Paper Woman is a well-researched and well-paced historical mystery with sufficient twists and turns that will make you want to read it all in one sitting.
Taking place during the American Revolution, Paper Woman stands out partially because the setting is one mostly neglected by history books and novels alike: Georgia, Florida, and the Caribbean. The perspective is also a refreshing change in that it's not the typical Patriot vs Loyalist fare, but, rather, is told from the point of view of a main character who is neutral.
Independent and intrepid, Sophie Barton gets caught up in her father's intrigues that lead her and her trusted companions onto a path of adventure. Along the way, she faces danger several times, but also has the opportunity to gain insight not just into her own life, but also that of those closest to her.
There's an arrogant, smarmy villain that readers will love to hate, as well as minor characters who will enter the adventure at various points who will also capture the reader's interest.
I highly recommend this book.
Suzanne Adair's Revolutionary War historical thrillers are delightfully atypical and original. Instead of writing from the nearly ubiquitous Patriot perspective, her books are seen through the eyes of Loyalist, neutral, and British characters, unlike most novels taking place during this time. Her books are always a pleasure to read because it's obvious that the author has taken the time and effort to properly research and get the historical details right.
In her fourth installation, she brings a previously minor character, British Army Lt. Michael Stoddard, to center stage.
The book starts with Stoddard conducting a raid at the office of a shady land agent, who is nowhere to be found, but had left a nasty trap for Stoddard and his men. To his chagrin, Stoddard is soon taken off the case for a different assignment. He is sent incognito in civilian clothes on a courier mission to Hillsborough, NC with a message for General Cornwallis to give to another man to deliver. Michael finds his contact freshly murdered; so fresh, that he spies the presumed murderer escaping out the back.
And this is where the fun begins. The Sheriff and his cronies soon arrive, at first trying to arrest Stoddard for the murder. Michael, who gives a phony name and back story, is drawn into solving the murder and becomes entangled in much more than he'd originally bargained for. He quickly realizes that this is a complicated case, which has its roots in events taking place ten years previously, during the time of the Regulators.
The author populates Hillsborough with several engaging secondary characters, a few of whom I'd love to see again. We also see the dastardly Dunstan Fairfax reprising his role from earlier books.
This is a book that will keep you reading well into the wee hours, as you'll be too busy reading to see what happens next to bother with going to bed.