The Dutch Wives, or The Thirty Five Timely & Untimely Deaths Of Cumberland County

1934: a doctor struggles with belief, mortality and murder; a novel inspired by real events.

John M. Bischoffberger is a Pennsylvanian doctor adrift in the relative wilds of Maine during the dying years of the great depression. As John goes about his work, he begins to suspect that the deaths he is called upon to document are in fact far from routine. He becomes convinced that an uneasy alliance of three itinerants is going about the county, killing. An old woman, a little girl and a thin man are fulfilling some strange and unspoken duty, drowning, suffocating, hanging and the like, men, women and children. John confides in local outsider Joseph, an older man who becomes John's only outlet for his impossible fears. All the while the three continue to kill, and the deaths seem to be drawing closer to John...

The Dutch Wives is a fictional and dreamlike story of faith, community, and how we deal with life in the shadow of mortality.

About the author

Mason Ball graduated in 2009 from London Metropolitan University, having received a first class honours degree in Creative Writing, finishing within the university's top 50 students. In his second year he won the Sandra Ashman award for his poem Mother Theresa in the Winner’s Enclosure. He has subsequently had work published in Succour Magazine and Brand Magazine.

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Why We Like It

  • An intriguing narratives that switches between the doctor and the trio of murderers
  • Inspired by fascinating accounts made by the real Dr. John M. Bischoffberger in his medical journal between 1934 and 1941
  • Powerful musings on murder and morality

About the author


Mason struggles to recall a time when he wasn't writing something (although it's true to say that, of all he's written, seldom has it been in the third person). Following his poem Fireworks Fireworks Bang Bang Bang at the age of six, he eventually took the whole thing a little more seriously, graduating in 2009 from London Metropolitan University, having received a first class honours degree in Creative Writing, finishing within the university's top 50 students. In his second year he won the Sandra Ashman award for his poem Mother Theresa in the Winner’s Enclosure.

He has subsequently had work published in Succour Magazine and Brand Magazine.

Mason is currently developing his next novel; in addition to this, he writes, co-produces and hosts the award winning monthly cabaret night The Double R Club (as Benjamin Louche -winner of 'Best Host' at the London Cabaret Awards).

An actor of sorts for much of his adult life, Mason would quite like one day to write for a living, so as to never have to dress up as a bar of chocolate again. No, not a joke, that actually happened; pledge and maybe I'll show you a picture.


How it Works

The book will be delivered in 10 instalments (or staves), one every day. The instalments are delivered to your Pigeonhole bookshelf on your IOS or Android app, plus you can read on our web reader. You will receive an email letting you know when each stave is available.
We believe that shared reading leads to new ideas and connections. That’s why we have a dynamic commenting system which allows in-text discussion between our readers. Post a comment and all your fellow readers will be able to respond. You can also choose to receive notifications (customise them here) when someone responds to your comment, or, additionally, whenever a comment is left in the book. If you do not wish to receive each comment as a push notification, be sure to disable push notifications for The Pigeonhole app within your device's settings.
As you read you will see round purple icons at the edge of certain paragraphs – tap on these to reveal behind-the-scenes extra content!
We kindly ask that you help us spread the brilliance of this book and support the author by leaving an Amazon review at the end the serialisation. The full book will be available on your Pigeonhole bookshelf for one month for you to read at your leisure.
Any questions? Drop us a line on laurence@pigeonholepublishing.com.

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