The Miser of Cherry Hill

Overview

The new mystery featuring Dr Clyde Deacon - A gun that wasn’t fired. A bridge that wasn’t crossed. And a tack that wasn’t used. These are the challenging clues Dr Clyde Deacon, a small-town physician in 1902 America, must decipher to solve the murder of Ephraim Purcell, a local wealthy businessman with a rapacious appetite for money and women. His personal life disintegrating, Dr Deacon must race against mounting town pressure to uncover the perpetrator – and the shocking motive...

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The Miser of Cherry Hill

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Overview

The new mystery featuring Dr Clyde Deacon - A gun that wasn’t fired. A bridge that wasn’t crossed. And a tack that wasn’t used. These are the challenging clues Dr Clyde Deacon, a small-town physician in 1902 America, must decipher to solve the murder of Ephraim Purcell, a local wealthy businessman with a rapacious appetite for money and women. His personal life disintegrating, Dr Deacon must race against mounting town pressure to uncover the perpetrator – and the shocking motive behind the crime.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in 1902 in Fairfield, N.Y., Mackay's second Dr. Clyde Deacon mystery (after 2010's The Angel of the Glade) successfully recreates a small town of the period complete with the proper window curtains, fashionable ladies' hats, and fascinating primitive forensics. At no time in history, however, is it likely that courting was as awkward and obtuse as is the doctor's of the improbably perfect Olive Wade. Meanwhile, someone shoots rich businessman Ephraim Purcell in an alley behind his Grand Hotel. Purcell has wronged enough people to make the list of murder suspects long, including Purcell's ex-friend and hat store owner, Isaac Jensen; his stepdaughter, Marigold Reynolds, from whom Purcell stole money; and Billy Fray, the troubled son of the town blacksmith, who recently killed himself. Deacon's suspicions bounce around among these three and several other candidates and provide a fair amount of energy for the plot, though it eventually bogs down. (Sept.)
Booklist
As a veteran craftsman of both SF and mystery novels, Mackay delighted critics with his entirely earthbound crime thriller, The Angel of the Glade (2010), featuring Clyde Deacon, a former personal physician to President McKinley, newly removed to Fairfield, New York. While still grieving the loss of his wife and his failure to save the president from an assassin's bullet, Deacon has nonetheless quickly become a respected Fairfield fixture, healing local patients while moonlighting as a crime-fighting deputy. When a philandering business tycoon named Ephraim Purcell is murdered while the sheriff is away on business, the doctor offers to track the killer. But before he can break in a new, infatuated nurse and mend a misunderstanding with his lady friend Olive Wade, Deacon finds himself having to sort through a bewildering array of suspects, including a financially ruined blacksmith and Purcell's own vengeful stepdaughter. While Deacon's latest case lacks the spark of his previous one, McKay's period detail and crisp, engaging prose will satisfy fans of well-crafted historical mysteries.
Kirkus Reviews
1902. New York's generally peaceable Fairfield is troubled by the murder of an exceptionably dislikable man.

Miserly Ephraim Purcell collected enemies almost as readily as he did money. When he's found shot dead, the event is shocking, certainly, but in a sense predictable after all. It's equally predictable that Dr. Clyde Deacon will be doing a bit less doctoring for a while. Fairfield Sheriff Stanley Armstrong, suddenly confronted by an inexplicable burst of outlawry, turns once again to his old friend, pins a deputy's badge on his chest and drops the Purcell case in his lap. There's no dearth of suspects, of course. As Doc's investigation deepens, however, he finds that hostility lurks in some unexpected quarters and takes some unsettling forms. In addition to money and enemies, for instance, it seems that Ephraim also collected pretty women, some of whom objected fiercely to his manner of collecting. Meanwhile, all is not peaceable on Doc's home front, where love is creating problems as knotty as the murder mystery, though he can take credit for a good many of those problems. Doc's an above-average medical man, a competent sleuth, but a dud with the fair sex. When he describes himself as "hopelessly obtuse," most readers will consider his confession an understatement.

Mackay (The Angel of the Glade,2010, etc.) presents an affable-enough protagonist, but the prose seldom rises above the pedestrian and the twists are more abundant than surprising.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780727880383
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Series: Dr Clyde Deacon Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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