View single post by kj3553
 Posted: Sat Jan 31st, 2009 04:15 am
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Born in the wrong century

Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: Toledo, Ohio USA
Posts: 169

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I see it's been a while since anybody's posted here, so maybe I'll bump it and see what happens.

I just finished reading two excellent historical mysteries -- SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD and QUEEN OF BEDLAM. They are both rather long; the first book runs well over 700 pages, and the second more than 600, but both are such excellent reads that I never once thought about the length, only how good they were.

The author is Robert McCammon. He began his career by writing horror stories, which is how I found him. His novels were, in most instances, a notch or two above the usual tripe found in the horror genre, and I read all his books. But eventually, he wanted to branch out into other genres--and that's where he ended up butting heads with the publishers, who wanted him to continue cranking out the same old thing. So he retired for about 10 years. Then, a few years ago, he came back with these two well-written, well-research historical mysteries set in the Colonies at the turn of the 18th century.

SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD is set in the Carolinsa in the fictional town of Fount Royal. The year is 1699, and a woman stands accused of witchcraft. The protagonist of the story is a young man, Matthew Corbett, who is the clerk of the magistrate sent to hear the case. There are mysteries within mysteries, but in the end, a series of seemingly unconnected events all start falling into place.

QUEEN OF BEDLAM continues Matthew's story. It is now 1702, and Matthew has moved to New York City, where a killer known as The Masker is stalking the streets. Again, intricate plotting, unusual and fascinating characters, and a fast-paced read.

I'm not always very good at writing reviews, but if you like to read historical mysteries, I can't recommend these two books highly enough.

Last edited on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 04:15 am by kj3553

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