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To Slip the Bonds of Earth

To Slip the Bonds of Earth, April 2024
by Amanda Flower

Featuring: Katharine Wright
304 pages
ISBN: 1496747666
EAN: 9781496747662
Kindle: B0CGN3RCCL
Hardcover / e-Book
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"The Wright Brothers have a crime-solving sister"

Fresh Fiction Review

To Slip the Bonds of Earth
Amanda Flower

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted March 22, 2024

Women's Fiction Historical

Straight after two historical crime stories about poet Emily Dickinson, Amanda Flower leaps to another historical heroine for inspiration. Katharine Wright may not be as familiar a name, but readers will know of her brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. TO SLIP THE BONDS OF EARTH starts just as the young men have succeeded in achieving almost a minute of powered flight.


Katharine, the younger sister of the inventors, finished college and now works as a Latin teacher, though she gets passed over for Ancient Greek as less qualified male teachers want the prestige. While the brothers are away experimenting with flying machines and roughing it at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Katharine runs the comfortable family home in Dayton, Ohio. She also steps in to run the brothers’ bicycle shop, which has a printwork upstairs as Orville and Wilbur love working with any kind of machinery. Cars are starting to replace horses and buggies on the streets. While some residents make a mockery of the idea of flying, it’s clear that inventions are worth good money.


I didn’t even need a crime to hold my interest, but we got one. Wilbur and Katharine attend a well-off family’s festivities in the lead-up to Christmas, and the machinery plans go missing from Wilbur’s jacket. Searching the grand house for them, the siblings discover a man has been stabbed to death. Suspicion falls on either Wilbur or a Latin student called Benny Shaw. The concerned teacher decides to clear both young men from suspicion, and she still needs to find those flying machine plans.


December in Dayton feels just as cold as elsewhere, and I very much enjoyed seeing the town decorated, with parties, a Christmas tree sale, and snowy footstep clues. I highly recommend TO SLIP THE BONDS OF EARTH, for a great deal of fascinating background and a look at how women of all classes were treated in 1903. Amanda Flower deserves credit for bringing a strong, intelligent lady to our notice, and I hope she will write more mysteries featuring Miss Katharine Wright.

Learn more about To Slip the Bonds of Earth


While not as famous as her older siblings Wilbur and Orville, the celebrated inventors of flight, Katharine Wright is equally inventive – especially when it comes to solving crimes – in USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s radiant new historical mystery series inspired by the real sister of the Wright Brothers.

December 1903: While Wilbur and Orville Wright’s flying machine is quite literally taking off in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with its historic fifty-seven second flight, their sister Katharine is back home in Dayton, Ohio, running the bicycle shop, teaching Latin, and looking after the family. A Latin teacher and suffragette, Katharine is fiercely independent, intellectual, and the only Wright sibling to finish college. But at twenty-nine, she’s frustrated by the gender inequality in academia and is looking for a new challenge. She never suspects it will be sleuthing…

Returning home to Dayton, Wilbur and Orville accept an invitation to a friend’s party. Nervous about leaving their as-yet-unpatented flyer plans unattended, Wilbur decides to bring them to the festivities . . . where they are stolen right out from under his nose. As always, it’s Katharine’s job to problem solve—and in this case, crime-solve.

As she sets out to uncover the thief among their circle of friends, Katharine soon gets more than she bargained for: She finds her number one suspect dead with a letter opener lodged in his chest. It seems the patent is the least of her brothers’ worries. They have a far more earthbound concern—prison. Now Katharine will have to keep her feet on the ground and put all her skills to work to make sure Wilbur and Orville are free to fly another day.

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