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.

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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.

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

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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”.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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Thoughts After Reading:

This was extremely suspenseful and a real page turner.

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

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

From my sister blog: janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

From my sister blog: janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

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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 Barter

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Thoughts Before Reading:

The Barter, by Siobhan Babcock, is a paranormal story, with a spirit bridging the distance between the early twentieth century and modern times. In 1902, Rebecca has grown up without a mother, as she died in childbirth. She has lived well as the daughter of a doctor, and while cared for still hasn’t matured emotionally to being a grown woman. When she agrees to marry her childhood friend, she does not quite understand what will be expected of her as a farmer, wife, and mother.

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In modern times, Bridget is under a lot of stress trying to figure out who she is. Once an ambitious lawyer working up the success ladder, when she became pregnant, she traded in briefs and long working hours for motherhood.

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She loves her daughter and spending time with her, but finds it hard trying to settle in her new dynamic as no longer bringing in money but relying on husband for financial support. She also has trouble befriending the other moms in her neighborhood, as she feels inadequate in their experience of child-rearing, crafting, and other mom-ly traits. To make matters worse, her home seems to be the resting place of a ghost that only she and her baby can see.

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AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! I’M GETTING OUT OF THIS HOUSE!!!!

As Bridget tries to find her place in her new role, she also attempting to discover what the ghost is after.

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Thoughts After Reading:

While this book packages itself as a supernatural mystery, it actually is more of social commentary, discussing the duality women feel who find fulfillment in working outside and inside the home; and the issues they face from moving from one plane to another. What is interesting about this novel is that it doesn’t show one better than the other, but is instead trying to bring to light the difficulties women have.

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And EVERYTHING!!!!! Except my baby

Rebecca’s storyline was harder to become involved in than Bridget’s. Rebecca, unlike Bridget, has no idea as to what she wants. While Bridget wants to stay at home caring for her baby she loves, but finds herself unfulfilled as she misses factions of her old life but doesn’t want to give up her new life. Rebecca on the other hand is immature and while initially excited at the idea of “love” and a “relationship”, finds herself not ready for the commitments asked by her husband. While she insists she doesn’t love him, she still desires him and goes back and forth between “only loving him like a brother” and using his body to fulfill her sexual needs. This split of spirit makes Rebecca hard to connect to and very unenjoyable.

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It doesn’t work

I would give this book three out of five stars as I enjoyed the way they presented Bridget’s character and issues in discovering who she is and wants to be, amid what culture, society, her friends, and her family are pressuring her to be. However, the Rebecca storyline was lacking and there was no real mystery in the text.

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For more supernatural mysteries, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged) 

For more mysteries featuring a stay at home mom, go to Grime and Punishment

For more not in a series mysteries, go to The Missing Mah Jong Player

For more mystery reviews, go to Thorns of Rosewood