Sunday, October 23, 2011

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair review

For ten years, an execution hid murder. Then Michael Stoddard came to town.

Bearing a dispatch from his commander in coastal Wilmington, North Carolina, redcoat Lieutenant Michael Stoddard arrives in Hillsborough in February 1781 in civilian garb. He expects to hand a letter to a courier working for Lord Cornwallis, then ride back to Wilmington the next day. Instead, Michael is greeted by the courier's freshly murdered corpse, a chilling trail of clues leading back to an execution ten years earlier, and a sheriff with a fondness for framing innocents—and plans to deliver Michael up to his nemesis, a psychopathic British officer.

My review:
4 stars

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair is a detective story set in the time of the Revolutionary War.  Lt. Michael Stoddard is a British military investigator pursuing a shady land agent when he is pulled from the case and sent to deliver a message to Lord Cornwallis.  Upon arriving in Hillsborough to meet his contact Stoddard discovers him brutally murdered.  Originally a suspect he is cleared of the crime, but Schmidt the local sheriff forces him to help with the murder with threats of imprisonment and death.

I am not a person who reads a lot of books like this, but there were still several things that stuck out as unexpected.  The first is the fact that the story is told from the perspective of a British officer.  Pretty much everything else I have read taking place in this time period follows the side of the Americans.  The second was the use of actual researched historical figures, regiments, and locations to bring the story to life.  Having historically accurate people and locations made the story very easy to envision as actual occurrences rather than just words on the page.

Stoddard is a hard nosed soldier who must hide who he is or be outed and killed as a spy.  That is extremely hard for him to do as he runs into a woman from his home town and suspects that Schmidt already has him pegged for what he truly is.  He is totally believable as there are times where he just wants to run away to get away from the situation he is in.  His romantic interest in Kate also adds depth to his character.  It is also well done as I really am not a fan of romance stories, but the crime stays in the forefront of the plot the entire time with the potential romance staying in the background very nicely.

The story wraps up with a satisfactory ending, but there is more introduced to help continue the series along as well.  I personally am looking forward to checking out another story involving Lt. Stoddard and would enjoy seeing more of his assistant Nick Spry as well.

Review copy provided by author.

Check out her Amazon author page for more info on the other books she has written.

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