Fire Bell in the Night was published after becoming a finalist in the First Chapters writing contest at Gather.com. Given that information (An online contest? And only a finalist?), I didn't have high hopes. I felt like reading another book about the South, though, so I gave it a try.
It's set in the 1850s and centers on a reporter from New York who has traveled to Charleston to cover the trial of a man accused of violating the Fugitive Slave Act. You can visit the official website for more details. So is it any good? Surprisingly, yes. Aside from using one or two stunningly clumsy coincidences to move the plot forward, Edwards is a solid writer. The book is engaging and informative, with interesting characters and realistic details. I am no history buff, and historical novels sometimes turn me off, but this one is very readable.