Honor's Kingdom (Abel Jones Mysteries)

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9780060186340: Honor's Kingdom (Abel Jones Mysteries)

As casualty lists grimly mount in America's Civil War, the death of a lowly man of the cloth in London attracts an unaccountable degree of attention. Confederate agents seek warships for their struggling navy at any cost. The Union's representative to Britain -- the son and grandson of U.S. presidents -- maneuvers desperately to block them. And a federal officer with a limp and a Welsh lilt returns to the land he once left in hope of a better life.

In a stunning re-creation of 1860s London and Glasgow that reaches from the worst slums in Europe to the lobbies of Parliament, Owen Parry brings the past to ravishing life. Grotesque murders multiply as Major Abel Jones pursues a monstrous killer who may be a well-connected Confederate agent or a ghost from Jones's bloody past in India -- or both. England's political leaders -- including Benjamin Disraeli -- appear to have a great deal to hide. Everyone seems determined to thwart Jones's search for justice -- but are they interested in supporting the Confederacy or in masking personal scandals? The threat of an ocean-spanning war hangs over each new crime as Jones struggles to find a rumored warship that would serve the Rebels as a wonder-weapon of the age -- and stop it from sailing. A music-hall girl of doubtful morals may hold the answers he needs -- if Jones, the appalled moralist, can keep her alive. No single identity is certain, no motive unmarred. And psychotic violence lurks behind well-tailored morning coats and flawless manners....

Expanding his fictional panorama of the Civil War into the long-neglected international arena, Parry continues to portray not only a war, but a lost world. In the gorgeous tones of a prim, proud Methodist soldier from the valleys of Wales, Parry conjures the sights, sounds, smells, and texture of the age with unparalleled authenticity, irresistible suspense, and droll humor. Featuring historical figures from Karl Marx to Anthony Trollope, this novel brims with the wonderfully rich characters that have become a hallmark of Parry's fiction. From deeds of hellish darkness to acts of transcendent kindness, Honor's Kingdom speeds irresistibly from the opening sentence to a startling, shockingly logical, and unforgettable conclusion.

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About the Author:

Owen Parry is the author of two previous novels featuring Major Abel Jones: Faded Coat of Blue, winner of the Herodotus Award, and Shadows of Glory, which was selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Fascinated by the Civil War since childhood, Parry wrote his first book on the subject, a history of the conflict, at age twelve. That book was ultimately rejected by an interested publisher, which proved fortunate for Mr. Parry's subsequent writing career, since young Owen, with the best intentions, had made extremely liberal use of the work of others. He has since learned more of the etiquette of writing, and a little more of life.

From Publishers Weekly:

The delightful Maj. Abel Jones (previously met in Parry's series in Faded Coat of Blue, Shadows of Glory and Call Each River Jordan), agent for Abraham Lincoln, appears in London during the summer of 1862 to combat Britannia's flirtation with the Confederacy and prevent construction of ironclad warships for the rebel navy in this humorous historical novel spiced with suspense. His murdered predecessor has been found, thoroughly nibbled, in a basket of eels. Seeking the perpetrator of this crime, Jones roams from odiferous slums to the halls of Parliament (itself plagued by the stench of the Thames), encountering such personages as the cobra-like Disraeli and the na‹ve Henry Adams. Cameos by Trollope, Whistler and Karl Marx enliven the narrative, and Parry has almost too much fun, as when a copper instructs a subordinate, "Go get Wilkie, Collins." The glee the author takes in the narrative voice of his staunchly Methodist hero is infectious, and he brings the era to vivid life. Readers learn more of Jones's history, including his stint in the British army, as thuggee assassins and a dreadful nemesis he had thought dead appear to hound his steps. This is another rollicking entry, capturing "the spirit of our age, the turbulent sixties, with their progress, hope, immodesty and danger. But let that bide, for there is more to tell." Indeed, the next installment is announced on the last page.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Parry, Owen
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