Blindspot: A Novel

Blindspot - Jane Kamensky, Jill Lepore Those who read my reviews regularly know that I deplore poorly researched historical fiction. Unfortunately, there is such a plethora of poorly researched historical fiction available today that I begin each book with a sense of trepidation.Fortunately, "Blindspot" is not only well-researched but also entertaining. This semi-epistolary novel finds portrait painter Stewart Jameson newly arrived in Boston on the eve of the American Revolution. His ad for an apprentice is answered by one "Francis Weston," who is actually a disgraced woman called Fanny Easton, disguised as a boy because she wishes to become an artist.Between Jameson's amusing addresses to his reader and Fanny's letters to her childhood friend Lizzie, authors Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore shows us an early America in which abolitionists are pitted against slavers, royalists against revolutionaries and rich against poor. At the center of the plot is a murder for which a slave is hanged, despite his wife's protestations of his innocence. Jameson and Weston/Easton, along with Ignatius Alexander (an African physician, based on the historical Ignatius Sancho), investigate and find the true culprit through a series of amusing stratagems.The book does touch on some sensitive issues (slavery, crime and punishment, homosexuality), but does so in a frank yet tasteful fashion.(Review based on advance reading copy.)