Honor's Kingdom
By Owen Parry
William Morrow & Co - July 23, 2002
ISBN: 0060186348 - Hardcover
Mystery / Historical / Civil War

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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In his familiar, persuasive writing style, Parry leads readers through a plot of espionage and spies, politics and intrigue.

Major Abel Jones is about to solve his fourth civil war case. It's the summer of 1862. The major, limping from a shattered leg at Bull Run, treads the same London streets he walked sixteen years ago as a lad. Abel was born in Wales, but makes it known that he is now an American and wears his blue uniform with pride. His being in London has to do with the war, of course. Abel is an agent for President Lincoln, ordered to London by Secretary Seward to meet with the US minister to Britain, Adams - the son of President Adams. Abel is to assist in legation matters.

While Abel is visiting Adams, a foreign officer arrives to take Adams to a local morgue. Abel accompanies him to witness the account of a body found in a basket of eels. Reverend Campbell of Ohio came to London to preach, but instead is linked to political intrigue when an incriminating letter to Adams is found in his pocket. Adams turns to Jones and his skill for assistance, not because of the letter, but a missing watch, which holds Campbell's real communication, written in code. In searching out the murderer and the watch, Abel retraces steps and memories of his past.

Told in first person, the Abel Jones civil war series is comprehensive and credible. Parry's realistic, not to mention smelly, descriptions replaces the glory of war with gore. So far, the author has had the ability to incorporate a mystery in an overpowering historical atmosphere. This time, for me, the mystery seemed stronger compared to the last three mysteries -- which is good.

Don't expect to read this in one sitting. Honor's Kingdom, like Faded Coat of Blue, Shadows of Glory, and Call Each River Jordan, are deserving of a reader's complete attention. I recommend the entire series to anyone who enjoys either Civil War mysteries or historical fiction.


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