This Weather of Hangmen
Avid readers, mystery and true crime enthusiasts and those interested in the history of Eastern Ontario take note: This Weather of Hangmen is a new novel by Sylvia Adams, published by General Store Publishing House. It follows the life and trial of Charles Sandford Luckey, accused of the murders of his father, step-mother and sister in October of 1892.
Intrigued by this long-forgotten scandal, Sylvia Adams has spent ten years digging and questioning and puzzling over the many inconsistencies that plagued the case. Charley Luckey was certainly the black sheep of the family - but was he a killer?
What happened that October day more than a century ago, and Charley's part in it, will never be known for sure. But Sylvia Adams, with the determined thoroughness of a master detective, has recreated the circumstances and brought back to life the many victims from that unfortunate family.
Coming on the heels of the much-publicized Lizzie Borden case, the Charley Luckey case nonetheless generated little of the publicity and notoriety of the former. This Weather of Hangmen is an attempt to fill this void. Although fictionalized, the book is a meticulously-researched account of an actual event in the history of Eastern Ontario.
Most bookstores in the Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa area, or from the publisher.
From the book's back cover:
"This Weather of Hangmen is written as a novel. It is actually a meticulously researched account of a spectacular and horrendous crime. The author exploits her unique knowledge of historic Leeds County, the internal workings of a Crown Attorney's office and the ways of the legal profession. Sylvia Adams has produced a thoroughly good read and a remarkable portrayal of rural Ontario one century ago."
The Honourable John R. Matheson
From The Ottawa Citizen
Reviewed by E. Russell Smith
"Sylvia Adams includes not only facts from the public records of the case of Charles Luckey, but also details (whether real or fictional) of the characters and lives of the major players, to lift her narration from a mere "account" of a tragedy into a literary achievement.
She carries the reader quickly into Eastern Ontario, into Victorian times and into the psyches of real characters In the process, she weaves a rich tapestry of rural life in Ontario's first '90s."
From the Brockville Recorder & Times
Reviewed by Chris Stesky
"Adams succeeds in breathing life into her account of this tragedy of the early 1890s. They speak with voices appropriate to their age and station in life.
All the circumstancial and direct evidence brought forth in the trials to condemn or exonerate Luckey gets full treatment in this novel."
The title comes from a modern poem by Wayne Clifford, "A Lament in Winter" in Man In A Window.
"Adams' 268-page paperback novel is a valuable contribution to eastern Ontario's literary culture and will be appreciated by intelligent readers."
"Seems to me your father could have considered you feelings."
"Not for an Irish Catholic, he wouldn't." Charley drew his legs up under him. "Maybe that's how you know it's love. You know it's hopeless from the start, but something makes you keep on. The whole world turns against you, but you just step off the edge and let yourself go. It's like --"
"The long drop," Hannah finished. "The hangman blinds you with the black cap, and you step off into nothing."
Charley nodded hesitantly. "'Cept that that's the end of pain," he said.
"With love it's only the beginning."