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The Harlot's Tale (Midwife Mysteries #2)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  279 ratings  ·  63 reviews
It is August, 1645, one year since York fell into Puritan hands. As the city suffers through a brutal summer heat, Bridget Hodgson and Martha Hawkins are drawn into a murder investigation more frightening than their last. In order to appease God’s wrath—and end the heat-wave—the city’s overlords have launched a brutal campaign to whip the city’s sinners into godliness. But ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Author Sam Thomas introduced readers to the independent and unconventional Bridget Hodgson in The Midwife’s Tale, but her crime solving days are far from over. Picking up a year after the original story, book two of the series, The Harlot’s Tale, returns to the tumultuous streets of York, where Bridget, Martha and Will must race to discover who is sending the city’s sinners to their final judgment.

Before I get too far ahead
Lady Bridget Hodgson lived in York in the mid 1600s. She was married and widowed twice, and she lost her two children. She is a skilled midwife with a lot of experience. I met her for the first time in The Midwife’s Tale.

When I was invited to review The harlot’s Tale for this book tour, I accepted right away, all too happy to spend some more time with Bridget, her assistant midwife Mary Hawkins, and her servant Hannah. Just to reassure you, it works really well as a standalone, you can understan
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Set during a sweltering August in 1645, The Harlot's Tale returns to the dirty, tumultuous city of York and midwife Bridget Hodgson and her friends. Taking place a year after the first novel, The Midwife's Tale , this novel is a lovely reunion for those familiar with Bridget and a fabulous standalone for those new to her.

For me, the immediate appeal of this book is the unique setting: York following the English Civil War. Now that the city has been claimed by Parliamentary forces, York has been
If you enjoyed The Midwife's Tale, you are going to love The Harlot's Tale. The mystery is as gripping with a great cast of supporting characters that will have you guessing the identity of the villain throughout the entire book. I came to love Bridget Hodgson even more for her feisty sleuthing in a man's world, and with Martha again by her side they are quite the feminist pair. Sam Thomas again gives us a vivid look at historical York in 1645 and social dynamics of an England gripped by Puritan ...more
Sharon Chance
In his second book in the "Midwife Mystery" series, "The Harlot's Tale," Thomas takes his readers back to 17th century England to the town of York, where the fanatically religious have taken over the town and any and everyone is suspect to evil doings.

Midwife Lady Bridget Hodgson and her assistant Martha primarily go about their duties delivering the babies of the town, but frequently they are called upon to witness and examine the deaths of the unfortunate. (It's a horrible job, but one that
This is the second book from Sam Thomas involving his fascinating character, Lady Bridget Hodgson, a midwife in Puritan York circa 1645. Loosely based on a real woman, Bridget is a lady of means and some influence in town. Her brother in law is a magistrate and turns to her for input when a horrible murder occurs.
A prostitute and her client have been killed just as a new preacher has come to town railing against such ungodly acts. Bridget, her assistant and nephew start to investigate but soon f
nomadreader (Carrie D-L)
(originally published at

The backstory: Last year I read and adored The Midwife's Tale, Sam Thomas's debut mystery.

The basics: The story opens in August 1645, the year after the events of The Midwife's Tale. York is battling a brutal heatwave and adjusting to life with Puritan control. A new minister, Hezekiah Ward, has arrived in town, preaching about the evils of prostitution, just as much of the city believes the heat is God's punishment for evil. When the bo
Erin Al-Mehairi
If you like a great historical mystery set in the mid-1600s of York, then I highly recommend Sam Thomas' midwife mystery series for its superb character development, intriguing mystery, and detailed social and emotional issues of 17th Century England!

As The Midwife's Tale introduces widowed, wealthy, and independent midwife Bridget Hodgson to us, as well as her supporting characters of maid Martha and Hodgson's nephew Will, we learn about how they all came to be in their respective situations in
2nd in a 1600's murder mystery series, I give The Harlot's Tale 3 1/2 stars. Main character is a midwife who helps the city of York solve crimes - In this case, someone is brutally killing the city's whores. (The word "whore" is used in the book way too many times). It pits the evil religious fanatics against the sinners of society.
Bridgit, the midwife, has been a well-drawn character in both of the books in this series. Her cohorts are also well-drawn. (Although the relationship between Bridgi
Diana Leigh
I love historical mysteries, and THE HARLOT’S TALE is easily one of my favorites. This is the second book in Sam Thomas’ Midwife Mysteries series, and the story picks up about a year after Parliamentarians won the city of York during the English Civil War. Puritanism is on the rise, and with it comes a fanatical preacher named Hezekiah Ward. In his sermons, Ward targets the prostitutes of the city, saying their sin is the reason God is punishing York with unbearable heat and drought. Their evil ...more
This is the second in the author's Midwife series set in 1644 York. While this is definitely darker than the first, with a few fairly grizzly murders, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My main frustration? I want to read the next in the series immediately. I like the "family" that Bridget is forming and wonder how some new additions are going to work out.
I finished this book and told my husband that I wasn't sure how I felt about it and needed a couple of days to decide. I've decided I liked it more than I disliked it. The murders were pretty sensational and graphic, but the mystery was compelling and exciting and I liked the group of mystery solvers. I felt the conclusion of the mystery itself was satisfying, but the story ended twenty or so pages after that, and the unbelievable drama in the protagonists' personal lives in those final twenty p ...more
Another GREAT work from Sam Thomas. I loved his 1st one "The midwife's Tale" I was very happy to see that the same characters are also fatured here.
The midwife, Lady Hodgson is once again helping women give birth and not always in the plushest of places. Prostitutes are coming up dead, and her curious mind wraps around trying to solve the crime.
The city of York with all it's sludge and glory is portrayed perfectly, I became totally immersed into the book and that's when I know it is a winner.
A solid and engaging historical mystery; the details of Puritan York ring true, and the ending is a satisfying and surprising one without resorting to a cliche (or, as I call 'em, M. Night Shyamalan-esque) and over the top twist. An interesting cast of characters that includes a man with a clubfoot, a dwarf gaoler, and some very fanatical preachers. A quick read for a cold night.
Lynn Demsky
"It is August, 1645, one year since York fell into Puritan hands. As the city suffers through a brutal summer heat, Bridget Hodgson and Martha Hawkins are drawn into a murder investigation more frightening than their last. In order to appease God’s wrath—and end the heat-wave—the city’s overlords have launched a brutal campaign to whip the city’s sinners into godliness. But for someone in York, this is not enough. First a prostitute and her client are found stabbed to death, then a pair of adul ...more
Priscilla Herrington
This is the second in a series of historical mysteries taking place in York, England during the English civil war. York was a Parliament city, no longer under control the of King and the Puritans were trying to establish their city on a hill there. Mistress Bridget Hodgson, a member of the lesser nobility, is a midwife and also a detective.

The author, Sam Thomas, is both historian and author. His attention to detail in presenting life in 17th century England makes these books more interesting th
Source: Free copy from Sam Thomas, Minotaur Books, NetGalley, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the purpose of review.

Sam Thomas's first book in this series was reviewed by me February 1, 2013 @ this link
The Midwife's Tale.

The Harlot's Tale is the second book in the series of a midwife named Bridget Hogsdon. Bridget lives in York, England during the mid 1600s. Bridget is widowed, no children, in her thirties. Bridget's housekeeper is Hannah. Her midwife assistant is Martha. A nephew name
Margaret Sankey
Thomas, a scholar of the 17th century, continues to provide not just a compelling and plausible mystery, but the odoriferous and religiously uncomfortable world of the English Civil War. Just as the noise machine now eggs on unhinged people, Puritan sermons excoriating sinful women seem to have unleashed a murderer with a scriptural fetish. His POV character is sympathetic and engaging, without softening her realistic role as a wealthy and politically savvy woman, and there are few tidy conclusi ...more
My hopes and prayers were answered as The Harlot's Tale arrived on the heels of my completion of The Midwife's Tale and I immediately sat down to see what fate held in store next for Bridget. As much as I imagine Bridget wished that life would return to at least what it had been before she became wrapped up in the criminal quagmire that surrounded the fate of her friend, Esther. Still working as a midwife, now with Martha as a recognized apprentice, she is back to solving murders as well.

Meg - A Bookish Affair
"The Harlot's Tale" marks the return of Lady Bridget, a midwife who also has a penchant for solving mysteries. I read "The Midwife's Tale" last year and really enjoyed it. I was looking forward to getting back to reading about Bridget (who is a fantastic character by the way). Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

You can most definitely read this book without having read "The Midwife's Tale" before (but you should go back and read the book because it is good). Historical mysteries are not my
Linda Smatzny
This is the second book in the Midwife's Mystery series. It features Bridget Hodgson who is called in to help determine the killer of several women in York in 1645. The town has fallen to the Puritans who are condemning all sin. Bridget is helped by her assistant, Martha and by her nephew, Will. It is an interesting series set in a time when women are considered next to nothing with no thoughts of their own. Bridget is a widow and a midwife which grants her some independence.
Interesting period work. I liked the characters (midwife particularly), the time period (1645) and the place (York) of the story. The midwife aspect was also fascinating. The chief heroine was very believable and not infallible. Her flaws and her reactions were consistent with the times and not sugar coated to make her into a super hero. The story was excellent. However, I think one book of this series is enough for me since further stories of this period and these characters could be repetitiou ...more
Debra Davis
Wonderful story. This series takes place during the midst of the English civil war in in 1600's. The main character is a gentlewoman who is also a midwife. She is a delightful character and has progressed through the strife of terrible times with grace. This is only the second book in the series, but I already look forward to more tales with Lady Hogdson and her Deputy, Martha. This tale involves some horrific murders that Lady Hodgson solves with the help of Martha and her nephew Will. Surprisi ...more
Terrific story. Even better than the first book. I can't wait to read the next book in this series which will be released in January. The main character is a midwife with great strength even in the limitations of 1600's York, England. Our book club met the author who is so congenial. He very knowledgeable of this era since he spent much time doing graduate work in York.
The Harlot's Tale is the second installment of the Midwife Mysteries series by Sam Thomas. The book is full of mystery, keeping the reader guessing "who done it".
I could not put this book down. Lady Bridget is the the main character, but her sidekick, Martha is my favorite. She really brings fun to the story. You never know what will come out of her mouth next.
I thought the book to be great! I can not wait to see what adventures Lady Bridget and Martha get into the next book of the series and
Thomas does a great job of capturing the tension between the Protestants and the Catholics in York. The murders were interesting and complicated. Though I do wish Thomas would lay a few more clues for the reader. What I liked so much in the first book was the midwifery and the details that Bridget and Martha picked up while attending a birth. There weren't as many midwife scenes in this book and I missed them.
Rosanne Lortz
This was an exciting thriller with a well-depicted historical milieu. I must admit that I didn't think it quite as good as The Midwife's Tale, and was thus a tad disappointed. I also get a little annoyed when all the religious characters in a book turn out to be the baddies (whoops, was that a spoiler?), but all in all, a good page-turning read.
My favorite thing about the Midwife Mystery series is that Bridget Hodgson was a real person. While she probably did not go around solving mysteries, her journals and will, leave us with a fascinating picture of what life was like in the 1640's. These books show the political and religious confusion that ruled in that time. They really were one and the same. The population had only in the last generation or so gotten access to the Bible in churches and still had very little understanding of what ...more
Once again Bridget Hodgson and Martha Hawkings become involved in the investigation of murder. Along with the help of Will, they try to solve several murders. The murders in this book are gruesome and it was hard for me to read the graphic details. I did a lot of skimming. The book is very well written with authentic historical details.
Well I love historical fiction and mysteries, but this book was disappointing overall. Fairly predictable in terms of the mystery plot, and I would have liked a little more background about life as a midwife in the sixteenth century in England. Finished it because I have a hard time not finishing a book once I start it. But that's not really a resounding review, is it?
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Other Books in the Series

Midwife Mysteries (3 books)
  • The Midwife's Tale (Midwife Mysteries, #1)
  • The Witch Hunter's Tale (Midwife Mysteries, #3)
The Midwife's Tale (Midwife Mysteries, #1) The Witch Hunter's Tale (Midwife Mysteries, #3) The Maidservant and the Murderer Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors

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