There were two hearts beating beneath the words in this book. The one that wants to tackle history and events that shaped the past and in doing so the future. Then there is the one that just wants to tell the reader an enjoyable story. It is often quite hard to do that simultaneously. The end result is a combination of the history of the South (US) with a grand portion of agricultural history and topped off with a murder mystery set in the pre- civil war era.I enjoyed the information on the first engine driven farm machinery in relation to automated labour vs slave labour and the way the plantation owners not only refused but also halted a natural progression into a new age. The author also made an attempt to lay bare an understanding of how the slave owners thought of their slaves. At the same time the main character is introduced as a person opposed to the inequality of those times. A man who strives to create an equal setting for the slaves, although be it with his often condescending nature, the point he is trying to make is heard loud and clear.The main character tended to go on and on about his invention so much so that it became repetitive. There was no need for the reader to go over that information multiple times.Overall I found the story enjoyable but a little overdramatic at times. I didn't let that keep me from the by-product of info which I took from the story.I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.