Publisher’s weekly review of DEATH AT PULLMAN

01/17/2011 Fiction
Death at Pullman: An Emily Cabot Mystery
Frances McNamara, Allium (www.alliumpress.com), $14.99 trade paper (262p) ISBN 978-0-9840676-9-5
McNamara’s suspenseful third Emily Cabot mystery (after 2009’s Death at Hull House) convincingly recreates a pivotal moment in American labor history. In 1894, independent reformer Cabot gets involved with the downtrodden residents of Pullman, a town south of Chicago founded by railway magnate George Pullman as a model community for his workers. When Pullman, despite his idealistic intentions, slashes wages in the wake of a national recession, railway men, forced to choose between food or rent, threaten to strike. After a suspected spy for Pullman’s company is found hanged, the police discover that the man was bludgeoned to death first. Cabot fearlessly throws herself into both the murder investigation and the struggle to keep the violence from escalating. Besides plausibly depicting such historical figures as Eugene Debs and Nellie Bly, McNamara throws in some surprising twists at the end. Laurie King and Rhys Bowen fans will be delighted. (Mar.)

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