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Friday, August 11, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Heron Island by R.A. Harold

Heron Island by R.A. Harold is a meticulously researched and lushly written turn-of-the-century murder mystery set on an island in Vermont.

The back cover description sums up the book best: "Widowed Rough Rider Dade Wyatt longs to cast off his shadowed past and retreat to a quiet life as a security operative for paper tycoon Warren Dodge. But when plans to host Wyatt’s old commander Teddy Roosevelt on Dodge's idyllic Vermont island are imperiled by a guest’s death, Wyatt descends into a maelstrom of poverty, anarchy and class war to safeguard the President and catch a killer."

Real life historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Vermont Lieutenant Governor Nelson Fisk and William Seward Webb populate a cast of richly drawn characters. Fictional Wyatt is helped by a Creole manservant as Wyatt draws upon his considerable deduction skills to solve a murder. 

Harold achieves what few authors can. She brings to life the history and social tensions of a period of time, then weaves motive and opportunity around the norms of that day. Her settings are detailed, characters fittingly drawn, and story moves at a pace indicative of high-society--carefully, with measured steps.

Summer is the perfect time to transport yourself to another era by becoming engrossed in this book. You will come away thoroughly entertained and have a greater understanding of American history

Robbie Harold, Author
Roberta (Robbie) Harold is a novelist, poet and non-fiction writer from Montpelier, Vermont. As R.A. Harold, she is the author of two historical mysteries, Heron Island, set in Vermont, and its sequel, Murdered Sleep, set in Washington, DC. Murdered Sleep won the 2015 Genre Fiction award from the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE). Her work has been published in Vermont Life, Hunger Mountain, Synezoma, and South Carolina Review. A 2001 graduate of Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, she won its Robert Haiduke Poetry Prize in 1999. She is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to the Montpelier Bridge and is active in community theater. She is currently at work on two new novels, neither of them mysteries (except, at this point, to herself).