Mignon Eberhart – Family Fortune (1976)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Just the Facts Category: Why — Out of your comfort zone
Cloak and Dagger Challenge #107
TBR #74
Date Finished: July 28, 2018

During the Civil War, a young Southern-sympathizing West Virginia woman is heir to part of a plantation, but is denied control due to being underage, despite her undocumented marriage to a Southern cousin. While other brothers are fighting the war, her Northern-sympathizing brother is mean to her. Boo hoo. He is murdered, her jewels are stolen, and someone tries to kill her, unfortunately unsuccessfully.

Awful, awful, awful dreck. Why a Lincoln, Nebraska native like Eberhart writes this pro-Southern, Gone-With-the-Wind wannabe stuff is the biggest mystery here. This came out the same year that Roots was published, but here all the slaves are happy, none are mistreated, and all the bad characters are pro-Union. What a missed opportunity for Eberhart to write something accurate. Instead she buys into Southern states rights, glorious lost cause myths. What mystery elements there are in this story are only lightly addressed, as the main character spends chapters upon chapters bemoaning her situation and fretting over every possibility. Badly written and badly plotted and firmly on the wrong side of history.

Just the Facts Silver Card 2018-07-28a

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