This wonderful and touching mystery gives wonderful insight into life before the Civil War in various parts of the United States. The characters are extremely well drawn--the reader develops real concern and care for them--and seem very representative of the times. This would be a challenging time period to write about and Monfredo does it with compassion. An excellent series best read in order but don't let that stop you from reading any of them. I can't wait for the next one.
Monfredo's compassionate touch and diligent research bring the painful conflict over the Fugitive Slave Laws and the struggle for women's rights alive -- while not skimping the more traditional tensions of love interests and the sleuth's search for the criminals. The story ranges from New York down to Richmond, faithful to the geography and politics of both, and never neglecting character development or the drama of human interaction in this tale of kidnapping, concubinage, and murder. Not only would I recommend this to any adult mystery fan, I'd commend it to mature high school students who are looking for insight in what it was like to live when it was a crime to be a slave or to help one in the "free" states of the North.
If you haven't yet been introduced to Monfredo's Glynis Tryon series, you must--I repeat, *must*--read this author. The only way I can think to describe this series to the uninitiated is Sue-Grafton-meets-Caleb-Carr. Monfredo mixes history with compelling, suspenseful writing. Plus, she's created a heckuva love triangle. Intrigued yet? You should be!