The Conjurer

The Martha Beale Mysteries

Book 1
Open Road Media
4
Free sample

An heiress breaks free of social conventions and attempts to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance in 1842 Philadelphia in Cordelia Frances Biddle’s first Martha Beale mystery

When her father fails to appear for lunch at their country estate, Martha Beale knows something is wrong. The family’s faithful dogs discover Lemuel Beale’s hunting rifle by the river, but there is no sign of the millionaire financier. Refusing to believe he is dead, his daughter—and sole heir—begins a discreet investigation with the help of the mayor’s aide, Thomas Kelman.

But Philadelphia in 1842 is a dangerous place for a female, especially a twenty-six-year-old single woman. Martha’s quest for answers takes her from the pinnacle of high society, which is abuzz about a visiting European conjurer who communicates with the dead, to the city’s tragic slums where a brutal killer is targeting young prostitutes—and through it all Martha will confront the most ruthless aspects of human nature.

In a story deeply rooted in time and place and brimming with atmosphere and suspense, Cordelia Frances Biddle conjures a mesmerizing world of intrigue and hidden desires.
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About the author

Cordelia Frances Biddle is the author of the Martha Beale Mystery series. A member of one of Philadelphia’s oldest families, she uses many of her actual ancestors as characters in her historical mysteries. She also cowrote the Nero Blanc Crossword Mystery series with her husband, Steve Zettler, with whom she lives in Philadelphia. Her website is www.cordeliafrancesbiddle.com.
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3.5
4 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jun 17, 2014
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Pages
309
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ISBN
9781480490642
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Three mysteries set in nineteenth-century Philadelphia: From elegant drawing rooms to tragic slums, an heiress investigates a string of shocking crimes.

The first three instalments in the acclaimed Martha Beale Mystery series are “a feast for those fans who enjoy engaging characters and . . . readers who loved Caleb Carr’s attention to detail in The Alienist and Jacqueline Winspear’s appealing sleuth, Maisie Dobbs” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
 
The Conjurer: When Martha’s father disappears from the family’s country estate, she begins an investigation that takes her from the pinnacle of society—abuzz with the arrival of a European conjurer who communicates with the dead—to the city’s poorest neighborhoods where a killer is targeting prostitutes.
 
“Biddle wonderfully evokes the color and culture of the time.” —Publishers Weekly
 
Deception’s Daughter: Now the guardian of two young children, Martha returns to Philadelphia to find it torn apart by the disappearance of a young heiress and a succession of unsolved robberies. Martha acts as liaison between the mayor’s aide and the missing girl’s parents, but the investigation takes a darker turn as rich and poor alike face a deadly threat.
 
“A good read . . . skillfully evokes the elegant society salons and grubby streets of 1842 Philadelphia.” —Philadelphia Magazine
 
Without Fear: When a mill worker’s corpse is found on an estate outside Philadelphia, Martha joins the investigation. But a friend also needs help escaping her abusive socialite husband. As Martha navigates the growing divide between classes, she comes face-to-face with an evil that touches everyone, including her own adopted daughter.
 
“The setting is unfolded as vividly as the characters. . . . A fine mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
 
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.

At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.

The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?

As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.

Praise for Past Tense

“Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[Lee Child] shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic

“Superb . . . Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)

“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.”—Booklist (starred review)

“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)
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