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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
"Frederick came home from work about eleven o’clock and noticed the light in Isaac’s bedroom. Isaac was sitting on the bed, still dressed in his shirt and vest. But he was bent over, his hands clasped around his stomach, his face contorted in apparent pain. He thought there was someone else in the bedroom, a man standing in the shadows in the front corner. Frederick couldn’t see his face. It was hidden by the curtain. Was it Medlicott?" In The Body on the Bed by Leonard Krishtalka, investigative reporter Mary Fanning covers a murder case that's more twisted than it seems in 1870s Kansas.
Other than a mystery murder, the late 19th-century judiciary system, women and Blacks' suffrage, and secret love affairs give the historical mystery plot layered angles and depth. In terms of their personal traits and motivations, the characters are fleshed out and their actual historical background easily distinguishes them in an engaging narrative and smooth chapter transitions. John Speer, the early Lawrence pioneer and publisher of the Kansas Tribune, is a historical figure that I most recognized having read about his part as an abolitionist and how he survived Quantrill’s Raid. Of course, Mary Fanning shines brightly as a protagonist; her zeal and sharp mind make the steady unraveling of a mystery murder an exhilarating experience. With its perfectly timed plot twists and a satisfying conclusion, Leonard Krishtalka's The Body On The Bed is an immersive trip back to post-Civil War America.