The Printer and The Strumpet

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This historical fiction novel with political themes focuses on the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, and specifically the effect the press has on public opinion. It is written from the point of view of our main character, Leeds Merriweather, editor of the New England News Journal. Semi-conservative, he has a great passion for the printed word and for reporting the facts. Unfortunately poor decisions made by his business partner and best friend have put him in a precarious position: print the facts and lose his business; print the alternate facts and lose his dignity. Meanwhile, an underground news publication called the Watertown Times Forger has created quite a stir by exposing the truth about the political corruption surrounding the governors office. The information in the publication was provided by a madam, Sally Hughes, with whom Merriweather is quite smitten. The brothel served as a well of information for the Watertown Times Forger, and the identity of the Forger seems to be the worst kept secret in town. Tensions mount as loyalists and rebels retaliate against whomever they feel is too loyal to the other side. After several unfair incidents, his loyalty leans toward the Americans with whom he has built friendships and, in the words of Merriweather, “the whispers of rebellions seemed more reasonable everyday.” Throughout the building conflicts, Merriweather remains determined to print the facts while being at the frontline to witness it all.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. A clever comical narration full of pop culture references, as well as references to Dickens and Shakespeare, while also poking fun at the current political climate. Danger, adventure, secrets, and romance: what else could you want in a novel? Even though this is the second book in a series, it is a good stand-alone novel, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by having not read the first one. I love the historical prose; it set the tone for the story, and the insults were quite amusing. Flog the frog is one that I definitely think should be used more in real life. It would be helpful to brush up on your history, specifically regarding the Whigs and the Tories, prior to reading this novel. Since I grew up in Massachusetts, I’m particularly fond of all the local references in this book, especially that of Robert Treat Paine, as I grew up near the Paine estate. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves historical fiction.

Reviewed By:

Author Larry Brill
Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Black Tie Books
Publish Date 2021-Feb-01
ISBN 9780996083454
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2021
Category Historical Fiction


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