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5.0 out of 5 stars This historical novel made the period come alive for me.
This novel is full of quirky charcaters, wonderful descriptions, and a plot that should keep even those not usually interested in this genre hooked until the end.
Published on 7 Feb 1998

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3.0 out of 5 stars MORE HISTORY THAN MYSTERY...
As I am fond of the historical fiction genre and also enjoy mysteries, I was intrigued by the premise of this book. The events take place in 1763 in the small village of Bracebridge, located in the colony of Massachussetts. Charlotte Willett is a young widow who resides within the confines of the village. Her keen intelligence and her penchant for getting to the bottom of...
Published on 19 Mar 2008 by Lawyeraau


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3.0 out of 5 stars MORE HISTORY THAN MYSTERY..., 19 Mar 2008
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Wicked Way to Burn (Mass Market Paperback)
As I am fond of the historical fiction genre and also enjoy mysteries, I was intrigued by the premise of this book. The events take place in 1763 in the small village of Bracebridge, located in the colony of Massachussetts. Charlotte Willett is a young widow who resides within the confines of the village. Her keen intelligence and her penchant for getting to the bottom of things make her a natural sleuth. When a traveling merchant appears to have been a victim of spontaneous combustion, disappearing without a trace, her curiosity is peaked, and she is determined to get to the bottom of the matter.

Of course, as this is colonial America, the actions and rights of women are circumscribed by the mores and custom of the times. So, Charlotte has to rely on some of her male friends for assistance in overcoming some of the restrictions governing her actions. In this, she has a willing accomplice in her neighbor and friend, Richard Longfellow, a gentleman landowner and an amateur scientist.

The characters in the book are well-fleshed, and Charlotte Willett is an especially engaging one. Although the book was a Mystery Guild Signature Selection, however, I did not find the mystery itself to be all that interesting. The strength of the book lies more in the historical fiction aspect, as the author captures the flavor of early colonial America, making it a somewhat interesting read for those who are fans of the genre.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Caught in the cocoa!, 20 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Wicked Way to Burn (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm reading this book now, and find it lively and interesting. Unfortunately, I found a factual error in it. The author has a character preparing cocoa for a guest. Cocoa powder, as we know it, didn't exist before the nineteenth century. Too bad, since Ms. Miles did a fair amount of research on 18th century food, that she didn't have someone who knew their stuff in that area check her manuscript.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This historical novel made the period come alive for me., 7 Feb 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Wicked Way to Burn (Mass Market Paperback)
This novel is full of quirky charcaters, wonderful descriptions, and a plot that should keep even those not usually interested in this genre hooked until the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great mystery set within an epic historical storyline, 15 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Wicked Way to Burn (Mass Market Paperback)
In 1763, with the French and Indian War finally over, the New England Colonies have become a thriving place to make a living. In the small village of Braceville, just west of Boston, the prosperous good times have helped the residents to flourish. However, the peace and tranquillity is destroyed when a visiting rich merchant suddenly bursts into flames and vanishes into thin air.
Most of the townsfolk feel that witchcraft caused the seemingly spontaneous combustion. However, the widow Charlotte Willett (owner of a nearby farm) and her erudite and quaint neighbor Richard Longfellow think that either murder or a gigantic hoax has occurred. When more deaths follow, the town is held in the grip of mass fear and hysteria while the intrepid duo tries to uncover a more secular cause or what is happening to the town.
Historical who-done-it fans and Colonial era readers will relish Margaret Lawrence's latest mystery, A WICKED WAY TO BURN. Ms. Lawrence brilliantly paints the prosperous New England lifestyle that followed the end of the hostilities with France while placing an intriguing mystery inside of that era. Charlotte and Richard are eccentric protagonists whose adventures readers will enjoy as the pair turns this terrific tale into a wonderful reading experience.
Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great mystery set within an epic historical storyline, 15 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Wicked Way to Burn (Mass Market Paperback)
In 1763, with the French and Indian War finally over, the New England Colonies have become a thriving place to make a living. In the small village of Braceville, just west of Boston, the prosperous good times have helped the residents to flourish. However, the peace and tranquillity is destroyed when a visiting rich merchant suddenly bursts into flames and vanishes into thin air.
Most of the townsfolk feel that witchcraft caused the seemingly spontaneous combustion. However, the widow Charlotte Willett (owner of a nearby farm) and her erudite and quaint neighbor Richard Longfellow think that either murder or a gigantic hoax has occurred. When more deaths follow, the town is held in the grip of mass fear and hysteria while the intrepid duo tries to uncover a more secular cause or what is happening to the town.
Historical who-done-it fans and Colonial era readers will relish Margaret Lawrence's latest mystery, A WICKED WAY TO BURN. Ms. Lawrence brilliantly paints the prosperous New England lifestyle that followed the end of the hostilities with France while placing an intriguing mystery inside of that era. Charlotte and Richard are eccentric protagonists whose adventures readers will enjoy as the pair turns this terrific tale into a wonderful reading experience.
Harriet Klausner
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A Wicked Way to Burn
A Wicked Way to Burn by Margaret Miles (Mass Market Paperback - Mar 1998)
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