Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver, is a fine fellow to follow. His first two appearances in this (so far) four book series were great history/mystery fiction. The third entry, as with this one, lose me when Matthew strays too far from old New York. McCammon deftly uses the town to great advantage as a backdrop and semi-character so it is shame to leave it. Also in The Providence Rider we get to know Corbett's Moriarty, the criminal grand master, Professor Fell. But he is all too omnipotent and his looming presence has puffed up the series so much that it has lost is provincial charm. Without a doubt, colourful characters are in abundant supply with fun Dickens' like names. The action suffers from repetition. The dialogue has some stand-out bon mots but overall tends to drag. Everything picks up when Matthew's partner Hudson Greathouse appears (note to Mr. McCammon). I remain faithful but also hopeful that the author will shrink the canvas but remain liberal with the brushstrokes.