My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is book #3 in a historical mystery series with Abigail Adams as the protagonist. I have enjoyed this series immensely so far, and this book is no exception. A student at Harvard College has been murdered, and his slave is accused of the deed. Abigail is convinced of the slave’s innocence and sets out to find the real killer.
Integrated into the mystery is the increasing tension between the British and the patriots stemming from the dumping of tea in Boston Harbor. Characters such as Sam Adams and Paul Revere dot the story as well as Abigail’s husband, of course. Given the fact that I think the best thing John Adams ever did in his entire life is to marry Abigail, he is drawn fairly, although probably in a more positive light than I would be inclined to do (I am not a fan). That being said, I enjoy the author’s depiction of Abigail immensely and have no problem with her depiction of Abigail’s husband, as the book is told from Abigail’s point of view, and no one doubts the couple’s love for each other.
I also very much liked the book’s portrayal of the philosophical dilemma regarding the impending war and what methods are justified morally to win the war. It is a topic that is still relevant and is eloquently discussed in the story without being heavy-handed.
The mystery is reasonably interesting, and the historic backdrop is well-drawn, accurately depicted, and well integrated into the story.
I started out as a fan of the author’s fantasy books (writing as Barbara Hambly), but this historical mystery series is a strong addition to her work. I highly recommend them!