the argument being played out in the Rhea County Courthouse.
The Author's Note at the front of the book makes it clear that Trent Tyson and Dr. Adam St. Clair are fictional replacements for Dayton's constable and one of the town's doctors, and lists the people who were actually in Dayton in the summer of 1925. Of course the victims and Tyson's family and friends are completely fictitious. The back of the book includes three appendixes that provide an excerpt from Bryan's undelivered address, evolutionary proofs offered by trial experts with refutation, and Bryan's questions for Darrow and his replies that appear in the press after the trial. Most unusual for a work of fiction but appropriate in this case, Dow also provides a Bibliography of the books she used for details about the trial and an Index that allows me to look up all of the books references to Dudley Field Malone or whatever (or whoever). So if you picked up this novel because you like historical murder mysteries, do not be surprised if you feel the urge to find out more about the Scopes Trial when you are done.
I can picture the townspeople reacting much the way they are portrayed by Rosie Dow. The neighborhood grapevine is instant and can extend throughout the county at the drop of grannie's hanky. I speak from personal experience and still do not understand how an aunt 20 miles away can know what you did in town before you arrive at their house - pre-telephone. Rosie Dow does a magnificent job of portraying the various eccentric characters you find in every small town. From the town doctor to the woman who can cook a possum and you would swear it is rib eye steak.
Passing away behind a locked door is written about by authors all the time but how can this happen without a clue in a town where there are no secrets. Learn the history of the Scopes Trial and solve the mysterious murders of Dayton, Tennessee.
However, the over-used idea that even the most adamant atheist will convert to Christianity given enough proof and fervent prayer was extremely predictable.
It seemed also that the author's only understanding of evolutionary theory came from Answers in Genesis, which she quotes often in the appendix.
The author did rather skillfully weave two very different stories together in such a way that the interplay worked very well. It would, however, have been nice to read a Christian novel that didn't have the loose ends tied in a big, fat bow.
I give the historical mystery aspect 5 stars. The Christian argument against evolution wasn't very compelling, in my opinion, and the conversion theme was a bit grating: 1 star. Hence, the overall 3 star rating.