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Wishing Caswell Dead

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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"In the early 1800s in a village on the Illinois frontier, young Jo Mae Proud wishes her cruel brother dead. Forced into prostitution by Caswell, Jo Mae discovers she is pregnant and vows to escape. When Caswell is injured by a near lightning hit, he becomes more dangerous, and more hated. The flawed residents of the Village of Sangamon harbor many secrets. Caswell knows t ...more
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by Five Star Publishing (first published December 1st 2017)
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4.41  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Pamela Nowak
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WISHING CASWELL DEAD is strong fiction. Young Jo Mae Proud, barely into adulthood-come-too-soon, has finally escaped the abuse and brutality of her older step-brother. But the escape has come via Caswell’s murder and there doesn’t seem to be anyone with more motive than Jo Mae.

But Caswell's reach went far and we discover there isn't a person in Sangamon who doesn't have a reason for having hated him.

Though it’s classified as a historical mystery, I found the tale less a mystery in the tradition
...more
Joni
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good.
M.K. Theodoratus
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
While this is labled a historical mystery, I didn't see much mystery in the book. What the book is is an intriguing ramble through the secrets hidden in a Midwest frontier hamlet. Oh, there's a murder. But it seems secondary to the tale of how the murder affects the various well-rounded characters. The writing is admirable, the book entertaining with many unexpected twists and turns. I debated giving the novel 5*s, but it didn't meet my criteria of "one more chapter before I go to bed".
Anne Hunsinger
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pat Stoltey's Advanced Copy of her historical mystery, Wishing Caswell Dead, kept me on edge throughout. After the shocking discovery of Caswell Proud's mutilated body, the town of Sangamon, Illinois, must reflect upon its collective sins. In flashback to nine months earlier, Stoltey weaves multiple points of view of the town's inhabitants in a hypnotic way to reveal the whys and hows of Caswell's death. Each character presents in a complete and complex way. No one comes off as all bad or all go ...more
Sumner Wilson
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wishing Caswell Dead

The novel begins when several citizens of the village of Sangamon, Illinois, find the body of Caswell Proud sitting upright against a tree with his throat slit, and of course, dead.

Mary Proud, the mother of Caswell and Jo Mae, was born into a wealthy family and spoiled by an easy life. Her father and mother set her up to marry a man of another wealthy family, but instead, she falls for a dashing young military man, David Proud. After the marriage, David is sent to a dangerou
...more
Kathleen Donnelly
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wishing Caswell Dead is a book that grabs the reader from the start. The vivid characters make the story come alive. The action and suspense made it hard to put the book down. I couldn’t stop reading. Pat Stoltey has crafted a superior historical mystery that brings to life an era of a changing and expanding America. The conflict between characters has the reader rooting for young Jo Mae Proud and by the end, the reader will wish Caswell Proud dead as much as the characters. I would highly recom ...more
Colleen Story
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the reasons I enjoy reading books is that they allow me to escape to a different place and time. “Wishing Caswell Dead” took me back to the frontier days and I really enjoyed the trip. I sympathized with the heroine, Jo Mae, from the beginning, and enjoyed following her journey as she struggled to get away from her abusive brother and apathetic mother. The characters were fully drawn, with even the antagonist having his pitiful moments, and I loved the realistic dialogue. A fast read of h ...more
Natasha
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I love the title! How could you not want to know who wished Caswell dead? Just about everyone in town had a good enough reason. Stoltey characters are fresh and odd in a good way, and the setting is palatable and gritty. Even though I wanted Caswell dead in the first couple of chapters, Stoltey pulls you along, keeping the underlying tension up. You're glad when he finally gets murdered!
Kerrie
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! From the intriguing opening scene to the very end, Stoltey does a fantastic job of combining compelling characters with a page-turning plot. She expertly weaves together different points of view to create an intricate storyline with perfectly placed twists and turns that kept my attention throughout. I highly recommend this book!
Gary Raham
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While this isn’t a traditional murder mystery, Stoltey centers this 19th century story on the mysterious death of a young hellion named Caswell Proud. The reader shares the lives of fascinatingly imperfect characters who all have their reasons for wishing Caswell dead. A great read!
Steve
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book opens with a view of the crime scene. Each chapter brings you closer to understanding why. Excellent character development! This is not your regular western. I recommend this book for anyone that likes mysteries, western settings, or interpersonal relationships. Very easy read.
April Moore
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wishing Caswell Dead is full of well-crafted, engaging characters weaving their way through and a gripping whodunit plot. The points of views seamlessly transition from chapter to chapter and the fast-paced plot made it a page-turner. A great read!
Faith Hignight
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Without rehashing what others have said I’ll only add: EXCELLENT!! Every single page is a feast. I could not put it down. ‘Nuff said.
Teri Henry
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved the characters and plot line in this book. Caught my attention right away only took me two days to finish. Look forward to reading more books by this author.
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