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Regulated for Murder
Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller, No 1
Suzanne Adair

CreateSpace Publishers
February 21, 2012/ISBN 978-1-4524-4571-7
Revolutionary War Thriller/Mystery

Reviewed by Claudia VanLydegraf


Well, it was a long wait, but Suzanne Adair has done it again...... In Regulated for Murder she has Michael Stoddard, still with the Red Coat Army as a Lieutenant in the 82nd Regiment, and still trying to track down Lt. Dunstan Fairfax (his long sought after nemesis) while doing his other Investigative works. This part of his duties open up in search of a man who robbed his clients of monies in hard times by selling duplicate parcels of land to several clients. His name is Bowater, and he is on the run. His British Major, a man named Craig wants him to go to Hillsborough, North Carolina to deliver a message to a Loyalist who is his contact, named Ezra Griggs, with a message for Cornwallis. This story takes place during the buildup of Cornwallis's march to get supplies near Wilmington in February of 1781 and it is bitter cold. Stoddard arrives at Griggs' house and sees a person running out the back part of the lot, he opens the door to the house and finds Griggs dead and the house a shambles. Along with the local person who prides himself as the Sheriff and his deputies arriving, he is trying to get out, and they think that Stoddard did it. Luckily while the presumed Sheriff Schmidt and his lackey O'Toole are roughing up Stoddard in every possible way, trying to get a confession a person who has known Stoddard pops up while Stoddard is being bullied, pummeled and harassed by Schmidt and she vouches for him, allowing him to gain a foothold to get out of Schmidts' target area. He ends up staying with Kate Duncan, the widow (and the person who sort of bailed him out of Schmidt's grasp) at her Aunt Rachel's home.

There is a great cast of ne'er-do-wells and townsfolk who are unwittingly helping Stoddard maintain his freedom and upon orders from Schmidt, to try and find the real killer, but Schmidt has set traps for Stoddard all along the way. There is one unforgettable character in this book and his name is Noah. He is a late 20 to early 30 something year old deaf mute (sort of) by a disease that happened when he was a baby, but he has a great talent, and he helps Stoddard do what needs to be done to solve the murder case of old man Griggs, and saves a lot of guess work along the way. He understands things that people who are hearing cannot because he has to dig deep to feel what takes place. He and his aging father were also a witness because he lived next door to the victim, Griggs. There is a ten year old loyalty thing that figured into this murder because of the Regulators and their activities in 1767 to 1771 that lends a sinister pall over the solving of this murder.

I have read every one of Suzanne Adair's books, and I love her writing, her proficiency in the period that she writes about and her accurate depictions of the characters. She has firsthand knowledge of the period as she and her family are hugely involved in Re-Enacting of the War and times around it. This book is a great Revolutionary War Thriller/Mystery and if you are a fan of wonderful books, you will want to get hold of this one. Suzanne has won numerous awards for her works and she is building a strong base of ardent readers, (me included) who are already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Regulated for Murder, 1

American Revolution Series
Paper Woman, 1
The Blacksmith’s Daughter, 2
Camp Follower, 3

Reviewer's Note: "Best of 2001," Suspense Magazine
Deaf Character - Noah

There is a special Character named Noah who has a physical handicap in the form of Deafness and is a remarkable person who helps Stoddard in the solving of the murder of Griggs. His character and abilities are one of the best depictions I have read about the Deaf from that time period.

Reviewed 2012