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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Review: Cold Case Reopened: The Princes in the Tower by Mark Garber

Cold Case Reopened: The Princes in the Tower - Mark Garber

This author, writing under the name Mark Garber, takes on the most infamous and debated historical mystery in this book. At 84 pages it reads a little more like a rather long essay, especially since it is written sort of in the style of one taking notes. Since Garber admits from the beginning that he is neither a historian nor writer, one has to admire his willingness to take on such a hot button topic. Since he also requests from the start to "please go easy on me with the scathing reviews," I will attempt to point out only good things.

The cover: This is what caught my eye. A modern investigation board into this ages old crime. Compelling.

The price: At 99c, the reader is not left feeling like they wasted too much hard earned cash.

The simplicity: This book does not give any more information than a Ricardian or Tudorphile could recite in their sleep, so if you already have a bookshelf bulging with medieval biographies you should pass on this. Who should read it? I'm thinking that this may be a decent summary for the spouses of the previously mentioned history geeks. Maybe they would like some idea of what we are rattling on about without having to read our beloved tomes. They can get through this in an evening.

So that's three positives, and I am quite proud to have come up with them since this book is riddled with errors - referring to Warden of the Tower Brackenbury as Blackenbury, mistaking Edward VI for Edward IV, and using the blanket "Stanley" to refer to actions of either Thomas or William. Also, though he names 

Henry Tudor as the killer in the end, he really tries hard to make a case for Elizabeth of York as his prime suspect.

(show spoiler)

 His discussion of EoY was almost laughable in its inaccuracy from the comment about her large breasts to the fact that Richard was poisoning Anne while he had sex with his niece. Apparently, a high-earning, low-quality historical fiction writer was this guy's main source. 

Oops, starting to scathe. Sorry. If you are looking for a simple investigation style look at the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, you may like this.