Cover concept sketch by Robert J. Higgins
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Maude Travers gulped for air. Why had this man struck her? Why was she on this kitchen floor in this ramshackle tenement? Blinking hard she was instantly sitting back in the anthropology lab questioning her own sanity. Was that a vision? An hallucination? Could she really just have witnessed, or rather, felt the brutal beating of a woman who lived over 170 years ago, and if so, why? What was this woman trying to tell her?
Compelled to understand this message, Maude juggles the running of her own business and her work in the lab. Her attempt to decipher the tale of an excavated skeleton from the former grounds of the Erie County Poorhouse consumes her.
This quest is aided by the diary of the Keeper of the Buffalo Orphan Asylum, Ciara Sloane Nolan. A former poorhouse inmate herself, Ciara's duty is to defend and protect the homeless children of the city. Between the journal and the whispering of bones, the past and the present intertwine. Maude learns of widespread corruption at the almshouse, and a most horrifying secret is revealed.
This is the sequel to the top-notch historical novel, Orphans and Inmates. Ms. Higgins has brought back most of the characters I learned to love and hate in the first novel. She has also added new, equally intriguing, characters and plot twists.
I appreciate the hallmarks of the author’s intelligent, well-researched writing style: three-dimensional characters; accurate historical detail; and, an intriguing plotline. Yet, what I love most of all is the recurring theme of overcoming ridiculous odds.
The story begins in the present day. Anthropologist/antique shop owner Maude Travers volunteers to help categorize some human skeletons at a nearby university. The remains are almost two centuries old, and they are associated with the Erie County Poorhouse. One of the skeletons, in particular, seems to “speak” to Maude.
As our leading lady continues her cataloging and researching, the lines between past and present seem to blur—at times. She finds herself immersed in the world of the Erie County Poorhouse, circa mid 1800’s. This is how we become reacquainted with the characters of the first novel: Orphans and Inmates.
I recommend this book to all lovers of superior historical (and modern-day) fiction. I can’t wait for the third book in the series!
I love the book couldn't put it down. I felt like the characters were my next door neighbors or relatives and I wanted to know more. I enjoyed learning about Buffalo in the 1800's. Would recommend this book to anyone. Can't wait for Roseanne's next book.
This was a wonderful story about life in the 1800's. It shares the stories of people now and then in Buffalo NY and is a gripping piece of reality on what life in the poorhouses where like at that time. I enjoyed this so much and am happy to be following Rosanne Higgins. I am looking forward to the next book!
This story is amazing! I was dying to know what was next for Ciara. This first book was wonderful and this one is even better! Also, as someone living in Buffalo, NY it was a lot of fun to picture the past .