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Canton author combines suspense with local history

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CANTON - Margaret A. “Maggie” Hockett has always enjoyed reading suspense novels that are filled with twists and turns.

She’s also become intrigued by the vital role Northern New York and the St. Lawrence River played in the War of 1812.

Her new, self-published book, “Taking Hart,” combines a suspenseful plot with some regional history. The fictional story is geared for young adults and the main character is a 16-year-old boy who lives in Harts Landing, a fictional town on the St. Lawrence River between Alexandria Bay and Morristown.

“It’s not a historical fiction because it takes place in the present day, but the backdrop is historical,” Mrs. Hockett said. “This area is so rich in War of 1812 history that it seemed natural to make that the backtrop to the story.”

The book’s release coincides with the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, a three-year conflict between the United States and Great Britain. Much of the fighting took place along the border of Northern New York and Canada.

Entertaining readers is her primary goal, but sharing local history is her other objective.

“It mixes fiction with fact in a way that makes history kind of exciting,” Mrs. Hart said. “It uses the war as a backdrop that might inspire curiosity about the war.”

Mrs. Hockett, an Edwards native, said her novel also incorporates the mystique of the Thousand Islands region where privateers and pirates once voyaged the St. Lawrence River searching for bounty.

The 257-page book describes the adventures of Corey Worder who searches for clues to disprove a legend about his ancestors. A missing journal, a brass buckle, a mysterious woman and a pretty girl come into play as the story unfolds.

A list of character descriptions is included in the back of the book along with some information about the region’s connection to the War of 1812.

Mrs. Hockett has spent most of her career working as a writer and editor for The Critical Thinking Co., a publishing company that produces educational books and software.

She decided to start writing “Taking Hart” after moving back to the north country in 2006, and she’s already planning a sequel, “Taking the Gold.” She uses the pen name, M.A. Noble.

“Taking Hart” is available in paperback through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s expected to be available soon at the area’s college bookstores and at Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, 53 Main St.

Mrs. Hockett can also be emailed at manoble@rocketmail.com.

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