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Brothers of Cain Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 2002

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; Reprint edition (Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425186385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425186381
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,933,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on 23 Sept. 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was a sad disappointment for me. I was a big fan of the earlier books, but Ms Monfredo is losing me by concentrating on the Lara Croft-like Bronwyn, and the patently boring Kathryn. She also assumes her readers have intimate knowledge of Virginia geography and individual American Civil War battles, which is a change from her earlier books. In those, the reader was taught about events without realizing they were being taught, however, in Sisters of Cain and Brothers of Cain, you must either already be a Civil War historian, or resign yourself to being completely bored. The fact that the "mystery" is carried over from book to book, without a satisfying resolution, is also a change from the earlier books. Ms Monfredo, please bring back the enthralling trio of Glynis, Jacques and Cullen!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f44f330) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f472eac) out of 5 stars Bring Back Glynis 22 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read all of Monfredo's book. In my opinion, the best ones focused on Glynis and Seneca Falls although Glynis' trip to the south was an excellent view of plantation life from a northern woman's point of view.
I guess I haven't reviewed Brothers of Cain, though. It's hard because I can't help comparing these later books with Blackwater Spirits and Northstar Conspiracy. I'd like to see Monfredo background the nieces and get back to her original characters, who were much, much more believable and even more likable.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f474270) out of 5 stars historical mystery that is very exciting 5 Sept. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In 1862, the War Between the States turns ugly as members of the same family may be fighting on different sides. This is not the case for the Llyr family who is staunchly pro-union. Kathryn is a nurse in the Volunteer Sanitary Commission, giving aid to anyone who is wounded. Her sister Bronwyn is an espionage agent working for the Treasury Department. They are both watching the wounded depart when a union private tells them that the Confederacy captured their brother Seth.

Bronwyn is determined to free her brother before they can connect him to her and hang him as a spy. Their superiors, including President Lincoln, recognize her determination and will let her try to free her brother while she completes her real assignment in Richmond where her brother is being kept. She has to somehow get the tobacco the English and French paid for out of confederate hands and into the buyers. This is needed so that the two European nations will think twice before enlisting on the side of the Confederacy. Spies, double agents, and treachery surround Bronwyn as she tries to do her jobs while keeping her skin intact.

Civil War buffs and fans of historical mysteries will not want to miss BROTHERS OF CAIN, a novel that stirs both the blood and the intellect. It's obvious that Miriam Grace Monfredo has done meticulous research in order to give a realistic depiction of this phase of the war. Readers will believe they are part of the action in this historical espionage thriller.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f4740c0) out of 5 stars A fast paced thriller chocked full of historical detail 4 Oct. 2002
By Siobhan Noble - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second installment in Monfredo's 'Cain' series which focuses on heroine Bronwyn Llyr and the Civil War. This was a great fast-paced thriller, chocked full of historical detail as are all of Monfredos books. It would be helpful to have read the first book, but it is not entirely necessary. The historical quotes at the beginning of each chapter were fascinating and added another level of depth to the book. I enjoyed the subplots going on within Bronwyn's family-- including the budding romance between Bronwyn's sister and Dr. Travis, Bronwyn's brother's experiences as a prisoner of war Libby Prison, as well as the sad goodbye Bronwyn's Aunt Glynis must say to her longtime 'friend' Cullen Stuart. I was surprised to see a kinder and gentler agent O'Hara in the second installment, as I thought his unabashed male-chauvinism served merely as a foil to the liberated Bronwyn in the first novel. He was back, and provided some comic relief as well as a point of tension for Bronwyn who is unsure of his trustworthiness.
I am always happy to find that Monfredo has continued to focus on women's experiences of history. Feminists will probably particularly enjoy this novel, but it should bequite accessible and enjoyable to a wider audience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f474630) out of 5 stars Bronwen's mission: untie a double knot or lose all 7 Aug. 2013
By Mark J. Heinicke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not far from the central action of this espionage novel is the frequent rumble of cannon, a continuing reminder of the doomed Peninsula Campaign of 1862, wherein Union general George McClellan's attempt to take Richmond was repulsed by the wiles and boldness of Robert E. Lee. Within this blood-drenched framework, however, a different sort of wiles and boldness, together with a dash of sprightliness, emerge in the person of U.S. Treasury agent Bronwen Llyr, zig-zagging through, around, and behind battlefields and encampments of both sides to penetrate to the heart of the South's capital in the service of both country and family.

Which comes first, country or family, presents in miniature the moral dilemma faced in large by many of the Civil War's participants, an emotional crucible just one degree short of the stress of actual combat. As reflected in the book's title, the phenomenon of brother against brother, countryman against countryman, was common to a grim degree, in this as in most civil wars.

In Richmond, Bronwen Llyr is faced with two puzzles: how to free her imprisoned brother, who has been sentenced to execution, and how to free millions of dollars worth of tobacco, that has been sentenced to probable immolation. Her brother Seth is to be executed, unjustly, on charges of espionage--a contrivance designed by Confederate intelligence to smoke out Bronwen, who is the *real* spy. Why Llyr would want to spring her brother is obvious. But why free the tobacco? The answer involves a far more intricate puzzle hatched by none other than President Lincoln, the solution to which promises to appease the French, who are highly displeased with Union blockades that keep Richmond's hoard of tobacco out of their hands. The French must contemplate a permanent loss, since there's a Confederate zealot designing to burn the tobacco in a "holy cause" (the man's actual historical words) to prevent the betrayal of the South to foreigners, such as the French, "whose governments refused to recognize us."

As our indefatigable spy tackles these challenges, the two puzzles become interlocked in a way that demands all her quick-wittedness to resolve. In the process, disguise, deceit, double-dealing, and derring-do all come into play, as befits a tale of espionage with many moving pieces. The most intriguing aspect is the dance of deviousness between Llyr and an urbane Englishman, whose guile and treacherousness have been on display in earlier Monfredo novels. You will not be disappointed with the level of machinations that lead to the denouement.

Nor should you be disappointed in the supporting cast, in particular two slyly adroit characters met in the previous novel, *Sisters of Caine*, whose proclivity toward the unexpected is turned to advantage in several situations where the expected would be disastrous.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f474768) out of 5 stars A must for the Civil War savvy... 1 July 2001
By Kimberly Largent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Brothers of Cain, coined a "history-mystery," is set among the American Civil War. Author Miriam Grace Monfredo stayed true to the actual events of the war while placing several fictional characters among the strife: namely the Llyr siblings. Brother Seth, an officer in the Union army, and his two sisters Bronwen and Kathryn.
In spring of '62, after awakening in a muddied ditch on a Virginia battlefield littered with dead blue- and grey-uniformed men, Seth, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Union army is captured by Confederates. His sisters Kathryn, a Civil War nurse, and Bronwen, a Union Treasury agent, by a twist of fate learn of his capture. Come hell or high water, Bronwen is determined to free him before the Confederacy learns that Seth is the brother of a Union spy. With the help of Abraham Lincoln, Bronwen sets her cap for Richmond on a two-fold mission: free up some of the tobacco stored in Richmond warehouses to pacify Britain and France, tobacco that's stuck in Richmond due to the Union blockade; and free her brother from Libby Prison.
Bronwen makes her way through the Confederacy, always one step away from being recognized or discovered by Southern agents. During her journey through the South, she meets many historical and fictional figures who assist her efforts. But will she make it to her brother's rescue prior to the hangman's noose being fitted around his neck?
Monfredo's style of writing captures the essence of a period when the nation was at war with itself. Her descriptive pace flows with ease, each action clearly visible, purposeful. The characters, although fictitious, come to life through each action of bravery, each perception of the war, and through the digestion of the death and destruction the war leaves in its path. Monfredo easily brings to the conscience of the reader the harsh realities of war-we can hear the cannonfire, smell the stench of the dead lying among the battlefields, see the pain and suffering of those dying in the field hospitals, and we can feel the excitement and fear that courses through Bronwen as she continually looks over her shoulder during her mission and wonders whom she can trust...
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