Mystery/Romance Novel Set in the Steamboat Days in Mid-America

Cover of novel. The view across the Mississippi River is from a hill (Lover's Leap) just south of Hannibal, MO. The author took this photo in 2018.

News Release: For Immediate Distribution January 1, 2021

Award-winning Author Publishes Mystery/Romance Novel

Set in Mid-America’s Steamboat Days

James Magner, MD has just published a short novel set in the steamboat days in mid-America. “The Legacy of a Steamboat Cabin Boy” was inspired by the historical visit of Ulysses Grant to Cairo, IL in 1880. In this heartwarming and humorous mystery/romance, a 17-year-old cabin boy, Niall MacCarthy, is stranded in Cairo, witnesses a murder, learns the approximate location of a sunken strongbox, and meets a smart, pretty farm girl who has a big secret. Humor abounds as Niall becomes a mix of Tom Sawyer and Thomas Edison as he tries to invent a way to locate and recover the strongbox while he pursues his new love interest. Niall must interact with a wide variety of people: freed slaves, Irish dockworkers, farmers, wealthy merchants, John D. Rockefeller, his daughter Bessie, and visiting former President Grant. Based in part on actual events, the thrilling ending is uplifting and satisfying, a pleasure in these challenging days of COVID.

Dr. Magner is an endocrinologist and scientist who was born and raised in a Mississippi River town, Quincy, IL, and he had long wanted to write a good story about the colorful steamboat days in mid-America. The book’s cover image is a photo taken by Magner as he looked northeast across the Mississippi River from a hill south of Hannibal, MO where Mark Twain grew up. Magner’s earlier book, “Seeking Hidden Treasures: A Collection of Curious Tales and Essays,” was recognized by American Book Fest as one of the nine best collections of short stories published in the USA in 2019, and it has been a top one percent-ranked seller on Amazon during 2020.