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The Healer’s Daughter

Review of The Healer's Daughter by Charlotte Hinger

April 17, 2019

From award winning novelist and historian Charlotte Hinger comes an engaging book entitled The Healer’s Daughter. It’s a spellbinding and smart mystery that captures the lusty spirit of the rugged frontier.

The story centers around Bethany Herbert, the daughter of a legendary healer who decides to leave her home in the South for the new black community of Nicodemus, Kansas. Despite the hardships, the community comes to love the prairie. Bethany’s mother, Queen Bess, comes to Nicodemus, as does the handsome lawyer Jed Talbot, who galvanizes the settlers. Bethany resists the call of her heart because Queen Bess warns her the best healers are chaste and single. When the Herbert women’s medical procedures are undermined, Bethany nearly succumbs to Queen Bess’s call for total segregation from the whites Bess hates. Sinister forces come into play through white politicians seeking the black vote, and sabotage by a woman within Nicodemus who years for the old color hierarchy. The people of Nicodemus fight back and ultimately triumph.

Not only will readers be completely absorbed by the crime at the center of the action, but they’ll be fascinated with the historical accuracy of the story itself. Charlotte Hinger’s attention to such detail underpins and buttresses her moving mystery.

Reviewed by Chris Enss, COWGIRL Book Editor, and a New York Times best-selling author who writes about women of the Old West.

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