Speaks the Nightbird: An Excellent Mystery Novel

Speaks the Nightbird - Robert R. McCammon

Solid, enjoyable whodunit, much in the style of an Edwardian mystery with keen-witted Matthew Corbett, judicial clerk, as its Sherlock. Set in the late 17th-century Carolina colony, Matthew and his master, Magistrate Woodward, have been summoned to the small village of Fount Royal in order to try Rachel Howarth for the crime of witchcraft. Matthew does his own sleuthing on the side, finding out that Fount Royal is dealing with an insidious villain much more dangerous than its citizens realize. The prose is masterfully paced and full of excellent detail. Author McCammon frames his young protagonist in heroic style, and the reader can't help but root for the boy throughout the story. Everything sets up for a series surrounding his further crime-foiling exploits, and indeed, there are now four other books in the Matthew Corbett set. I'll definitely be checking them out.