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The Harlot's Tale (Midwife Mysteries #2)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  615 Ratings  ·  106 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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Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

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
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
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
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Erin Al-Mehairi
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
nomadreader (Carrie D-L)
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
(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
Book of Secrets
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sharon Chance
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Angie Bollard
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really wish there were half stars. I would give this book 3 and a half stars. The story continues in the second installment in the midwife series. Although the siege has been lifted, a scorching heat plagues York. A itinerant clergyman comes to town and blames the heat on the whores and adulterers. He says that if the sinning doesn't stop that God's wrath will be unleashed. Then the murders begin... Horrible, scarring murders. I had to skim over these parts because they were pretty gruesome. I ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hf-mystery
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.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Heather Breslin
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Equally as enjoyable as the first in the series
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This sequel started out slowly for me even though the main characters are well-rounded and complex. After the second murder, the pace picked up--or I was more in the mood for this mystery; I read several books at at time and sometimes one is just more engrossing than the others, for whatever reason.

While one could begin with this volume, as there are sufficient, but not overwhelmingly frequent references to the back stories of the characters, it is worthwhile to read these four, so far, volumes
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The preachers descend on the town when the army returns. Prostitutes start turning up dead. Are they connected? Great sense of history without hitting over head with it. Lots of characters, but so well defined that its not hard to keep track of them.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Still enjoying these plot driven mysteries. 1600's England has a few similarities to today.
Sara Smith
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
1600s midwife who stands up for what is right (in her eyes). She ruffles a lot of feathers as a woman with leadership power.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.

Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

The Harlot's Tale, the second novel in Sam Thomas' Lady Bridget Hodgson series, is a fast-paced, intelligent historical mystery. Set in the Northern English city of York approximately one year after the conclusion of the series' introductory book, The Midwife's Tale, The Harlot's Tale finds midwife Bridget Hodgson and her assistance Martha Hawkins called upon to assist in a series of grisly murder investigations involving prostitutes and adulterers. But not everyone is keen that the mur
Lynn Demsky
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"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
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Harlot's Tale is the second in this series by Sam Thomas. While it is a stand-alone book on its own, I would encourage you to read The Midwife's Tale, also by Sam Thomas, in order to get a feel for the time period and the characters themselves.

York is beseiged with Puritans during this time period. It is noteworthy to observe the fanatical religious fervor that existed. Every thought, word, and action was under scrutiny. This was reflected in the Great Migration in the 1600's when Puritans s
So unlike the first novel, which I gave a 4.5, this is just a solid 4 stars. Which is still rather high. There are positives and negatives to this sequel--the characters are much more fleshed out, both the new and the old; the introduction of Elizabeth as a counter to Tree (whom I SO HOPE are going to get together in the great tradition of cute children couples); the fact that Martha and Will ultimately do admit their feelings for each other (come ON, WHO DID NOT SEE THAT COMING).


While the
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
"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
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The second book in A Midwife Mystery series and just as compelling as the first. Midwife Bridget Hodgson and her assistant Martha Hawkins, along with everyone else, are suffering from the horribly hot summer weather in York. It has been so hot for so long that people are starting to think they are being punished by God for their sins. Newly arrived Hezekiah Ward and his family take advantage of the situation to use his fire and brimstone approach to warn citizens against the sins of the flesh. S ...more
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended by a friend & readily available at my local library so I checked it out at the same time as the 1st in the series. Disappointed that there was no followup on the pivotal character from the prior novel, whose ultimate fate (including pregnancy outcome) wasn't in either book (barely mentioned in this one). This book is significantly more gruesome than the first, which was a major negative for me. Also left the fate of several (suspect) characters entirely unmentioned at the end eve ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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Midwife Mysteries (4 books)
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