Flashback by Nevada Barr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Anna Pigeon has been sent to Ft. Jefferson to temporarily replace the supervisory ranger on remote Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park. She is also running from a proposal of marriage from the Sheriff/Minister back on in Mississippi and this will give her some badly needed breathing space. The fort is a bleak and lonely post about 70 miles from Key West. The group of islands are just barely above sea level and are almost deserted. There is, however, Ft. Jefferson, a Civil War fort which houses the National Park operations.
To help her pass the time, her sister has sent her some letters from their Great Great Aunt who was living at the fort when it was a military outpost during the Civil War. Her aunt was living there with her difficult husband who was the Commandant of the fort during the time the Civil War prisoners were occupying it. The arrival of Dr. Mudd and Samuel Arnold, convicted of acting in the plot to assassinate President Lincoln, sets in motion the turmoil to which the letters relate.
The book switches between the past and present which is a new device for Nevada Barr. Each chapter seems to end on a cliff hanger, so you are always being tempted to read much longer than you should just to get back to the opposite century. All in all, this was very good. The mystery was tight and also gave much information on an area of the country most people don't even know exists.
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