Barbara Hamilton, a pseudonym for well-known historical and
fantasy writer Barbara
Hambly, introduces a new historical mystery series
starring Abigail Adams with THE NINTH DAUGHTER. The story
takes place in 1773 Boston, a terrific venue for a mystery
with the political unrest between the Patriots and Tories
giving rise to myriad potential villains. So when Abigail
finds the dead body of an unknown woman in the home of her
friend Rebecca Malvern who writes broadsides unfavorable to
the king, the English try to pin the murder on her husband,
John, a member of the Sons of Liberty. Abigail takes the
political materials in plain sight along with a list of the
members of the Sons of Liberty and their aliases so they
won't fall into British hands. But a notebook labeled
"Household Accounts" that contains the group's
counter-intelligence information and contacts with similar
organizations in other colonies has gone missing.
Abigail will leave no stone unturned in her investigation to
find the real killer and to track down Rebecca who she
thinks fled because she can identify the murderer. She
questions friends, servants and journeys to the farm of
Rebecca's former maid's brother where she may have gone to
ground and even agrees to partner with the British to
restore her husband's good name.
Hamilton brings colonial Boston to life in THE NINTH
DAUGHTER, giving readers insight into daily life of the
time, the city's layout and the position of and feelings
towards slaves. Touching on themes of religion and politics,
The Ninth Daughter reads more like a literary historical
fiction novel that happens to have a mystery at its center
rather than a traditional cozy mystery. Hamilton introduces
us to well-drawn main characters including Abigail Adams,
recognized as an early feminist thinker and a true partner
to her husband; John Adams and his cousin Sam; Paul Revere,
known to most if only for his wild ride to alert Patriots of
the arrival of the British. We also meet more minor
characters including local merchants, British soldiers,
poorer laundresses and slaves.
Some might feel THE NINTH DAUGHTER doesn't move quickly
enough, but for me, it gave me a chance to get to know the
characters and better savor the environment. Hamilton deftly
combines a complex mystery, flowing prose and "real"
characters to make this story a terrific read. Fans of
historical fiction and cozy mysteries alike will appreciate
her incredible talent.
In the Massachusetts Colony, political upheaval turns
murderous...a new series featuring First Lady Abigail
1773: The Massachusetts colony is torn
between patriots who want independence from British rule and
loyalists who support the King. At the center is the
educated and beautiful Abigail Adams-wife of John Adams, the
leader of the Sons of Liberty, a secret organization
opposing the Crown.
When a murder occurs in the
home of their friend and fellow patriot, Rebecca Malvern,
John is accused of the gruesome crime, which was seemingly
perpetrated to obtain a secret Sons of Liberty document.
With both her husband's good name and the fate of the Sons
of Liberty at stake, Abby must uncover a conspiracy that
could cost them all their freedom-and their lives.