God in Concord (Homer Kelly, #9)

ISBN: 0140165940
ISBN 13: 9780140165944
By: Jane Langton

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2006 813 5 Closet Fiction Mysteries Mystery Our Library Series To Read Vermont

Reader's Thoughts

Chris Leuchtenburg

A loony tale involving a gang of homeless in tony Concord, some amoral developers and a group of Thoreau fanatics. Imaginative and often humorous, but leisurely paced and rife with implausible events.


A mystery which is literary, well-written, fun and full of action, and still thoughtful and thought-provoking--all that, and Thoreau quotes too. Great book, great series.

Simon Mcleish

Originally published on my blog here& in August 2000.God in Concord is a detective novel about two things I find difficult to understand. The story is about an attempt to build a new development in Concord, Mass., threatening the Walden Pond which inspired Thoreau. I personally find it difficult to get excited about any heritage less than two hundred years old - I was amazed to find a Canadian cousin of mine just as excited about the Victorian terraces which can be seen from the walls of Lincoln castle as by the castle itself. The pond itself might be worth saving from an ecological point of view, though it sounds unpleasantly neglected, but the Thoreau connection seems particularly unimportant. The pond is no longer what it was when Thoreau saw it, which means that without a restoration programme, the literary reference is meaningless. The second thing I don't really understand is why some people revere Thoreau to such an extent. Yes, he could put words together, and he was in part the inspiration of Gandhi's civil disobedience campaign, but the majority of the thoughts expressed in his writing seem to me to be banal.Nevertheless, an emotional attachment to the pond certainly exists for some of the residents of Concord, while against it stands the developer's desire to make money. The developer is willing to use almost any method to gain permission to build, and so a somewhat stereotypical clash is inevitable. Unusually for the genre, the truth of what is going on comes to light in the course of events, rather than being deduced in a masterly fashion by the sleuth. All the Homer Kelly mysteries seem to be like this to some extent, and this makes them nice and gentle. God in Concord is perhaps a little to comfortable, but this perception may be partly due to my antipathy towards Thoreau.


A light, enjoyable mystery! There was enough humor to keep it fun and enough suspense to keep you reading.


Interesting scenario -- but I couldn't get into it. Started to seem contrived.


skip this. really. it's filled with 2-dimensional characters, most of whom are either mean, bitter &/or selfish. i probably could have lived with all that and just dismissed the book as a piece of forgetable fluff. but every other chapter, you're forced to endure descriptions like this (of a doctor whose office is heavy on the pink & flowers):"Homer was glad to see that [Dr. Stefano] didn't match his office suite. His face wasn't part of any decorating scheme. It was lined and puckered with stillborn babies and burst appendixes and dying men and women."arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!


Another New England book - not abut religion, but a mystery story. Homer Kelly is a great character and the books are quite simple. But, when you know the communities the are set in, it is fun to read. I enjoyed reading this whole series. I think I have read all 18, the last was written in 2005.

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