Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: January 2013
Categories: Historical Fiction, Mystery
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.
You know what I love? Anything to do with midwifery. It’s so girl-powery. And speaking of girl-power? Bridget and Martha know how to get it done!
The setting in this book was fab. York in the 1600’s was not the most pleasant place and time to live. I also liked the characters a whole lot. Bridget is a twice-widowed midwife who has realized that it’s probably better if she doesn’t remarry. Martha is a handmaid that can handle a weapon and has a healthy dose of skepticism towards the established rules of her times. These two ladies make a formidable team. I was rooting for them throughout the whole story.
The mystery in The Midwife’s Tale was an interesting one. I didn’t figure out the end before I was supposed to and the ending was gratifying. You can’t ask for much more from a whodunit.
Well done Mr. Thomas, well done.