The Midwife's Tale

A Mystery

The Midwife's Tale (Volume 1)

Sam Thomas

Minotaur Books

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In the tradition of Arianna Franklin and C. J. Sansom comes Samuel Thomas’s remarkable debut, The Midwife’s Tale

It is 1644, and Parliament’s armies have risen against the King and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebels’ hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion. One of Bridget’s friends, Esther Cooper, has been convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to be burnt alive. Convinced that her friend is innocent, Bridget sets out to find the real killer.

Bridget joins forces with Martha Hawkins, a servant who’s far more skilled with a knife than any respectable woman ought to be. To save Esther from the stake, they must dodge rebel artillery, confront a murderous figure from Martha’s past, and capture a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. The investigation takes Bridget and Martha from the homes of the city’s most powerful families to the alleyways of its poorest neighborhoods. As they delve into the life of Esther’s murdered husband, they discover that his ostentatious Puritanism hid a deeply sinister secret life, and that far too often tyranny and treason go hand in hand.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter 1
 

On the night I delivered Mercy Harris of a bastard child, the King’s soldiers burned the city’s suburbs and fell back within its walls to await the rebel assault.
It was evening when the Overseer of the Poor arrived to summon me to the birth and my servant, Hannah, ushered him into the parlor.
“Lady Hodgson,” he said when I joined him, “I am sorry to bother you on such a terrible day, but one of the parish’s maidservants is in travail with a bastard. The churchwardens have sent me for a midwife.

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Reviews

Praise for The Midwife's Tale

“A determined midwife must solve a murder to save a friend from a horrible end. . . . Historian Thomas’ fiction debut is packed with fascinating information about a midwife’s skills and life during the English civil war. The ingenious, fast-paced mystery is a bonus.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Everything rings true in historian Thomas’s superb first mystery. . . . Authentic details of life in 17th-century York complement the whodunit’s intelligently concealed clues.”—Publishers Weekly

“Thomas' York teems with filthy streets and bawdy wine-soaked revelries. But nothing is more drenched in bloody, breathing realism than Bridget's life, and career. . . . Thomas does an admirable job keeping all of these balls aloft. He concludes with a satisfying twist that few readers will see coming. But as pleasurable as his mystery is, the true thrill here is Thomas' lively portrait of 1644 York and his  unique heroine.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer


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About the Author

Sam Thomas

SAM THOMAS teaches history at University School, an independent boys' school outside Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in Shaker Heights with his wife and two sons. The Midwife's Tale is his first novel, and readers can expect a sequel in 2014.

Sam Thomas

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Midwife's Tale
A Mystery
Sam Thomas

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
January 2013
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250010766
ISBN10: 1250010764
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages, Includes one black-and-white map
$24.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
December 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250038340
ISBN10: 1250038340
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages, Includes one black-and-white map
$14.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
January 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250010773
ISBN10: 1250010772
256 pages
$9.99
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Minotaur Books

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