Church instills this captivating story with the fascinating resentments of the post-Civil War Midwest, where former Confederates hide their identities, especially as many Wanee residents fought in the war themselves. The continued hatred is only heightened by the desperation for clean water and the public’s dark sentiment for residents of Railtown, a nearby shantytown. Cora braves upsetting this volatile mix in the interest of justice. Though Sebastian is implicated in the murder, Cora, a character it’s pleasurable to cheer for, resolutely defends him, while trying to solve the murder, regardless of the danger to herself.
Though the cast of characters is somewhat extensive and may lead to confusion, the author develops the primary characters sufficiently to allow readers to differentiate between them. And despite the fact that the setting for the mystery is almost 150 years in the past, Church’s depiction of mob mentality and American fractures remains resonant.
Takeaway: Captivating post-Civil War mystery in a small Midwest town.
Comparable Titles: Gina Danna’s The Key to the South, Monica Barrie’s Alana: An Epic Post Civil War American Historical Romance.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A