Archive for 'Adair, Suzanne'
THE BLACKSMITH’S DAUGHTER is the second book in Suzanne Adair’s Revolutionary War series. Sophie Barton was the main character in PAPER WOMAN, and her daughter Betsy Sheridan is featured in book two. It is 1780 and seventeen-year-old Betsy is pregnant when she begins to suspect her husband is spying for the patriots. Her parents, grandfather, and uncle are already in hiding or on the run as suspected spies and British Lieutenant Fairfax, thwarted by her relatives, confronts Betsy at every turn. She is trying to keep the activities of her various family members secret from Fairfax while working to locate them so she can be reunited with them.
But Betsy is an innocent in this political intrigue and she first has to learn who the players are. There is danger for her and her unborn child around every corner and she has to be on her guard at all times if they are going to survive.
This book is not a traditional mystery, but it is a fantastic read. Instead of figuring out whodunit, you spent much of the book trying to unravel the complex motivations and hidden agendas of the different characters. Who is working for the crown and who for the rebels? And can you trust any of them?
One of the most interesting aspects of this book (aside from the wonderful historical detail) is the way that Adair communicates to the reader the tremendous amount of stress that people living during the American Revolution must have lived with. When your own country is torn apart by war and the front line could well be in your front yard, no one is safe. Saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can get you – and your entire family – killed. As you read this book, you really get the feeling of insecurity and of not knowing upon whom you can rely. While I might find this stress unpleasant in a completely fiction book, I find it gives me a better sense of the time in a fact-based historical fiction work.
Favorite character? Probably Betsy. Will I read another? Absolutely. I found both of these books to be page-turners.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2007
Hope your reading is coming along well!
Suzanne Adair is our featured author today. Suzanne’s book, PAPER WOMAN, is the first in a historical suspense series. As the American Revolution batters the Carolinas, thirty-three-year-old widow Sophie Barton leaves her home in Georgia to investigate her father’s murder and plunges into a hornet’s nest of espionage, terror, murder, and treachery. PAPER WOMAN is the Patrick D. Smith Literature Award recipient for 2007.
I read and enjoyed Suzanne’s book, and you can read my review here.
You can find Suzanne on the internet at:
Or see her in person this Summer:
McConnells, SC at Historic Brattonsville for the Battle of Huck’s Defeat reenactment
Raleigh, NC at the Cary Public Library for a presentation
Sanford, NC at the Alston House for the House in the Horseshoe battle reenactment
Clinton, SC at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site for living history
Suzanne is published by Dram Tree Books: http://www.dramtreebooks.com/.
Her next book, THE BLACKSMITH’S DAUGHTER, is coming out in October, 2007.
If you havenâ€™t signed up for the Summer Mystery Reading Challenge yet, click here for directions. You are welcome to read along on your own, of course, but only registered participants are eligible for the prizes.
If you would like to comment on a book by a featured author or ask them a question, please leave the comment on their daily page so they can find it easily. Comments about what you are reading, books you have finished, requests for readalikes or recommendations, or mystery related links can be made on the SMRC post for that day so we can all see them. Thanks!
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007
I have what may be an unusual yardstick for historical fiction â€“ does the author tell us what the toilet facilities are? Yeah, it is weird, but I find that if the author doesnâ€™t give us this information they often havenâ€™t done their research and just setting the book in the past so the characters can wear pretty costumes.
So I am pleased to say that Paper Woman tells us about the (sometimes icky) facts of life in 1780. And, since author Suzanne Adair is a Revolutionary War re-enactor, you know that she has first-hand knowledge on this subject. But enough about outhouses, chamber pots, and bushesâ€¦
Paper Woman is set in Alton, Georgia in 1780. The main character is Sophie Barton, a thirty-three year old widow who lives with her father and helps him run his printing business. In 1780, battles are being fought in hot spots in the American colonies between local militias and English soldiers, while other areas were largely peaceful. Alton has been quiet so far, but Sophie knows her father and his friends in the Safety Committee are up to something. Sophie isnâ€™t sure what is happening, but the local British garrison has become quite interested in her fatherâ€™s activities, two mysterious Spaniards show up, and the local Creek Indians are being seen in large groups. When her father and two other men are murdered under unusual circumstances and she decodes secret messages sent to her father, Sophie decides to keep his rendez-vous with the mysterious message sender to determine what he knows of her fatherâ€™s death.
Sophie and her traveling companions begin a dangerous journey South towards their destination in Havanna, Cuba. Along the way, they realize that the rendez-vous message is not as secret as they thought and their lives depend on unraveling political intrigues and discovering just who their enemies and allies are.
Paper Woman is not your traditional mystery, but it has lots of good stuff in it â€“ adventure, suspense, intrigue, and some romance, too. There are several things I particularly like about this book. First, Adair shows life in 1780 as messy, dangerous, and smelly instead of glamorizing it. Second, she resists â€œname-droppingâ€ and incorporating famous revolutionary figures into the plot, which often feels fake. She relies instead on good fictional characters to carry the story. Third, she shows the incredible diverse population of the time â€“ colonists from different countries, English soldiers, French and Spanish settlers from Louisiana and Florida, Indian tribes, slaves – all were part of the struggle for control of the colonies and all have a part in this story.
Favorite character? Jacques le Coeuvre and his not-so-tall tales. Did I guess it? No, the political intrigue was beyond me so I just gave up and enjoyed the book. Will I read another? Yes.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007