Praise for Mary Malloy’s work:
“A tour de force—fascinating, highly readable, and meticulously researched.”—Nathaniel Philbrick
“Meticulously researched and engagingly written.”—Seattle Times
“In the tradition of Byatt’s Possession, Malloy’s debut novel is a complex and masterfully woven tale that will keep readers up far into the night.”—Caroline Preston, author of Jackie by Josie and Gatsby’s Girl
Historian Lizzie Manning didn’t set out to become a sleuth, and she had no intention of becoming personally involved in a medieval mystery. Her expertise lay in eighteenth-century maritime voyages, and her assignment was to find a Tlingit Indian corpse robbed from its grave two hundred years ago during Captain Cook’s Pacific voyage. First accident, then compulsion, pull her deeper into the past, through thirty generations of one British family. Lizzie’s sources aren’t fingerprints and firearms, but documents, artifacts, paintings, architecture, and even the landscape—though modern forensic science helps clarify what happened to a few ancient corpses. Lizzie’s work takes on personal meaning as she is drawn into her own family’s history of insanity and a search for a Crusader’s disembodied heart.
As with Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody and Amanda Cross’ Kate Fansler, Mary Malloy creates a heroine who is a respected scholar in her field, and who draws on her expertise to solve the mysteries that come her way.
Mary Malloy, PhD, is the author of four maritime history books. She is a professor of maritime history at Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and of museum studies at Harvard University.
Maritime historian Malloy (Devil on the Deep Blue Sea) makes an impressive fiction debut with this first installment of a planned trilogy. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Manning, a history professor on winter break from St. Patrick's College in Charlestown, Mass., is intrigued when George F.R. Hatton, a British aristocrat, asks for her advice on family artifacts. George's ancestor, Lt. Francis Hatton, collected the pieces when he accompanied Capt. James Cook on his third voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Lizzie soon discovers more than just a treasure trove at George's Somerset estate: there's also a family "curse" of once-a-century suicides of all the Elizabeth Hattons, with Bette, George's mentally ill sister, the only survivor. Through her research, Lizzie learns that she might be a Hatton relation and suffers eerie "flashbacks" and fears that she might be the next victim. Malloy mixes history and fantasy with flair (one of the not-so-doomed Elizabeths had an affair with pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti) and delivers a wonderfully satisfying puzzler.