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WRECK OF THE GOSSAMER: (The Puzzle Box Chronicles: Book 1) ~Shawn P. McCarthy

Dark Spark Press sent me a  PDF file of Book 1 for this 5 part series that touches base with the start of electricity and radio being developed in the USA.  It is just 171 pages and right when the plot gets extremely interesting the book stops and we must wait for the Book 2 release, which happens next month.  It made me feel like I was reading a serial story in the newspaper or one of my mother’s magazines; I could hardly wait for the next part of the adventure.  I had to read the front page again to make sure it was fiction because the references to Edison and Marconi and George Westinghouse sent my mind to believing the story was historic fiction.  Well, maybe it is?


“Victor Marius, an inspired scientist and budding entrepreneur, is lost in a shipwreck off the coast of Cape Cod in the summer of 1891. But before he disappears beneath the waves he manages to release a strange box that he hopes will protect his legacy.

“Amanda Malcom, a young woman enduring a troubled marriage, is about to make a discovery that will lead her on a dangerous odyssey – one that takes her across the country, and into the heart of a rapidly changing America. Along the way, she meets Plains Indians, ex-slaves, riverboat charlatans, and secretive workers who champion the U.S. labor movement. At a time when electric lighting is spreading across the country like a wave, she also meets inspired engineers and Montana miners who dig deep to feed the country’s insatiable demand for copper.

Amanda has survived many things in her short life, but it’s not clear if she will be able to survive the first year of the last decade of the 19th century.”(From Amazon’s page)

I found the story to be unpretentious and interesting and the descriptions of the countryside and time period to be very useful and informative.  Although there is death from the ship being sunk in a storm some harshness of words and violent actions, I think my children would have loved this book starting when they were in about 8th grade.  I believe the story would appeal to a wide age range.  The depth of the characters is quite believable and moved the story forward nicely.

About the author

“Shawn P. McCarthy is the author of two nonfiction business books and hundreds of market research papers and technical articles. His first book, part of a five-book historic fiction series, will be released on February 12, 2016.

“He currently is research director for IDC Government Insights where he manages a series of research programs and data gathering operations with a focus on how the government buys from and works with the U.S. information technology market. Mr. McCarthy determines IT investment priorities for the multiple levels of government and identifies and forecasts emerging technologies and opportunities for both government offices and technology vendors who work with the government.

“Prior to joining IDC Mr. McCarthy served as a group product manager for four years at Lycos, the Internet search engine. In the early 1990s he was senior editor at Government Computer News was a 20-year writer of the Internaut column at Government Computer News magazine.

“He has a Masters degree from The George Washington University, a Bachelors degree from St. Bonaventure University and a certificate in project management for IT programs. He occasionally teaches graduate-level project management classes.

“Mr. McCarthy is frequently quoted by trade publications, and has been quoted in government IT articles in major Newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Politico. “(From Amazon’s page)

Shawn McCarthy Amazon page
Shawn McCarthy Twitter

I would recommend this story to those who enjoy historic fiction and to readers who like to imagine what a time was like and how inventions came to be.  Amanda’s adventures are cross country in a wide sweep as she experiences and works to unravel the mysteries of the puzzle box which washed ashore after the Wreck of the Gossamer

Daughter of Sand and Stone
Playing St. Barbara
A Snug Life Somewhere

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4 Responses to “WRECK OF THE GOSSAMER: (The Puzzle Box Chronicles: Book 1) ~Shawn P. McCarthy”

  1. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Your enthusiasm for this book has me hooked:

    “It made me feel like I was reading a serial story in the newspaper or one of my mother’s magazines; I could hardly wait for the next part of the adventure.”

    Yep, it’s been added to the list. Thank you!
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..The Kiss of Morning DewMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Part 2 is due out very soon, I think I might wait until it is published and then wait for 3,4,5… The writing is very simple with an interesting mix of famous people and fictional characters
    Patricia recently posted..THE CHRISTOS MOSAIC: A Novel ~Vincent CzyzMy Profile

  2. Sam Juliano Says:

    Superbly written piece on another book that more than intrigues. I will conduct a follow-up. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres in literature and film.

    Patricia Reply:

    Thanks Sam, it is an interesting book. Book One ends very suddenly and book 2 comes out next month and that I found disappointing – with 3 more to complete the story after that. Nice mystery, good history, suitable for younger readers too