The Midwife’s Tale

Sam Thomas. Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-01076-6
Everything rings true in historian Thomas’s superb first mystery, set in 1644 during the English civil war. While antimonarchist rebels lay siege to York, midwife Bridget Hodgson ventures to a city parish not her own to help deliver a bastard child about to be born to a maidservant “perhaps twenty-three years old and no great beauty,” who refuses to divulge the name of the father. Bridget faces a quandary because she can’t legally attend a labor unless she can identify the father, to spare the city having to support the child. Bridget later faces a greater crisis when her dear friend, Esther Cooper, is accused of fatally poisoning her husband, a crime defined as treason. To gain time to investigate, Bridget avers that Esther is pregnant in order to defer the date of execution until she comes to term. Authentic details of life in 17th-century York complement the whodunit’s intelligently concealed clues. Agent: Josh Getzler, Hannigan Salky Getzler. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 01/08/2013
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FORMATS
Paperback - 325 pages - 978-1-250-03834-0
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-250-01077-3
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