The MATTHEW CORBETT Book Series By R McCammon - The New Sherlock Holmes

The Matthew Corbett series is a wonderful read by Robert McCammon

The Matthew Corbett book series is written by award winning author Robert R. McCammon.

I first encountered McCammon's work via the title Speaks The Nightbird, a novel that takes place in 1699 based around the maniacal fears of witchcraft in the day: 

"It’s 1699 in the coastal settlement of Fount Royal in the Carolinas when Rachel Howarth is sentenced to be hanged as a witch. She’s been accused of murder, deviltry, and blasphemous sexual congress, and the beleaguered, God-fearing colonial village wants her dead. But Matthew Corbett, a young clerk to the traveling magistrate summoned to Fount Royal to weigh the accusations, soon finds himself persuaded in favor of the beguiling young widow.
Struck first by her beauty, Matthew believes Rachel to be too dignified, courageous, and intelligent for such obscene charges. The testimony against her is fanatical and unreliable. Clues to the crimes seem too convenient and contrived. A number of her accusers appear to gain by her execution. And, if Rachel is a witch, why hasn’t she used her powers to fly away from the gaol on the wings of a nightbird?
God and Satan are indeed at war. Something really is happening in the newly established settlement, of that Corbett is certain. As his investigation draws him into the darkness of a town gone mad, and deeper into its many secrets, Corbett realizes that time is running out for him, for Rachel, and for the hope that good could possibly win out over evil in Fount Royal."


First, I'd like to point out before McCammon, I would read through books in a bit of a quick clip, not paying complete attention to all the nuances of a story but focusing more on the dialog and developing action. But when I started reading Speaks the Nightbird, it felt like it took forever just to get through the first chapter, as McCammon can paint an amazingly detailed picture of pretty much any scene you find yourself immersed in.

Also, take into account that McCammon is a historian buff, you can find yourself expertly transported to another time and place, in historic Fount Royal and later, in the streets of the fledgling town of New York City.  It's a wonderful experience, being transported to historical New York or even London (in latter books). Plus, you end up learning a lot of new words or about things from that era.


The story is set deep in details and complexities as the young Matthew Corbett and his boss, a magistrate, are traveling to Fount Royal, and they are beset upon by criminals and the like, not to mention inclement weather, which plays a part in the story throughout.

When the magistrate and Matthew delve into their job, the complexities of the situation seem pretty simple to most of the characters, because she's a witch and there are many witnesses to her evil nature. And that's that.

But Matthew stands strong in his conviction that witches do not exist and takes it upon himself to prove the impossible, in the face of daunting odds. But Matthew does what is right, not what everyone wants.

And Matthew stands for what is right, no matter what the situation.

It's a fascinating read, where mob-mentality and superstition plays an integral part of the opinions of 'the court' and the 'modern day.'


Speaks The Nightbird is the first in a series of Matthew Corbett books that can be classified as 'historical thrillers.' After the first book, we follow Matthew's journeys from being a magistrate's clerk to an actual 'detective' of sorts, or, 'problem solver.' A job that he makes quite the career of, through the series of books.

I've already read through the seven-book series and loved every second of it, and as I came to know or what to expect of Matthew Corbett, I've come to believe that with the right amount of time and readership, we could be seeing the next evolution of a new kind of Sherlock Holmes.

The book is a great read but there are moments of crass chatter and a moment or two of sex.

If you love stories steeped in detail, history and thrillers, you will like this book.

BUT be warned, due to the depth of detail, it is not a fast read, but rather, a wonderful trip through time in both era, and your own (the time taken to be immersed and lose yourself).

You can see the books by McCammon here: 

Matthew Corbett titles:


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