The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green

This is some great historical fiction with a crime at the center. I’d never heard of the ex-slave colonies (or maybe if I did it was a line or two back in college.)

The Kingdoms of Savannah 
by George Dawes Green
2022
Read by a cast 11h 17m
Rating: 9 – A / literary crime 

One dark and drunken night in a barroom on a moss-covered, tree lined street of Savannah, a rather dim, but good-hearted, bum-type of guy, is murdered.  He’s not quite a friend of anyone in particular, but he’s tolerated and well liked by all, even though he’s drunk more often than not.

So Morgana Musgrove, the aging but still smart and gorgeous social queen ofSavannah takes it upon herself to investigate. She’s also the proprietor of a detective agency and a domineering mother and grandmother.  With the sometimes grudging help of the family, she digs up more wormy dirt than there is in the lush, old, well-worked cotton fields. But investigating a murder can be a dangerous business, so Morgana and  her crew find trouble, an archeologist is seriously missing and the old ghosts come out to haunt. They’re very old ghosts. 

The tale starts a wee bit slow gathering the main characters and painting the setting,  but it’s interesting, so I kept reading. I’ve been to Savannah and read about it in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt as well as other places so I got hooked into this book! 

Morgana is a fierce character who loves her four children of course, but is also full of passion and flirty southern lady-ness. Still, even with all that, there’s only a whisper of a type-cast “southern” anything (imo).

Part of the story includes background on enslaved Black soldiers who, during the American Revolution, fought on the side of the British and/or escaped during that time.   

Sharper and Lewis were captured and escaped to Spanish Florida.  I had to check on this .  (Btw,  with historical fiction I’m not picky about everything being “true” – If it is, kudos to the author for his research and the inclusion.  If it’s not kudos to the author for his imagination.  Just please, incorporate it well- believably and in context (they usually do).

“The King of England’s Soldiers”

https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/running-from-bondage/confronting-the-power-structures/FA2F0173B2F5DE17D724521F3CD0164E

Lewis and Sharper http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/49564/7/WRAP_Lockley_The%20King%20of%20England¹s%20Soldiers.pdf

https://www.history.com/news/the-ex-slaves-who-fought-with-the-british

https://msmagazine.com/2021/07/02/slave-black-women-freedom-independence-day/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_Florida

 

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