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It is the winter of 1808. Thomas Jefferson is President. John Tonneman, the young physician whose involvement with murder was the basis for Maan Meyers's previous mystery, The Kingsbridge Plot, is now past sixty. Surely this should be a time to contemplate retirement and enjoy the pleasures of life with his beloved wife, Mariana, and their three children. But Mariana is unaccountably angry and irritable, and their eldest, Peter, is restless, rebellious, and drinking too much. Then a corpse is discovered in the Collect—the pond that had for so long delivered fresh, sweet water to the residents of New-York. Peter's boss, the Controller of the Collect Company, has disappeared, as has Peter himself. And there's cash missing as well. The corpse, fear for his son, and a long-buried skull draw John Tonneman into another murder, as he joins his friend Jake Hays, High Constable of the City of New-York, in trying to track down the killer—or killers. What begins as a potential tragedy for the Tonneman family ultimately draws them closer together: young Peter finds his true calling in police work and his true love in Jake Hays's lovely widowed cousin; John finds the solution to a pair of murders more than thirty years old; and Mariana and John rediscover one another. The High Constable delivers not only an intricately plotted mystery but also a vivid glimpse of historical New-York and a fully drawn portrait of complex family relationships.
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Maan Meyers is the pseudonym for the husband/wife team of Martin and Annette Meyers writing together. Annette Meyers has had many years of experience working on Wall Street, and was assistant to Broadway director/producer Hal Prince for sixteen years. Martin Meyers was an actor who appeared on Broadway and in film and television. Together and individually, they have written mystery short stories and novels. Annette resides in New York City.From Kirkus Reviews:
It's only 33 years after the last episode in Meyers's Dutch- Jewish Tonneman family chronicles (The Kingsbridge Plot, 1993), and many of the dramatis personae from 1775 are still hanging around, or ready to leap out of unquiet graves. Shortly after John Tonneman's rebellious son Peter quarrels with Joseph Thaddeus Brown--his boss and John's partner in the Collect Project to provide the city of New-York with a freshwater pond--Brown disappears with $50,000 in Collect funds; the only thing that stops High Constable Jacob Hays from arresting Peter for Brown's murder is that Peter, running away from his authoritarian father's house, has stopped just long enough to rescue the Constable's cousin Charity Boenning from a fatal coach accident. It's old John himself, looking literally more deeply into Brown's shallow grave, who, with the help of his old friend Maurice (Jamie) Jamison, recognizes the snaggletoothed skull clasped to Brown's back as that of Emma Greenaway--murdered daughter of Jamie's wife, Grace--and realizes that Emma may not have been murdered by counterfeiting conspirator Thomas Hickey back in 1775 after all. Reads less like a historical detective story than an overstuffed period soap opera with homicides obbligato. Though veterans of The Kingsbridge Plot will find little enough mystery here, newcomers to the Tonneman saga may find this entry incomprehensible. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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