I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died (An Emily Dickinson Mystery)
Willa is Emily Dickinson’s maid and her friend, despite their different social stations. The renowned writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson has been invited to stay with Emily’s brother. He brings with him his secretary who in short order is punched in the nose by a peddler; seen kissing Emily’s younger sister; and is fired by his employer. Then he dies. The man suffers from an extreme form of hay fever and ingesting pyrethrin, a powder used to rid gardens of pests, will kill him. Who knew the secretary had this fatal allergy? And who had access to pyrethrin? The narrative moves at a sedate pace as befits the story’s time (mid-nineteenth century) and place (Amherst). A sometimes reckless Emily and an ever-restraining Willa eventually close in on their suspect, only to find they are far from the full truth. The denouement unfolds at a much faster tempo as the pair unearth the complex and unexpected interplay of means, motive, and murderer at the heart of the mystery. I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died offers a delightful depiction of the times of Emily Dickinson; portrays vividly the characters of mistress and maid; and packs a punch at the end.
|Penguin Publishing Group
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller