Because I Could Not Stop for Death
Emily Dickinson and her housemaid, Willa Noble, realize there is nothing poetic about murder in this first book in an all-new series from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Amanda Flower.
January 1855 Willa Noble knew it was bad luck when it was pouring rain on the day of her ever-important job interview at the Dickinson home in Amherst, Massachusetts. When she arrived late, disheveled with her skirts sodden and filthy, she'd lost all hope of being hired for the position. As the housekeeper politely told her they'd be in touch, Willa started toward the door of the stately home only to be called back by the soft but strong voice of Emily Dickinson. What begins as tenuous employment turns to friendship as the reclusive poet takes Willa under her wing.
Tragedy soon strikes and Willa's beloved brother, Henry, is killed in a tragic accident at the town stables. With no other family and nowhere else to turn, Willa tells Emily about her brother’s death and why she believes it was no accident. Willa is convinced it was murder. Henry had been very secretive of late, only hinting to Willa that he'd found a way to earn money to take care of them both. Viewing it first as a puzzle to piece together, Emily offers to help, only to realize that she and Willa are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse that reveals corruption in Amherst that is generations deep. Some very high-powered people will stop at nothing to keep their profitable secrets even if that means forever silencing Willa and her new mistress....
Emily Dickinson plays sleuth in this sprightly series launch from Flower (the Magical Bookshop mysteries). One night in 1855, Henry Noble, a stable hand with a tendency to get into trouble, tells his sister, Willa, a shy, insecure maid who's just been hired to work for the Dickinsons, a well-to-do family in Amherst, Mass., that he's about to make enough money to change both their lives—but he won't tell her how until this coming Sunday. When Henry dies in a seeming accident at the town stable before Sunday, 25-year-old Emily, moved by Willa's grief, insists that she and Willa launch their own investigation, starting with the stable. Courageous and intelligent, Emily asks uncomfortable questions of those with money and power, not just in Amherst but in Washington, D.C., a trip that the Dickinson family actually made by train in 1855. This mystery works best when it delves into the complexities of the Dickinson family, particular its depiction of Emily's cold father, Congressman Edward Dickinson, and her controlling sister, Lavinia. This is a good start to what could be a rich historical series.
Because I Could Not Stop for Death
I found this book by Amanda Flower to be very good! I loved the characters, especially Emily and Willa, and their friendship. It was a great mystery, and a glimpse of history. I wholly recommend it, and hope there will be many more in this series!
Regret paying for this...
Emily Dickinson is the "Sherlock" of this mystery with "Watson," a housemaid, being the central and, sadly, more interesting character; a huge misstep. If I'm going to read a book with E.D. as the hook, then I want her to be a fascinating detective, one I want to read story after story about. Here she comes across as a relatively dull side character. Alas, nothing about the setting or plot kept me hooked, either. I left off midway through and have no regrets about never knowing who-dunnit. My only regret is that I paid for this dissatisfying read.