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Thoreau at Devil's Perch (A Henry David…
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Thoreau at Devil's Perch (A Henry David Thoreau Historical Mystery)

by B. B. Oak

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Very unique and endearing, this is a crime mystery novel set in the 1850s starring Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet and practical philosopher. The main characters are a pair of cousins, Julia and Adam, who are in love with each other but are deathly afraid of the consequences a match such as theirs might have on possible offspring. Chapters are written from both Julia's and Adam's perspectives, alternating throughout, as their personal journal entries. The setting is a sleepy New England town called Plumford, not far from Boston. Adam happens upon the body of a mysterious young black man, who appears to have been murdered and then thrown from a cliff called Devil's Perch. Henry Thoreau also happens along, and the two begin to work together to disprove the town officials' opinion that this was an accidental death and to unravel the mystery of who dunnit. Of course, this murder is only the beginning of the crimes to be sleuthed as this novel unfurls. There are many twists and turns and surprises all along the way in this clever tale of small town folks whose lives are interwoven and whose secrets abound. I would suggest this book for anyone who enjoys a good mystery and especially for fans of Henry David Thoreau and his naturalist views.

I received a copy of this book free through Library Thing Member Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  goode2shews | Sep 11, 2014 |
I received "Thoreau At Devil's Perch" as a Member Giveaway book from LibraryThing, which delighted me. B.B. Oak (Beth and Ben Oak) make an awesome writing team! I enjoyed every minute of this story. It's a historical fiction story full of mystery with fun, interesting characters. I found myself attached to the open-minded characters in the book-- Henry David Thoreau, Julia, Adam... The writing based in these classic times was very fitting, in my opinion. I also enjoyed being given insight here and there into the type of person Thoreau was. Wonderfully written and highly entertaining. I recommend this book.

I also appreciate the opportunity I was given to win and read it! ( )
  Luna.Falena | Dec 19, 2013 |
THOREAU AT DEVIL'S PERCH has everything I like in a historical mystery - a dense, twisty plot, noble and nasty characters, a time-travel high adventure. There's also an undercurrent of spirituality running through the story, a sense of mystery beyond the murder mystery.

Don't know all that much about Henry David Thoreau but in this book he's a crime-solver who cannot tolerate hypocrisy or injustice and is always looking out for the underdog. He is determined to find the murderer of a black youth and save an Indian from being hanged for another murder.

My favorite character is Julia, however. She's pure-hearted, high-spirited and fearless in the tradition of 19th century heroines. Also, she's hopelessly in love with her cousin, a doctor. She can't marry him because of a rather dark and Gothic element in their family history.

The story takes place around the same time as Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club and also has some pretty macabre details. Yet Devil's Perch seemed warmer and more uplifting to me. I enjoyed it tremendously. ( )
  Lily999 | Dec 6, 2013 |
An entertaining historical mystery featuring one of my favorite naturalists, Henry David Thoreau, during his time at Walden Pond.

This mystery is written in two hands and by two hands; the author B.B. Oak is really writing team Beth and Ben Oak. The story flows between the journals of first cousins Julia and Adam . The adventure begins when Henry Thoreau finds the body of a deceased man at the base of Devil's perch and asks Adam, a doctor, for help. Both Thoreau and Adam believe the deceased to be a victim of murder, but since the deceased is also a black man, the jury of townsfolk decide not to look at the evidence Thoreau, Julia and Adam gather and rule his death an accident. All three decide to look further into the incident and uncover a series of unusual plots within their small town of Plumford.

I relished in the mystery of the town of Plumford and delighted in the character Henry David Thoreau was given. There were some side stories of hypnotism and reincarnated lives that I hope continue into the next books; however, the romantic notions between Adam and Julia were a little too much for me. Overall, an enjoyable historical mystery; I will look forward to more in the series!

This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Mishker | Nov 16, 2013 |
I loved it! It reminded me of the old English mysteries I used to read. I can't wait to read more. ( )
  croknot1 | Nov 15, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758290233, Paperback)

The lush, overgrown banks of Massachusetts' Assabet River are the ideal place for Dr. Adam Walker to find coveted medicinal plants for his remedies. But on one balmy August morning he finds something very different. A stranger, identifying himself as Henry David Thoreau of nearby Walden Pond, approaches and entreats Adam to accompany him upriver. He has discovered the body of a young black man at the base of the cliff known as Devil's Perch. As they examine the broken corpse and the surrounding scene, both men become convinced that the unfortunate victim was dead long before he fell. Yet the coroner's jury insists otherwise, dismissing the matter as an accident. Angered by the injustice, Adam and his lovely cousin Julia Bell agree to assist Thoreau in investigating. Adam notes in his new friend all the makings of a great detective an encyclopaedic knowledge of the natural world, uncanny observational skills, a sharp instinct for detecting human foibles. As the case progresses, the mysteries only deepen and there is no mistaking the brutal slaying of a womanizing army captain as anything other than the coldest murder. Journeying from their tranquil village to Boston's most disreputable district, they gradually uncover the monstrous truth even while a vicious killer prepares to end their inquiry for good.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:07 -0400)

"Henry David Thoreau leaves the seclusion of Walden Pond to help investigate a series of murders in the first in B. B. Oak's fascinating new historical mystery series, set against the bucolic backdrop of 19th century New England."--Cover p.[4]

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