Sunday, October 24, 2010
The Six Mile Inn by Lee Martin (review)
The Six Mile Inn is a fictious account of a true series of events. This is a compelling novel about one of Charleston's famous characters, Lavinia Fisher, who stood accused as the first female mass murderer in America. The novel explodes with the ingredients of murder, romance, mystery and psychodrama.
My take on this book:
In 1819 just outside of Charleston SC, the Six Mile Inn was run by Lavinia Fisher and her husband John. Ever the inn keeper she always welcomed her guests into her inn, providing them with a meal, and then a special cup of tea at bedtime. Problem was the tea was poisoned, and was how she killed many of her overnight guests. Along with the murders going on at the Inn, the Fishers were also traveling with a band of marauders that would rob unsuspecting travelers on the road.There plan was basically flawless or so they thought.
One night a weary trapper, John Peeples, stops at the inn, after eating a good meal, he is offered the tainted tea, which he refuses, saying it would keep him awake, he soon overhears a discussion outside his bedroom window about how they will kill him, he escapes and heads to town where he tells the constable how he barely escaped death. When the constable arrives at the Fisher's he is totally horrified at what he finds.
After standing trial the Fisher's are found guilty and sentenced to hang, but will the state of South Carolina hang a white woman? Can Lavinia figure a way out of this mess, and if she doesn't will that be the end of her?
Lee Martin is a master storyteller, making Lavinia's story such a compelling page turner, I couldn't put it down. Even though I knew early on that Lavinia was a killer, I still felt sorry for her, because she was orphaned at eight years old, when a band of Creek Indians came to the Inn and killed her family, the only thing that saved her was the fact that her brother hid her in the barn under some hay, he hid there as well but was found and murdered, and Lavinia was a witness to the whole thing.She was also mistreated by the aunt that took over the Inn after her parents death. She was also looked down on by the women of Charleston.
There was also a great cast of secondary characters in this book as well, such as Matthew Cowher, a minister that loved Lavinia, but wouldn't act on his feelings, what he didn't realize was that Lavinia felt the same about him, but she married John Fisher instead, a man that she could mold into a murderer. I also felt the story of the slave, Marcus Washington, added an unexpected twist to this story. With a terrible owner, he did what he had to do to protect his wife.
If you enjoy stories woven around actual events, and like a little romance, murder and suspense,with a great cast of characters and an ending that will leave you quite satisfied then give this book a try, it is definitely worth reading!
Reviewed for Reader's Favorite