Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Conductors by Nicole Glover
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on March 2, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people North with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.
When I saw the blurb for The Conductors, I knew I wanted to read it. I have always loved stories about the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. The story being from the point of view of a conductor only made it better. The story alternates chapters from the past 1858-1865, with the present (1871). We also get magic and a murder mystery in this diverse world.
The main character and point of view is Hetty (Henrietta). She and her sister, Esther, escaped but got separated. Hetty is a magic user and Esther is a healer. She found Benjy who became her husband, and is also a magic user. Benjy and Hetty were conductors with her primary purpose being to find Esther. The relationship between Hetty and Benjy is beautiful in its growth.
Now Hetty and Benjy are settled in Philadelphia, where she is a dressmaker and he is a blacksmith. She is still hunting for Esther. But now one of their friends, the first man they conducted to safety, is murdered. They use both magical means and regular investigation tactics of interviews and collecting evidence to try to solve the murder. However, the murders continue.
The Conductors has so much to offer! I enjoyed the development of their circle of friends and learning about the magics. There is also the issue of being in a group of people who won’t go to the police for help. I am thrilled it is the start of the Murder and Magic series. The Undertakers is scheduled for a November 2021 release.
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