Monday, January 13, 2014

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: A Harlot's Tale

Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Minotaur Books
Hardcover; 320p1250010780
ISBN-10: 1250010780

It is August, 1645, one year since York fell into Puritan hands. As the city suffers through a brutal summer heat, Bridget Hodgson and Martha Hawkins are drawn into a murder investigation more frightening than their last. In order to appease God’s wrath—and end the heat-wave—the city’s overlords have launched a brutal campaign to whip the city’s sinners into godliness. But for someone in York, whipping is not enough. First a prostitute and her client are found stabbed to death, then a pair of adulterers are beaten and strangled. York’s sinners have been targeted for execution.

Bridget and Martha—assisted once again by Will, Bridget’s good-hearted nephew—race to find the killer even as he adds more bodies to his tally. The list of suspects is long: Hezekiah Ward, a fire and brimstone preacher new to York; Ward’s son, Praise-God, whose intensity mirrors his father’s; John Stubb, one of Ward’s fanatic followers, whose taste for blood may not have been sated by his time in Parliament’s armies. Or could the killer be closer to home? Will’s brother Joseph is no stranger to death, and he shares the Wards’ dreams of driving sin from the city.

To find the killer, Bridget, Martha, and Will must uncover the city’s most secret sins, and hope against hope that the killer does not turn his attention in their direction.

Review:  The Harlot's Tale is probably my most anticipated book of the new year. It is a shame it had to come out in January. I read The Midwife's Tale last January and it was one of the best books I read in 2013.

Sam Thomas again creates a book that is both frightening in its subject matter and historically accurate. That's not surprising, considering the author's PhD in history with a concentration on Restoration England. That doesn't make the book bogged down with facts though. What it does is paint a picture of England in the time of Puritanical rule, which is not so pretty.

The Harlot's Tale is the second full book in the Midwife Mystery Series and fans of historical mysteries will love it just as much as the first. Bridget and Martha are strong characters. I find both smarted and more likable than any in more contemporary mysteries. There's also a novella you'll want to check out The Maidservant and the Murderer that falls between the two books.

The good thing about this book, though it is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone and you will enjoy it just as much.

I am so happy to be part of this tour and I can't wait for the next book in this series

Rating: 5 flowers


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