This book by Mr. Heffernan takes place in the early 1930's in Jerusalem's Landing, Vermont. A white man is found on Beulah Hill murdered by multiple stabbings from a pitchfork. Jehiel Flood who is one of the black families left in the county owns Beulah Hill. Samuel Bradley is the local constable in charge of the investigation and he is considered bleached instead of white by law. This is making the townspeople angry because they have made up their mind that it was the black folks on the Hill that killed Royal Fermin and don't think that Samuel Bradley is the man to do the investigation. They think he could be prejudiced against the white folks in the community and will not find the real killer of Royal Fermin.
Samuel has had to enlist the help of Frenchy LeMay to help in determining who might have caused the death of young Royal and also to take some the heat off him because the white folks are saying Constable Bradley might be favoring the Negroes. In their quest to find the killer a lot of unrest is taking place between the whites and the blacks of Jerusalem Landing.
Also in this mix is a Negro woman by the name of Elizabeth, that is the local schoolteacher, and Samuel has been in love with her since he was a young boy. I believe the mystery is secondary to the story of Samuel discovering whether he is white or black and what that means to him.
This was a very gripping story and I loved the characters and was very saddened that this could have been the way of life in the 1930's during the depression when like was already tough on everyone. I will be looking for other books by Mr. Heffernan because he writes descriptively and I could actually feel and see Beulah Hill. This is definitely a five star book.
This report prepared by Connie Rutter