A Marked Man is Hamilton’s second Abigail Adams mystery. I liked it even better than the first one, The Ninth Daughter, which I read in December. There are fewer interruptions in the action. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Sup with the Devil.
I’ve also become interested in reading more about the real John and Abigail Adams.
The Ninth Daughter (New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2009) is Barbara Hamilton‘s firstAbigail Adams mystery. The novel is set in 1773 Boston and surrounding areas. Well-known Sons of Liberty, like John Adams, Sam Adams, and Paul Revere, make appearances.
According to a post on Barbara Hambly’s website, Hamilton hopes “that the series continues at least far enough for Abigail to do some sleuthing in tandem with Martha Washington in the seige-camp outside of occupied Boston during the Seige, and–crossed fingers–with Mr. Jefferson in pre-revolutionary Paris.”
The next two mysteries in the series are A Marked Man and Sup with the Devil.
Barbara Hamilton is apparently a pseudonym of Hambly’s (“Barbara Hamilton“). Hambly has been one of my favorite fantasy writers for many years; I particularly enjoyed her Darwath series, Windrose Chronicles, and Sun-Cross novels (“Barbara Hambly“).
Though Susanna Gregory‘s A Plague on Both Your Houses (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996) is identified on the cover as the third chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew, it is set before the first chronicle, during the plague in 1348-49.
The next chronicle is A Deadly Brew.
I enjoyed Susanna Gregory‘s second chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew, A Bone of Contention (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), more than the first chronicle, An Unholy Alliance, though the second book is as long and complicated as the first. The second novel provides insight into the “town and gown” conflict in medieval Cambridge.
An Unholy Alliance (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996) is Susanna Gregory‘s first chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew, a physician teaching and healing–and solving murders–in 1350 Cambridge, England. I actually like An Unholy Alliance better than A Conspiracy of Violence, Gregory’s first Thomas Chaloner novel.
Other novels about Matthew Bartholomew include
- A Bone of Contention
- A Plague on Both Your Houses
- A Deadly Brew
- A Wicked Deed
- A Masterly Murder
- An Order for Death
- A Summer of Discontent
- A Killer in Winter
- The Hand of Justice
- The Marker of a Murder
- The Tarnished Chalice
- To Kill or Cure
- The Devil’s Disciples
- A Vein of Deceit
- The Killer of Pilgrims
- Mystery in the Minster
- Murder by the Book
I had trouble figuring out which of the books was first in the series, but An Unholy Alliance is clearly labeled as “The first chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew.”
Stephanie Barron‘s latest book, Jane and the Canterbury Tale (New York: Bantam Books, 2011), is at least as good as her last one, Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron, which I wrote about in January. One of the main reasons I enjoyed the most recent one so much is that Barron, for the most part, abandoned the pretext of Jane writing about events in her journal or letters. As a result, the book flowed much better.
7:00 p.m., Mon., Aug. 29
Active Adult Center, 6363 W. 35th Ave.
Read and come prepared to discuss a mystery by a Colorado author like
- Stephanie Barron
- Rex Burns
- Diane Mott Davidson
- John Dunning
- Stephen White
For help finding a book, visit the Jefferson County Public Library or the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America website.
Bring the book with you to the event on Aug. 29 and be prepared to discuss it.
At the event on Aug. 29, we’ll decide how to proceed and what genre, author, or book to read next.
Tell your friends!
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsored by the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission
I think that Stephanie Barron‘s latest Jane Austen mystery, Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (New York: Bantam Books, 2010), is probably her best to date. I’ve added this novel, and her next one, which is apparently to be published this year, to my list.
In “A Few Questions for Stephanie Barron” at the end of the book, Barron states that “there’s no record of . . . her [Jane Austen] having met Lord Byron[, though] she read Byron’s poetry . . . and they had acquaintances in common” (335).
A River in the Sky (New York: William Morrow-HarperCollins, 2010) is Elizabeth Peters‘ most recent installment in the Amelia Peabody series. As with most lengthy series of novels, the later books aren’t as good as the first ones. They become father formulaic as the author churns them out. This is true of A River in the Sky.
In addition, as the series has progressed, I’ve found Amelia less and less likable. She has gone from naively confident to arrogant. I’m also not sure I like the integration of passages from “Manuscript H.”
A few years ago, I reread the then existing Amelia Peabody novels in chronological order according to when they were set not when they were written. This latest novel was written and published out of sequence. According to the “Amelia Peabody series” article at Wikipedia, the novels occur in the following order:
- Crocodile on the Sandbank
- The Curse of the Pharaohs
- The Mummy Case
- Lion in the Valley
- Deeds of the Disturber
- The Last Camel Died at Noon
- The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog
- The Hippopotamus Pool
- Seeing a Large Cat
- The Ape Who Guards the Balance
- Guardian of the Horizon
- A River in the Sky
- The Falcon at the Portal
- He Shall Thunder in the Sky
- Lord of the Silent
- The Golden One
- Children of the Storm
- The Serpent on the Crown
- Tomb of the Golden Bird
I’ve read all of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson Mysteries, and I recently discovered that another one, Apple Turnover Murder (New York: Kensington Publishing, 2010), had been published earlier this year.
I didn’t care for Apple Turnover Murder as much as I remember liking earlier books in the series. A lot of the dialogue seemed stilted, and quite a bit of the action seemed designed solely to introduce new recipes. (I wish, though, that she would publish a cookbook with the recipes from all of the mysteries.) The plot didn’t seem coherent or well developed, but I can’t put my finger on anything specific.
Also, I’m tired of Hannah’s inability to choose between Mike and Norman (whose last names weren’t even mentioned in the most recent book–at least not that I can remember). Norman is clearly the better choice. Based on the ending of Apple Turnover Murder, it appears that Hannah may lose Norman to his new partner in his dental practice.