REBEL WITH MANY CAUSES
Wright skillfully evokes the people and ideas from the age of Enlightenment in her entertaining second mystery featuring Mary Wollstonecraft, which once again shows how Mary's brilliance as a freethinker could have made her an expert crime-solver.
Publlishers Weekly (7/18/11)
Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft meets Henry Fuseli at her publishers circle of intellectuals, philosophers, and artists, and becomes obsessed with him and his erotic painting The Nightmare. When it is stolen, Fuseli accuses young painter Roger Peale, who is clapped into Newgate Prison. Escaping with the aid of a French émigré from the Revolution, Peale is ambushed by a highwayman and taken to a madhouse. Meanwhile Fuselis footman, a witness to the theft, is killed in a carriage accident. And bluestocking Isobel Frothingham is strangled after a soiree and posed to resemble Fuselis perverse masterpiece. Wollstonecrafts impetuous nature leads her to propose a ménage à trois with Fuseli and his wife, and when rebuffedalways on the side of the underdogto investigate the case to clear the young artist and rescue Isobels illegitimate daughter.
Wrights first mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft, Midnight Fires, was called captivating by Publishers Weekly. And mystery author Patricia Wynn says, The Nightmare does what good historical fiction should domakes me wonder where the truth ends and fiction begins.
Nancy Means Wright blogs: Years ago in a library I stumbled upon Mary Wollstonecraftss A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and became fascinated by her life. After reading her letters about kidnapping a depressed sister from an abusive husband, and later forcing an English sea captain to rescue French sailors from a sinking shipshe eschewed bigotry and injusticeI figured shed make a terrific sleuth. Wright is the author of two adult mystery series and two mysteries for young readers, one an Agatha Award winner and the other a nominee. A longtime teacher, Vermont Humanities Council Scholar, and Bread Loaf Scholar, she has also written other fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Wright lives and writes in Middlebury, Vermont. She has attracted many readers to her Facebook page, Becoming Mary Wollstonecraft.
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- The Nightmare
A Mystery with Mary Wollstonecraft
Nancy Means Wright
264 pages, trade paperback original, $15.95
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