A Pinchbeck Bride
By Stephen Anable
(Poisoned Pen Press, Hardcover, 9781590588567, 194pp.)
Publication Date: March 2011
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A young woman in Victorian finery is found strangled in Mingo House, a morbid brownstone and museum, a nineteenth-century time capsule in Boston’s Back Bay. Dubbed the “Victorian Girl” by the media everywhere, she becomes the eye of a hurricane of publicity and speculation—and a darkness reaching back to the Mingoes’ roots in England and to the builders of the mansion, a Civil War arms dealer and his séance-holding wife. Boston comic Mark Winslow and the other trustees of Mingo House are divided as to whether the place is sustainable as a museum. Trustee chairman Rudy Schmitz, the brash entrepreneur, seems convinced that the porous roof and escalating rain damage will doom the place. Nadia Gulbenkian, the last of the old guard trustees, is accusing Rudy of engineering the museum’s demise. Software executive Jon Kim and a dubious collector of saints’ bones and art are pursuing their own clandestine agendas. Mingo House itself seems cursed, for its origins in bullets and cannonballs and the family’s reputation as regicides in the execution of King Charles I. A number of people believe its walls conceal treasure, a stolen royal monstrance, and are willing to do anything to retrieve it. In this sequel to The Fisher Boy, pierced college students clash with flawed Brahmin bluebloods, and the Gothic with the high-tech. As the deaths and threats multiply, one question resounds: which will survive this summer of rain, of deluge—Mingo House or its terrified staff?
Stephen H. Anable was born in Boston and graduated from Stanford and Harvard universities. His short fiction and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies. At various time during his life, he has been a standup comic, a journalist, an actor, a social worker, a scriptwriter, and the communications coordinator at a cemetery. He has two sons and lives in Massachusetts.