4.5 Stars!

August 1856. The Dickinson family is comfortably settled in their homestead on Main Street. Emily’s brother, Austin Dickinson, and his new wife are delighted when famous thinker and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson comes to Amherst to speak at a local literary society and decides he and his young secretary, Luther Howard, will stay with the newlyweds. Emily has been a longtime admirer of Emerson’s writing and is thrilled at the chance to meet her idol. She is determined to impress him with her quick wit, and if she can gather the courage, a poem. Willa Noble, the second maid in the Dickinson home and Emily's friend, encourages her to speak to the famous but stern man. But his secretary, Luther, intrigues Willa more because of his clear fondness for the Dickinson sisters.

Willa does not know if Luther truly cares for one of the Dickinson girls or if he just sees marrying one of them as a way to raise himself up in society. After a few days in his company, Willa starts to believe it’s the latter. Miss Lavinia, Emily’s sister, appears to be enchanted by Luther; a fact that bothers Emily greatly. However, Emily’s fears are squashed when Luther turns up dead in the Dickinson’s garden. It seems that he was poisoned. Emerson, aghast at the death of his secretary, demands answers. Emily and Willa set out to find them in order to save the Dickinson family reputation and stop a cold-blooded fiend from killing again.

Amanda Flower is the USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author of over forty novels, including the nationally bestselling Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series, Magical Bookshop Mysteries, and, written under the name Isabella Alan, the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries. Flower is a former librarian, and she and her husband, a recording engineer, own a habitat farm and recording studio in Northeast Ohio. Learn more online at www.amandaflower.com.


I was so excited about reading this book because it was a historical mystery using Emily Dickinson and family as characters! I did not realize it was the second book in a series. But, no worries - I used one of my Audible credits and listened to the audio of the first one - Because I Could Not Stop For Death.

These two books were such a joy to read! I loved them both. I’ve love historical fiction. I have just lately gotten into historical mysteries. I think this is going to be one of my favorite genres!

I’ve always loved Emily Dickinson’s poems and writings. She had a very sad life, especially in the later years.
I loved Emily's character in these books! I don’t know if I would’ve liked her in real life, but I loved her in here. She certainly was a strong woman who spoke her mind. I love that kind of female character in a book.
😱 There are a couple of other famous guest appearances in these books… Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the main characters and  Louisa May Alcott, author of little women (and a lot more!) is in the second half of this book. I loved her! I do think I would have liked her in real life!

Both of these books were told in the voice of Willa, Emily Dickinson’s maid. She was an absolute delight! 
The mysteries in both these book were fun. And it was great going along with Willa and Emily to try to solve them.

Listening to the audio version of the first book was amazing. The reader did an excellent job! 
As soon as the character, Emily Dickinson spoke for the first time my whole body changed. I got this big smile on my face, and felt as if I was starstruck! I mean, I know it wasn’t really her lol but still! It was amazing and it did feel real!

"Could a woman really be a writer and support herself while doing it?" This was a thought in both books and it reminded me of A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf which is about the injustice to women and especially women writers of that time. I loved that book. If you haven't read it give it a try.

I would definitely read more by this author! Thanks Berkley | Penguin Random House for the e-book and chance to give my honest review.



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