Monday, March 1, 2010

Deadly Will by Marion Moore Hill

Deadly Will by Marion Moore Hill is another of the historical mysteries published by Pemberley Press. I came upon the book when I was looking through their web site.

Millie Kirchner, a single-mother, is struggling just to support her son Danny.  Then she receives word that she is among the heirs in the will of Nathan Henry.

Henry wrote his will in such a way that his surviving heirs 200 years later would get a sizable monetary bequest, and some of them would receive souvenirs from Henry's estate.

Of course, the "souvenirs" have grown in value.  They include things like a quilt made by Betsy Ross, an ink well, an old map, and several other similar items.

When Mille goes to Philadelphia for a lottery to see who gets which of the items, the murders begin.  Several heirs are killed one by one.

This story is deeply rooted in history.  It is carefully researched.

Early on, I had the thought, "If I were writing this, I'd have so-and-so do the murder," and that's how it turned out.  But I've done that before with other books and been wrong.

The book gives you a tour of historic Philadelphia.   It has a light love interest, and it is well-written.

Nathan Henry is cast as Benjamin Franklin's neighbor.  The story begins with a scene in which Henry asks Ben to comment on his plan to leave his estate to people not yet living.  Ben, of course, gives a shrewd observation which turns out to be all-too-true.

This is a well-written historical mystery probably of interest most of all to those who want to know more about historic Philadelphia.

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