The Transcendental Murder by Jane Langton

The Transcendental Murder by Jane Langton

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In an intellectual hamlet, century-old love letters give rise to murder

The citizens of Concord, Massachusetts, never tire of their heritage. For decades, the intellectuals of this little hamlet have continued endless debates about Concord’s favorite sons: Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and their contemporaries. Concord’s latter-day transcendental scholars are a strange bunch, but none is more peculiar than Homer Kelly, an expert on Emerson and on homicide. An old-fashioned murder is about to put both skills to the test.

At a meeting of the town’s intellectuals, Ernest Goss produces a cache of saucy love letters written by the men and women of the transcendentalist sect. Although Homer chortles at the idea that Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson might have had a fling, Goss insists the letters are real. He never gets a chance to prove it. Soon after he is found killed by a musket ball. The past may not be dead, but Goss certainly is.


“A delight! . . . The most enjoyable murder mystery of the year.” —Eudora Welty

“I’m not sure that I have ever read a mystery novel that made more loving and evocative use of its locale than this one.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Today’s best American mystery writer.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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