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.

wow

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.

fantastic

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.

Not-Good

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 Harlot’s Tale

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The Harlot’s Tale (A Midwife Mystery #2) by Sam Thomas

This is the sequel to the novel The Midwife’s Tale. I LOVED the first book. I thought it was absolutely fantastic and quickly devoured it. And I eagerly awaited the sequel…

Please!

This book takes place one year after the previous one. It is August of 1645, the civil war is over but not all is well. York is suffering tremendously from a horrible summer heat, one that threatens to destroy the crops and causes tempers to rise.

It's not fair.

Meanwhile, the city’s council have decided that with one war completed, another is to be waged, the war of men’s souls. They have allowed all types of “ministers” into the city, of which are eager to whip the sinful into godly. One area they seem the most focused on? Prostitution.

Gold Digger and Grave Digger

One such group  that has soldiered in to the area is Hezikiah Ward, his wife Deborah, daughter Silence, and son Praise God.

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Lady Bridget continues with her midwifery, with Martha her trusted friend and deputy assisting. Will, however, has found much sorrow at the War’s end. With his brother Joseph, the war hero, returned; their father has once again ignored and mistreated Will, because of his club foot, and instead turned over quite a number of his affairs to Joseph. This extremely disheartened Will and causes him to drink to excess.

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Including these, Joseph has become a crusader “for God”, as he has taken the duty of constable and delights in bringing in people to face charges of slander, prostitution, etc. Joseph is altogether rather unpleasant as his ruthlessness in battle has changed him to become even more ambitious and unempathetic.

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One  morning Bridget is awaken by her servant Hannah. Joseph has come for her as something has happened and she is needed right away by Edward.

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Bridget awakens Martha, much to Joseph’s chagrin and they all take off to answer the summons. They come to a small apartment, one of which the prostitutes would use for business.

suspicious Hmm

Edward brings Bridget in to look at the room and the bloodshed is enormous. Someone had killed and mutilated the bodies, rearranging the man and woman in a parody of copulation.

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Edward’s mission for them is to question the prostitutes in town. As a midwife, Bridget has had her dealings with them before, and they most certainly would not trust Edward, Joseph, or any other constable or official.

Bridget and Martha go over the crime scene and find two pieces of papers with scripture on them,  Numbers 25:8:

“And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.”

And Revelations 2:14

But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Upon even further examination, the two were killed similar to first bible verse. And to their horror, they discover that the prostitute killed was done so by the cutting of the femoral artery, and afterwards her privities were slashed and disfigured.

Horrible!!!!

Horrible!!!!

Bridget and Martha are on the case again…or are they? As a pamphlet with similar themes is passed around the city, Joseph concludes the author is the murderer and has him arrested.

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This doesn’t sit well with Bridget or Martha who find it strange that it would be so simple.

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When the murderer claims his innocence and is released from prison, Bridget, Martha, and Will decide to continue searching for the truth.

On the case!

On the case!

They see Helen Wright, owner of the tenement the dead bodies were found in, and while the exchange does not go as well as planned, they are given a lead to see Isabelle Dalton. She refers them to Barbara Rearsby, telling them she will send her their way if she finds her first.

As the three investigate more and more, it appears that in every spot the Wards and Joseph seem to be turning up again and again. Could one be a murderer?

Interesting

Interesting

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Thoughts After Reading:

**Spoiler Alert**

So I didn’t like this book as much as the first one. It wasn’t just the content of the hypocritical Christians, which have been done over and over again ; but it just seemed to be missing something.

Not-Good

I didn’t like the killing of Edward, although it was his own fault. For someone who reads the bible so much he clearly didn’t learn from the stories of Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, or Joseph & his 10 Brothers. Brotherly strife will not end well.

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I also didn’t like how obviously evil Joseph was in this. From the first time he was introduced you knew he was the bad guy.

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But let me say what a twist with the Wards. I never suspected the mother, props to you Sam, props to you.

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I also didn’t care for the ending with Joseph getting everything and Will nothing.

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Although I liked that he put Will & Martha together, glad he listened to my class’ suggestion.

Thank you, thank you!

Thank you, thank you!

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

For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Book of Madness and Cures

For more bible verses, go to Good, Clean, Murder

For more mystery reviews, go to Decked