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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "Death of a Mill Girl" by Clyde Linsley
By Milton M. Gross
Jul 14, 2015 - 8:12:27 AM

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I read another book similar to this, but this one, Death of a Mill Girl by Clyde Linsley, described life in the mid 1830s in a more detailed way. Milt Gross photo.
Death of a Mill Girl describes not only life in the 1830s but the sad state of the mills during that period. The workers were primarily slaves, not called such but treated that way.

The book's back cover states, "Set in New England in 1836, the story concerns the murder of a beautiful young girl, one of many, hired to work like slaves in the new textile mills spawned by the Industrial Revolution."

This is the first self-published book I've felt was really good. By self-published, I mean published by iUniverse, Inc. of New York for which the author pays. Most of these companies don't really care about the finished product, as long as they receive the author's money, I think.

But this book was good, a good story except that things got a bit wordy near the end so I was losing part of the story. The end was fairly typical with some romance thrown in: "And though she could not see his eyes upon her departing back, he thought perhaps she could feel them, for her walk at once seemed to become straight, proud and, yes, womanly."

This 2009 publication had one major problem, the pages are too big for the printed page. There is too much space at the top of each page for comfortable reading, and the print is a bit too small. I suppose iUniverse, Inc. was using their standard page size and trying to fit the typed page onto it. I think it would look better with larger print, but that might mean iUniverse, Inc. would need to spend extra money for more pages.

Online I found three other historical novels by the same writer and one that has a modern setting.

Confusing me a bit is this from the back cover, "Once again, after many years, here is the first book in the critically acclaimed Josiah Beede (the lead character) series of historical fiction." I think there should be more information about the author himself. I suppose, though, that a self-publishing company is not about to use any more paper or print than is necessary.

I looked Linsley up online and found basically nothing. The back book cover states, "Veteran journalist Clyde Linsley drew upon many years of living and working in New England to capture the essence of the region in 'Death of a Mill Girl.' A Southerner by birth, he now lives with his family in the Virginia Suburbs of Washington, D.C."

From the website backinprint.com, "The Authors Guild is partnering with Open Road Integrated Media to offer the Back in Print program. Authors Guild members will have the option to republish their out-of-print titles as e-books and print-on-demand editions through Back in Print. These new editions will feature individually designed covers and reformatted text. Wide online distribution to major retailers like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo will allow your title to again be available to your audience. Any book that has been previously published by an established, traditional U.S. publishing house is eligible, with the exception of image-heavy fare like children's picture books or graphic novels."

Which still doesn't tell me much about the author.

The back cover prices the book at $16.95. Amazon.com carries it for $16.21 for the paperback, or $14.53 new, and $8.55 used.

There is no information anywhere I looked about how to contact the author. I'd like to contact him, and his photo makes him appear friendly. Should he read this, maybe he'll contact me.

Are you reading this, Clyde Linsley?

A very interesting book based on a true setting. I probably won't reread it, so you can have my copy if you send me your name and mailing address.

Milt Gross
lesstraveledway@roadrunner.com.


Clyde Linsley has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from University of Missouri. His work was heavily influenced from growing up during the desegregation years in the south. Linsley spent six years writing for the U.S. Department of Transportation and many more writing for a local newspaper in Hartford, Conn. before he decided to take a turn with novels. Now a four-time published author, Linsley lives in Virginia and works to merge history with the present in action novels for all readers. He has published three other novels.

"Death of a Mill Girl"
By Clyde Linsley
iUniverse Publishing
Published 6/23/2009
ISBN: 978-1-4401-2501-0
288 pages
Softcover $16


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