Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Midwife's Tale: A Mystery Paperback

I've finished "The Midwife's Tale" by Samuel Thomas.

In the tradition of Arianna Franklin and C. J. Sansom comes Samuel Thomas’s remarkable debut, The Midwife’s Tale

It is 1644, and Parliament’s armies have risen against the King and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebels’ hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion. One of Bridget’s friends, Esther Cooper, has been convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to be burnt alive. Convinced that her friend is innocent, Bridget sets out to find the real killer.

Bridget joins forces with Martha Hawkins, a servant who’s far more skilled with a knife than any respectable woman ought to be. To save Esther from the stake, they must dodge rebel artillery, confront a murderous figure from Martha’s past, and capture a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. The investigation takes Bridget and Martha from the homes of the city’s most powerful families to the alleyways of its poorest neighborhoods. As they delve into the life of Esther’s murdered husband, they discover that his ostentatious Puritanism hid a deeply sinister secret life, and that far too often tyranny and treason go hand in hand.


Sam Thomas teaches history at University School, an independent K-12 school outside Cleveland, Ohio. He has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, and the British Academy, and published on topics ranging from early modern midwifery to girls' education in colonial Kenya. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

Product Details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (December 10, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250038340
ISBN-13: 978-1250038340

My Review:

Bridget Hodgson is a midwife in 1644 when the Parliament’s armies have rebelled against the King and lay siege of York.  When one of Bridget's friend Esther Cooper is accused of killing her husband and sentenced to burn at the stake she joins forces with her servant Martha.

Martha is quite skilled with the knife then most woman are especially around that time. To prove that Esther is innocent they have to avoid the rebels, must face a dangerous man from Martha's past and to capture a deadly killer in their midst.

I thought the author caught the sights, smells and the layout perfectly according to that time with great detail.


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