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Sup With The Devil
Abigail Adams Mystery, No 3
Barbara Hamilton
aka Barbara Hambly

Berkley Trade
October 4, 2011 / ISBN: 0425243206
Historical Mystery / America / Pre-Revolutionary war

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

Abigail Adams, wife of Attorney John Adams is called to Harvard by her nephew Horace. Horace is a sensitive sort of fellow. When Abigail arrives she finds him ill then discovers he was asked to translate some Arabic letters for a woman named Mrs Lake. He is then drugged without knowing it and the driver attempts to kill him on the way back to the university. Horace escapes and recovers. Next Senior George Fairfield is stabbed to death and his slave is accused of the crime. They expect George's father to arrive from Virginia to claim the slave and hang him. Due to the clues left behind after George's murder, Abigail and Horace know the slave is innocent. Abigail wants to keep the slave out of the father·s vengeful hands. She goes as high as the Governor, but in this mystery Abigail learns a hard lesson about men in charge and how their goals take precedence - this includes her husband and brother-in-law. The late George was a Tory who raised a troop of mounted militia to move against the Sons of Liberty when ordered by the King. George was also a womanizer and a heart breaker, with a long list of resentful classmates. Abigail also needs to solve the mystery of Mrs. Lake and why she wanted Horace dead.

To save the slave, Abigail has to solve the murder, which means time away from home and her children. Abigail is written as noble, intelligent, and sometimes silently judgmental. And sometimes the way Sam and John Adams speak to Abigail it's a wonder she didn't start the first women's lib chapter· (Sorry, I digress.) I enjoyed the storyline, the characters and immersed myself in the pre-revolutionary atmosphere, which is well written and very thorough. The author often places the Adams' personal, historical tidbits throughout the mystery, such as John calling Abigail his pet name Portia and Sam calling her Nab. You'll find references to the title Sup with the Devil on pages 109 and 252.

If you·re looking for a historical mystery written to test your sleuthing skills and make you feel like you've traveled to another place and time Sup With The Devil is the one.

Reviewer's Note: Ninth Daughter
Reviewed 2012
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