16 August 2009

DEAD MARCH: A Civil War Mystery - Ann McMillan

From the back of the book: The opening salvo in a series that will delight mystery fans and Civil War buffs alike.
It's the spring of 1861 and the War Between the States is in its infancy. That's not to say Richmond, Virginia is free of vilent death, however, as two astute and courageous women soon discover. Narcissa Powers, a young white widow, and Judah Daniel, a free black herbalist and conjure woman, try to solve the murder of a young slave woman whose body was unearthed by graverobbers along with the mysterious silk scarf that casts suspicion on the circumstances of her death--and leads to more victims. As the War's casualties begin to pour into the city and the "Dead March" echoes through the Richmond streets, Narcissa and Judah, aided by an eager young British war correspondent, must risk their own lives to discover the killer--or killers--and to save the life of an innocent child.
I expected to enjoy reading this Civil War mystery, but I had no idea how much I'd look forward to the time I could spend with the characters. Narcissa is a strong-willed woman, not in a aggressive way, but in a well-mannered way. Southern women are to be cherished, but she is a widow and hasn't a place in the world until her sister-in-law, Mirrie, asks her to help her with running of the house so that Mirrie can assist her invalid father with his work. This gives Narcissa a purpose in life as well as the opportunity to investigate the cause of what she is sure is the murder of her brother.
Judah Daniel is cautious with her dealings with Narcissa, but they work well together as they can in the South during the time of the Civil War. I liked learning about the plants she chose for her medicines and what she grew in her garden. I enjoyed watching the relationship build between the two women.
This is a very well written mystery story and I was taken aback by the whodunnit. It made sense, but it was startling.
I am very glad that this is a series. I have the third in the series, CIVIL BLOOD, and I am looking for ANGEL TRUMPET, second in the series. Ideally I'll read the series in order. Keep your fingers crossed.
Five shivery Southern beans.....


Women's Silk Scarves said...
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Mary said...

I'll have to mention this series to my husband. He's a mystery fan and a reader of almost anything having to do with the Civil War. Nice review!

Vickie said...

Mary: Thank you! It's a wonderful book with strong female characters. The author did a lot of research and the whole book felt historically accurate. With a well done mystery.