With her series of books that feature the spirited librarian Glynis Tryon, Miriam Grace Monfredo takes her readers into the life of the small town of Seneca Falls, New York, a microcosm of mid-nineteenth-century America. Seneca Falls Inheritance illuminates the birth of the struggle for the rights of women; in North Star Conspiracy, Glynis is involved in the turbulence resulting from the fact that Seneca Falls was a stop on the "Underground Railway" for escaping slaves. Now Monfredo continues her stirring story of Glynis's life and the country's history. In Blackwater Spirits, Jacques Sundown, the half-Iroquois deputy, is accused of murder, and his trial points up the fear and prejudice felt for Native Americans, while Monfredo, with impeccable historianship, clearly shows the Indians' side of the cultural clash. The author also introduces a young female physician, initially resented not only as an intruder in the jealously guarded male profession, but as a Jew from New York City to boot. And as a seriocomic reflection of the times, the inhabitants of Seneca Falls are aroused, pro and con, by the rage for spiritualism and the passions of the Temperance movement.
An excess of Native American lore and romantic complications blunt the impact of Monfredo's third historical mystery featuring Glynis Tryon, librarian in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in the mid-18th century. Glynis and the newly arrived doctor, a young Jewish woman from New York City, overhear a farmer voice fears for his life to Constable Cullen Stuart. Soon the farmer is fatally poisoned, and Cullen enlists Glynis's aid in talking to the farmer's angry widow, who suggests her husband's murder will be followed by others. Soon three more men have died. Suspicion focuses on Cullen's former deputy, Jacques Sundown, known to be present at each murder site. When he is arrested for the murder of a woman, Glynis, who has a strong attachment to the quiet, younger man now living with his mother's people on the Black Brook reservation, resolves to prove his innocence. Clearheaded Glynis's pursuit of Jacques may grate on fans who have admired her stability and judgment in North Star Conspiracy and Seneca Falls Inheritance. Like these, this novel includes a section of historical notes at the end, which provide more detail on the names, places and situations mentioned in the story.