Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (11/15)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘Tim Curious – A Murder Mystery of the American Revolution’ by Roddy Thorleifsonon Blogcritics.
“Tim Curious” by Roddy Thorleifson takes place in New York State during the second year of the American Revolution. Tim Euston, dubbed Tim Useless and later Tim Curious, is willing to risk his life for the independence of his nation, but is turned away from the military for being too short. Tim’s opportunity to defend his nation does eventually come, in a manner much different than he ever imagined.
One night in January 1777, Tim ends up in jail on trumped up charges of robbery by the local mercantile owner Nat Pellis, and his uncle Thomas Pellis. Tim was actually defending his sister, Sadie, from the unwelcome hands of Thomas Pellis. A few days later the only man who could testify on Tim’s behalf was found dead. When the father of one of Tim’s friends was wrongly accused and convicted of that death, Tim knew he would not stop looking until he found the real killer.
“Tim Curious” is a delightful mix of mystery and intrigue, sprinkled with healthy doses of history, drama, and humor. Roddy Thorleifson does an excellent job weaving relevant historical facts into his story, educating and entertaining his readers simultaneously. I thought I knew my American history, but was pleased to find that I learned several interesting facts on my journey through the story, and I must admit there were several instances I found myself feeling thankful that I was born a couple of hundred years later.
I loved the characters of Tim and Sadie, brother and sister very much alike in their thinking and mannerisms. The siblings’ forthrightness with each other is engaging and draws a certain loyalty to them, and their efforts to solve the mystery. The book is very nicely illustrated by the author as well. His black and white sketches add an authentic feel to the story and help create a deeper connection to the setting and the characters.
I enjoyed “Tim Curious” by Roddy Thorleifson and recommend it to American history buffs and fans of entertaining light mystery. I think the young adult crowd is perfectly suited for this story with the educational elements and the experiences of a young boy coming of age in the 1700s.