Friday, August 31, 2012

Cover Her Body-Eleanor Sullivan

Cover Her Body

Eleanor Sullivan

Yesteryear Press/Wyatt-MacKenzie, Oct 1 2011, $14.99

ISBN: 9781936214556

In 1833 in devout Zoar, Ohio, midwife Adelaide Bechtmann heads to the nearby river seeking peace. Instead she finds sixteen year old Johanna Appelgate dead in the river. Horrified Adelaide pulls the teen’s body from the river, but realizes the floater did not die from drowning as her lungs lacked water.

The Separatists elders reject Adelaide’s contention of a murder as the leaders conveniently insists accidental death. Shocked by their reaction, Adelaide takes a harder blow to her gut when her husband Benjamin warns her to back off. Needing to know the truth as she fears a remedy she gave to the pregnant young woman might have killed her, Adelaide ignores the elders and her husband to investigate the wrongful death.

This is a superb nineteenth century amateur sleuth mystery that brings to life the rigid Separatist community that expects full adherence to the edicts. Adelaide is a superb protagonist as her conscience to learn the truth battles with her desire to adhere to the sect’s rules; in some ways her inquiry turns this refreshing Americana into a coming of age tale.

Harriet Klausner

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