A Mystery for Thoreau by Kin Platt.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: NY, 2008.

This is an odd, but interesting mystery. The tone is unusual because the story is set in 1846 and the language reflects the setting. The author started writing for the comic industry in the 1930s and books in the 1960s. Adding to the flavor is that the setting is in Concord, Ma with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott as characters. Thoreau even helps to solve the mystery.

Oliver, a young newspaper reporter, is given a prophecy of death by an old crazy woman. Thoreau is jailed for tax evasion. A young woman comes from Boston, advertising for a job and looking for a place to live. The old woman is killed. The young one has disappeared, with her parasol and hat found near the crime scene. The reporter gets the scoop on these incidents and becomes embroiled in the investigation.

Through the book, the reporter has interviews with a few people, including Thoreau. He renews his friendship with a childhood friend, an Algonquin Indian, who knows wood lore almost as well as Thoreau and finds the young woman by tracking her. Period issues are discussed - treatment of the Native Americans, the United States invasion of Mexico, and sentiments of the townspeople towards Emerson, Thoreau, and the Alcotts.

related-journalists, murder, Henry David Thoreau, 19th century, Algonquin Indians, Indians of North America - Massachusetts, New England, Native Americans, history of Concord, MA, mysteries and detective stories

Note: The book was published post humously.

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