Watch the Hour

General Fiction

By John Lindermuth

Publisher : Whiskey Creek Press

ABOUT John Lindermuth

John Lindermuth
A retired newspaper editor/writer, J. R. Lindermuth lives and writes in central Pennsylvania. He is the author of nine novels, including four in the Sticks Hetrick mystery series, and has published in a variety of magazines, both print and on line.

His most recent novel is Falle More...


In the 1870s in Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region, mine owners and their employees, particularly Irish immigrants, are in conflict over working conditions.

Private police forces commissioned by the state but paid by the coal companies are sworn to protect property of the mine owners. The miners know their real purpose is to spy upon targeted agitators and intimidate and break up strikers.

The Mollie Maguires—a secret society some see as working to improve the lot of the Irish and which others damn as a terrorist organization—long viewed by the mine owners as a problem, are now seen as an increasing threat.

Benjamin Franklin Yeager is a coal company police officer. He does his best to follow orders while trying to be fair to the workers whose lot he sees as little different from his own. Despite his efforts at fairness, Yeager’s job makes him the enemy of the Irish.

And that’s the crux of his troubles.

For Ben has fallen in love with an Irish girl.

I grew up in the coal region and stories about the Molly Maguires, an Irish terrorist organization or fighters for human rights--depending on the teller's outlook--and their battles with mine owners, were common.

Watch The Hour
by J. R. Lindermuth
Historical Fiction/Romance
Whiskey Creek Press, 2009
Trade Paperback, 316 pages
ISBN 978-1-60313-476-X
An Entertaining Read. Recommended.
Review by Douglas Quinn, Author of Blue Heron Marsh, etal (
While I prefer Lindermuth’s modern-day mystery novels, I do like historical fiction, and this book does have several mysteries interwoven throughout the story. My only negative is that the plot has a melodramatic quality to it. That’s just me. Others may like that aspect. However, the author is such a good writer that both the story and the interesting characters carry the book. In addition to historical fiction buffs, this book will appeal to romance readers, particularly those who enjoy historical settings.
Watch The Hour
is set in the 1870s fictional central-Pennsylvania coal-mining town of Masonville and surrounding area. The author is not only a product of this region but is the librarian of his county historical society and has an intimate knowledge about the locality and times of which he writes. The author offers a captivating portrayal of life in this place and time. It is tough, gritty and sometimes tragic.
Ben Yeager is a policeman. It is a job which is in opposition to the interests of the Irish coal workers, who do the dirtiest of jobs in the mines, and the coal worker’s families. Ben’s benefactor is Samuel Mason, the mine owner and richest man in the area. Trouble arises when Mason has it in mind that Ben will marry his precocious granddaughter, Phoebe, and take over the management of a reclaimed mining operation. But Ben has other interests and plans. He is in love with an Irish girl.
This love interest is at the heart of the story (no pun intended–ah, let’s face it; it was intended); however, there are numerous other interesting characters and entertaining subplots that not only make Ben’s life and decisions more difficult, but create tragedy and sorrow for those already suffering under the oppression of an American feudal system meant to take advantage of the masses by the rich and powerful.
Will Ben Yeager protect himself and his family’s interests or will he risk all of that for a life of rejection and hardship to be with the woman he loves? The answer to that question will be for the readers to determine when they take on yet another entertaining read by J. R. Lindermuth. Recommended.