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The Queen of Bedlam (Matthew Corbett #2)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,919 Ratings  ·  277 Reviews
His epic masterwork Speaks the Nightbird, a tour de force of witch hunt terror in a colonial town, was hailed by Sandra Brown as "deeply satisfying...told with matchless insight into the human soul." Now, Robert McCammon brings the hero of that spellbinding novel, Matthew Corbett, to eighteenth-century New York, where a killer wields a bloody and terrifying power over a bu ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Pocket Books
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 19, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”’Twas said better to light a candle than to curse the dark, but in the town of New York in the summer of 1702 one might do both, for the candles were small and the dark large, True, there were the town-appointed constables and watchmen, Yet often between Dock Street and the Broad Way these heroes of the nocturne lost their courage to a flask of John Barleycorn and the other temptations that beckoned so flagrantly on the midsummer breeze, be it the sound of merriment from the harbor taverns or t ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

- “You’re a lawyer?”
- “Not exactly a lawyer, no.”
- “What, then? Exactly.”
- “I’m ...” What would be the right word? he wondered. Deducer? No, that wasn’t it. Deductive? No, also wrong and hideous to boot. His role was to solve problems. Solvant? No. He might be considered, he thought, a sifter of clues. A weighter of evidence. A detector of truth and lies... That would do. “I’m a detector,” he said.
- “A what?”
Not good, Matthew thought. One should at least sound professional, if one was to
This is honestly one of the best series I've read / listened to. Can't recommend it enough!
David Sven
Robert McCammon follows up his atmospheric, hard to beat Speaks the Nightbird with a story that catches up with Matthew Corbett 2-3 years down the track in 1702 New York. Oh yes, this is where it all began for Matthew. This is where he ran with the stomper boys before being taken in at the orphanage to meet his arch nemesis, the child molesting Eban Ausley.

This book starts off with Matthew working as a clerk for Magistrate Powers in a New York whose streets have become the hunting ground for th
Richard Vialet
Although The Queen of Bedlam is the 2nd book in the terrific Matthew Corbett series, this is the novel where the series truly kicks off! The first one, Speaks the Nightbird is a great book, but might have possibly been written as a stand-alone novel and can be read that way. But not only is this the tale that really introduces Matthew and his world the way we know it now, but this is where author McCammon also ratchets up the excitement and doesn't let up all the way through the latest installme ...more
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
This is the second book of a very interesting historical fiction (mystery) set in the English Colonies of North America at the turn of th 17th century. This book, more than the first reminds me of Sherlock Holmes though Matthew Corbett's 18th century world proceeds Holmes by over 100 years. He even tried to use the label "I'm a detective." but it fell flat.

I liked this book more than the first one. The first book was very good and very dark with McCammon's signature grittiness. This series tends
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I never though Mr. Corbett would be my saving grace during a real shitty time in my life but this one character, and this series, has been just that. I haven't been able to read really BUT I have been able to listen to audiobooks. Listening to an audiobook where I know the characters makes it easy, and it makes it something that can distract me from everything else.

Better review coming later.
Maxine Marsh

Wow, this one took a long time for me to read but boy was it worth it. Queen of Bedlam is the second in the Matthew Corbett series and actually much better than the first book, Speaks the Nightbird.

Matthew's onto new mysteries, each somehow linked to the next and involving a whole new cast of characters, each well drawn and far from cliche (Berry was my personal favorite). Matthew is his usual upstanding, unbreakably moral self, sleuthing for justice and narrowly avoiding mishap after mishap. T
Nov 15, 2014 Pamellia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
he Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon
April 29 (Approximately) to November 13, 2014
Second book in the Matthew Corbett Series
Recommended by internet friends

Earlier this year I started perhaps the most enjoyable book series I have read. I wanted to quickly read the second in the series, The Queen of Bedlam, but never seemed to find the time due to other obligations. I have gradually read this book and have completed it. This is the best book I have read this fall.

Again, Mr. McCammon offers a beauti
Joe Moley
Feb 28, 2009 Joe Moley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book!

Some authors are able to pump out 1, or even 2 or 3 books a year and still stay entertaining enough to stay on the band wagon (Say King and Salvatore). Others take time but are worth the wait. While McCammon's earlier career mirrored the first scenario, he really slowed down after publishing a fairly fast string of horror/suspense novels in the mid 80s and early 90s (Swan Song and The Wolf's Hour are probably my two favorites. I'd love to pick up a copy of The Wolf's Hour one of these
David Haynes
Apr 30, 2016 David Haynes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: special, 2016
I enjoyed this as much as Speaks the Nightbird Matthew Corbett is a hugely likeable character and placing him in the New York of this age works beautifully. Mr McCammon has the knack of making you read without ever realising that's what you're doing! Some writers can take a while to take you into the pages but he does it in a matter of one sentence.

A beautifully written story and I'll definitely continue with this series.
Feb 19, 2008 Cliff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popular-reading
Just finished Queen Of Bedlam. Fortunately for Robert McCammon fans, this will not be his last book. McCammon has created a hero that we meet in Speaks The Nightbird. There is no need to read the 1st book in the Matthew Corbett series. Both books stand alone. Each are over 500 pages long and well worth it. What makes Queen Of Bedlam even more entertaining is the era it's created in. Filled with images of a long ago new colony gaining it's start at independence from England. It's hard to think of ...more
Jan 24, 2009 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McCammon was akin to Stephen King back in the 80's (his book, SWAN SONG, is probably a better post-apocalyptic novel than THE STAND) , but he fell off the face of the world in the 90's. This is a sequel of-sorts to his comeback novel, SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD. McCammon's prose is richly textured - too much so, in my opinion, sometimes - but he always tells an interesting story. This one is no different. It's a good read.
Jun 24, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: excellent-reads
This book was such a fantastic read. The characters jumped from the pages and the story was breathtaking. I literally could not put this book down, and when I was doing things other than reading, I was thinking about getting back to this book. Matthew Corbett is such a great character and his adventures are wonderfully enjoyable. Definite 5 star read.
Jan 04, 2015 Banner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, horror
Both delightful and disturbing is how I am describing this historic mixture of horror, mystery and literary fiction.

Matthew Corbett is coming into maturity in the early 1700 in New York City (population 5,000). Assuming you read the previous book (you really should before reading this one) the story is a little less philosophical and a little more action. The story begins shortly after the events of the last story, but long enough for Matthew to have healed up and gotten into the routine of his
Trouble seems to follow Matthew Corbett... or rather, it seems he is always able to find trouble. In the second book of the series, Matthew is clerk to a magistrate in the growing town of New York. Rather than witchcraft, the town is plagued with murders at the hand of a vicious serial killer who marks each of his victims by carving a mask around the eyes. Matthew throws himself headfirst into the search for a link between the victims that will bring him to the identity of the murderer... if onl ...more
Nov 11, 2013 Whitney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very different from the first in the series. Granted, the main character, Matthew is a few years older and lives as an adult, but the trials he gets into are of a different nature. This book is more action -based, where the first was more contemplative. The first addressed questions of ethics, morality, and philosophy. The second doesn't do this so much, so there is less character-building in that sense. However, the plot is equally (maybe more so) intricate and calls on Corbett's ...more
Timothy Dalton
Jun 14, 2011 Timothy Dalton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McCammon!! You make me want to smack my Grandma into a coma! In all forms of the word, you are badass! Once again, masterfully, you delivered another story of epic proportions. This one was a breath of fresh air, as I usually read multiple books at once, this one was paired with Stephen King’s, Cell. The horrendousness of that book only made this one all the better!

So as it is, The Queen of Bedlam lies in her personal asylum, drifting alone in her mental prison. But were she to speak from the d
Jan 27, 2014 Vicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why this mystery series isn't better known. It's enormously fun, and this entry, set amidst the evolution of rudimentary law enforcement in 1703 Manhattan, would make a great tandem read with The Gods of Gotham, in which we see the beginnings of the NYPD in the mid 1840s. I'm looking forward to reading further entries in the series.
Tobin Elliott
Poor Matthew Corbett. Dude kinda can't get a break.

Having read the first two novels now, I think I have the basic outline of a Matthew Corbett adventure:

1 - Become embroiled in a mystery.
2 - Go against his authority figure to solve the mystery.
3 - Along the way, get handed some deeply encrypted clues.
4 - Watch the only person that could possibly decrypt them disappear.
5 - Meet a girl and develop a heavy crush.
6 - Defend that girl against some sort of clawed wildlife and end up getting rather mau
May 07, 2015 Vicky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love anything and everything McCammon puts out.
Jeff Miller
Jun 13, 2015 Jeff Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid McCammon novel. This is a follow up to "Speaks the Nightbird" and Matthew Corbett continues to grow in his investigative skills as he chases down a serial killer in colonial New York. There are some parallels with this book and the first book. They both take on a central mystery and bring all the hidden strings to light. They also both solve ancillary mysteries that seemed at first connected with the main mystery. The atmospheric details of the history again adds to the story. Enjo ...more
Jun 12, 2016 Robjr73 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robert-mccammon
McCammon is an interesting guy. He started off career writing some of the best King-esque horror that was actually legit and worthy of being compared to King. His apocalyptic tale Swan Song is better than the Stand in my opinion. Stinger is a better alien novel than either Tommyknockers or Dreamcatcher. They Thirst is my favorite vampire novel of all time. Then something happened McCammon. I've read multiple versions and interviews about why he stopped writing for like a decade but the point is. ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Barry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert McCammon, who is most well known for writing horror stories (a genre for which I will undoubtedly remain an eternal virgin), is also a hell of an historical mystery author. The Queen of Bedlam is the second of his Matthew Corbett fourplry (what else would you call a series of four books on the same subject that are sequential in time?). I, now, have two to go and am almost sorry that there will, apparently be no more.

Our hero, young Mr. Corbett, now lives in early 18th century New York, a
Well, it looks like my quest for a new historical series will have to continue. I'm sad to say that this second book in the Matthew Corbett series is not of the same quality as the first.

The pacing, style and rhythm are not the same as in the first novel in this series, nor are the quality of research or writing. Speaks the Nightbird was an impressive novel, with enjoyable characters and an exciting story line.

'The Queen of Bedlam' failed to pull me in even though I had just finished the first
Jul 26, 2011 Violet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sequel to 'Speaks the Nightbird' is a phenomenally satisfying achievement! The most striking thing about this book is its graphic quality. McCammon's language is so vivid; his descriptions are so real, raw, and immediate that we can almost feel the earth, smell the air, and taste the fear. We get an unadorned picture of New York, especially its grim and dark underbelly, during the early eighteenth century.
The hero, Matthew Corbett, is quite extraordinary. He is young but more experienced now
Benjamin Thomas
It's been a couple of years since I read Speaks the Nightbird, one of my all-time favorites of any genre, and I confess to stalling quite a bit before tackling this one. After all, how could the second in a series ever live up to that previous masterpiece? So as you can probably tell from my rating, my fears were groundless, and I can safely shelve Robert McCammon on my exclusive best-of-all-time authors shelf.

This is technically the second in the Matthew Corbett series, although could easily be
May 11, 2011 ScottK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was younger I really enjoyed a few of Mr. McCammon's books. Swan Song and Boys Life being the two I remember enjoying the most. Then I moved on to other things but kept my eyes peeled for more of his work, but nothing caught my eye enough for me to purchase it. I must have picked up Speaks the Night Bird 5 or 6 times, always putting it down for something I thought would be better. And they were all enjoyable as far as books go, fast forward to a few weeks ago as I was meandering through P ...more
Shala Howell
This book has many of the same attributes that I really enjoyed in Speaks the Nightbird, and I suppose not surprisingly, many of the same flaws.

When he wants to, Robert McCammon can really write a great sentence.

Consider the opening line:
"'Twas said better to light a candle than to curse the dark, but in the town of New York in the summer of 1702 one might do both, for the candles were small and the dark was large."

And the closing image:
"How like a maze a fingerprint was, he thought. How lik
Anthony Ryan
Nov 14, 2014 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second outing for McCammon's colonial detective sees Matthew Corbett hunting a serial killer through the streets of early 18th Century New York, a quest that embroils him in a potentially deadly game with an international criminal cartel under the control of the mysterious Professor Fell. Every bit as good as the first book in the series and even more ambitious in scope, McCammon once again delivers a delight for historical crime fans.
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Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

A new contemporary novel, The Five, was published in May 2011 by Subterranean Press.

The fifth book in the Matthew Corbett historical fiction series is The River of Souls. It was published by Subterranean Press in trade, limited, and
More about Robert McCammon...

Other Books in the Series

Matthew Corbett (6 books)
  • Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, #1)
  • Mister Slaughter (Matthew Corbett, #3)
  • The Providence Rider (Matthew Corbett, #4)
  • The River of Souls (Matthew Corbett, #5)
  • Freedom of the Mask (Matthew Corbett, #6)

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“Twas said better to light a candle than curse the dark...” 13 likes
“...that in this town prostitutes may give sewing lessons to ladies of the church, pirates my be consulted for their opinions on seaworth by shipbuilders, Christians and Jews may stroll together on a Sunday, and Indians my play dice games with leatherstockings, but let one silver piece fall in a crack between two members of the same profession and it's bloody war.” 8 likes
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