A March to Remember
By Anna Loan-Wilsey
Hattie Davish Mysteries #5
Traveling secretary Hattie Davish is taking her singular talents to Washington, D.C., to help Sir Arthur Windom-Greene research his next book. But in the winding halls of the nation’s capital, searching for the truth can sometimes lead to murder . . .
Hattie is in her element, digging through dusty basements, attics, and abandoned buildings, not to be denied until she fishes out that elusive fact. But her delightful explorations are dampened when she witnesses a carriage crash into a carp pond beneath the shadow of the Washington Monument. Alarmingly, one of the passengers flees the scene, leaving the other to drown.
The incident only heightens tensions brought on by the much publicized arrival of “Coxey’s Army,” thousands of unemployed men converging on the capital for the first ever organized “march” on Washington. When one of the marchers is found murdered in the ensuing chaos, Hattie begins to suspect a sinister conspiracy is at hand. As she expands her investigations into the motives of murder and closes in on the trail of a killer, she is surprised and distraught to learn that her research will lead her straight to the highest levels of government . . .
Washington, D.C. – 1894
A March to Remember is a cozy mystery of quality – entertaining, informative, and impressive. Mystery, history, romance are blended together in a narrative that easily flows across the page. This book is #5 of the Hattie Davish historical series, and I regret to only have discovered Hattie as the series apparently concludes. A March to Remember can stand alone, but I’d like to read the previous mysteries.
Hattie is a traveling secretary who works for Sir Arthur, and this story takes them to the Washington, D. C. of 1894, where they are guests in the home of Senator Smith and his wife. Hattie is an endearing, caring, and intelligent heroine, and I loved her perceptive thoughts that are so relevant for today: “The more I was around the senator, the more I learned he did nothing uncalculated, nothing but for its political significance.”
Anna Loan-Wilsey skillfully conveys the feel of the era and setting, completely pulling the reader back in time. The first protest march on Washington provides a fascinating backdrop for A March to Remember, one that I found very interesting. Led by Jacob Coxey, thousands of unemployed workers known as Coxey’s Army descended on the Capitol to present their grievances. “These men were only a small fraction of the millions of jobless men and women across the country who were facing starvation, some of whom chopped wood, broke rocks, and even resorted to prostitution in exchange for food for their families.”
The mystery is well plotted, with suspects aplenty – but not too many to keep up with. I read mysteries more for enjoyment rather than trying to figure out whodunit, and there was lots to enjoy in A March to Remember.
I liked how the story focuses on human nature and appreciated Hattie’s thoughts regarding the madam, Lottie Fox: “I was stuck by the morality of a woman who most couldn’t conceive had any at all.”
Recommended to all who enjoy a good historical mystery.
Anna Loan-Wilsey, biologist, librarian, and author, writes the historical Hattie Davish Mystery series featuring a Victorian traveling secretary who solves crimes in every historic town she visits. The first in the series, A Lack of Temperance, set in 1890’s Eureka Springs, Arkansas, (an Amazon #1 bestseller) was followed by Anything But Civil (set in Galena, IL), A Sense of Entitlement (an iBook #1 bestseller set in Newport, RI), and A Deceptive Homecoming (set in St. Joseph, MO, Hattie’s hometown).
A March to Remember finds Hattie caught up in the political intrigues surrounding Coxey’s Army and the first “march” on Washington, D.C.
Anna lives in a Victorian farmhouse near Ames, Iowa with her family where she is happily working on new mystery adventures.
Thank you to Great Escapes Tours for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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