“The Orphanmaster: a Novel of Early Manhattan” by Jean Zimmerman

First class historical fiction! The time period is just before the English conquer New Amsterdam and transform it into New York City. New Amsterdam is a cultural mishmash, the Dutch in charge but many other groups represented, including native Americans and Africans.

The main character, Blandine, is a young woman who was under the “care” of the orphanmaster while a teenager. In her twenties, she is a rising business person, trading general merchandise and trying to move into the more lucrative trade in animal furs. The community is suffering the disappearance of children, first orphans and then others. Hysteria rears its ugly head.

Blandine and an English spy team up to solve the mysterious deaths and fall in love. Lots of color and adventure. Good to read! I think this book is part of a series, and hope to read the rest.

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