The Witch Hunter’s Tale

WitchHuntertale

The Witch Hunter’s Tale (A Midwife Mystery #3) by Sam Thomas

Thoughts Before Reading:

With Halloween coming, I decided that I needed to review a spooky story. I thought The Witch Hunter’s Tale would be just the perfect thing.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

So in the last book we saw that there was a lot of upheaval in the city. The parliament men were trying to “reform” the city, Edward was killed, Joseph had become a maniacal tyrant trying to bring his “justice”, and Bridget adopted a murdered prostitute’s daughter, Elizabeth.

Whoa

So many know of the Salem witch hunts, but what most don’t know was that there was a worse event involving witch hunts that occurred in England.

wow

That such time has come now with the cry for witch’s blood and murder abounding in the city.

angrymob

Life is hard this winter as the war between the King and Parliament, coupled with an excruciating summer has brought poverty abounding through the streets. In such desperate times it is easy to blame the misfortune on scapegoats; one easy prey being older ladies who are “witches”.

witch

For a woman who once spent her time alone with her servant Hannah and busy with her clients; her family has increasingly grown. She has her assistant midwife-in-training, Martha; nephew Will, who was cheated out of his inheritance by his brother Joseph; Elizabeth; and Tree, the orphan who resides at the jailhouse.

fantastic

As a midwife, one of the charges besides birthing babies is to search for signs of witchcraft on those accused.

witch-mark2

She is luckily saved when someone is announced as having a baby, passing her duty on to Rebecca Hooke, her arch nemesis.

thatwasclose

And to make things worse; the person in charge of the witch hunts is none other than Joseph, the evil brother.

luke-noooo-o

Martha and Bridget go to see Hester, the accused witch, to figure out why Rebecca and Joseph are teaming up to put her away, but they discover very little. Just more questions.

questionsspeculatingwaiting

The next day, Martha and Bridget sit in on a private meeting of the aldermen, hoping to figure out what their motive are and find a way to stop the two from taking over the city.

Its-Not-Going-to-Happen-Mean-Girls

The two present a very charismatic argument to why they must rise up and stop the threat of witches in the city. Much to our groups’ chagrin, they appear to hold the city in the palm of their hands.

thisisbad

George Breary is trying to help them stop Joseph and Rebecca and asks Bridget to marry him in order to not only protect her, but pull their resoucres. Bridget goes home to think about it, but George is murdered before she can give an answer.

coincidenceithinknot

To make things even steeper, Joseph and Rebecca have arrested over two dozen “witches”, and housed them in the jail.

Not-Good

Soon Bridget’s house and she are threatened, with her running out of time and protection.

luke-noooo-o

She finds herself doing something she never would expect, teaming up with one she hates in order to destroy Joseph.

justice

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

This was extremely suspenseful and a real page turner.

don'tneedsleepneedanswers

The only thing was that it had some real painful moments and the ending is not what I wanted.

feelspain

You better fix it Thomas!!!! I want those two together!!!

From my sister blog: janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

From my sister blog: janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more Midwife Mysteries, go to The Harlot’s Tale

For more on witches, go to At the Corner of King Street

For more historical fiction, go to The Winter People

For more mystery reviews, go to Catering to Nobody

The Midwife’s Tale

midwife'stale

The Midwife’s Tale (A Midwife Mystery #1) by Sam Thomas

Thoughts Before Reading:

I actually read this for a history class…

YayHappy-Success-GIF

I know, sweet right! It was a history of the novel class so we read novels and historical fiction novels throughout time.

ReadTimeandPlaceforBooksMyhandnow

It was a fantastic class. Anyways, the professor knew the author of this book, so not only did we get to read a mystery, my favorite, but we were able to skype him and ask him questions about the book and make suggestions. Such as two characters getting together.

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Book Synopsis:

Lady Bridget Hodgson, lives in 17th century. She married her true love, but when he died; she remarried a wealthy man, got a title, and also an okay marriage as her husband believed himself to be smarter than he is.

Icannotstandmorons_Laura

She has had a lot of tragedy in her life as her son was a stillborn baby, her daughter became ill and died; and her husband followed them.

poutsad

When she lost her daughter, her mother-in-law taught her midwifery; something she continues to do as a widow; earning additional money, respect, and power in her city of York.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

So currently in time the country is facing a Civil War between Parliament and the King. York is in the middle of it all, with Parliament laying siege to the city.

Stop this stupid love triangle!

However, a young maid, Martha, has managed to slip through the lines. She has come from Lady Bridget’s deceased cousin to see about a job. Lady Bridget hires her and finds her to be extremely gifted in dealing with purchases from stalls to assisting her clients giving birth.

fantastic

However, Lady Bridget’s life changes when two mysteries are thrust upon her. The first being the killing of a young baby. Lady Bridget setting out to discover which mother or father did the dead.

justice

And the more shocking crime, her friend Esther Cooper has been arrested for the murder of her husband.

thenannygasp

Lady Bridget is shocked that they would ever think the demure Esther capable of killing. She sets off to prove her innocence, aided by Martha who contain skills needed in this service that go beyond simple maidly duties.

suspicious Hmm

As they set out for the truth they find themselves setting out on a path riddled with danger: from soldiers, the Parliament’s artillery, a villain from Martha’s past, Lady Bridget’s nemesis, etc.

urkelgif interesting hmm

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

Thoughts After Reading:

Lately there has been an increase in historical fiction mysteries, especially those in which the main character accidentally finds themselves involved a case and uses their amateur sleuthing skills to solve the puzzle that was presented to them. Unlike many authors who’s reasoning’s for how their character manages to maneuver through all parts of society, Sam Thomas is able to realistically portray his character as a successful private investigator through the combination of her station and employment.

gotthis

As Lady Bridget Hodgson is a member of nobility, it gives her certain protections that others would not have; namely it is harder to kill her, she has to be treated with respect by those below her (and on the same plane), she cannot be as easily ignored or thrust aside, etc. These benefits enable her to not only approach those in the upper class regarding her investigation, but also protect her when she ventures into the lower regions.

You_know_thats_right

Her midwifery duties also give her credibility as an investigator as she is able to question and gossip with women of all classes; which all her to be privy to all types of scandalous (and helpful) information that would not be shared with just anyone. Information gathered this way creates a realistic pathway for the author to express key clues without having his main character appear too all knowing or unbelievable. This occupation also grants Lady Hodgson the talent to read people; therefore being a more effective detective as her midwifery enables her to distinguish a lie from the truth.

“Esther was telling the truth.’

‘How do you know?’

‘Unmarried mothers will often lie to me about the father of their bastards, so I know a lie when I hear one.” pg. 96

youcan'thandlethiscarygranttocatchathief

Being a midwife does not only grant her many friends, but also give her the leverage she needs to blackmail people into granting her requests. Her knowledge of extra-marital affairs, allows her to get her way.

don'tmesswithme

However, even though these qualities allow Lady Hodgson to be able to be an extremely effective detective; Thomas does not gloss over the fact that being a woman in 17th Century England, even a noblewoman, does have limitations. As most women were not educated the same way as men; Thomas uses Lady Hodgson’s first marriage as way that she could be able to live on her own and take care of her accounts. Her first husband had taught her how to run the land and how to treat the tenants; allowing her to be able to understand and know how to take care of his and her second’s husband’s land after they both pass on. However, she is still treated with disdain by many because she is a woman trying to do more than her sex allows. This opinion is expressed by many characters throughout the novel; all seeing her as weak, fragile, simple, or meddlesome.

Sorry but I don't think so.

Sorry but I don’t think so.

The mystery was also extremely well written as it has quite a few twists and turns, leading you on onto you come to the conclusion.

fantastic

The characters were all written extremely well that are all enjoyable; whether you love them or love to hate them.

this is going to be good

I loved it and give it five out of five stars!

Read it today!

Read it today!

bannerbooks-border-black-and-white

For more historical fiction, go to A Change of Fortune

For more murdered husbands, go to A is for Alibi