Friday, October 16, 2015



DEADLY OCCUPATION, by Suzanne Adair, is a rousing historical mystery. If you’ve read other works by Ms Adair, then no doubt you are also a fan of Lt. Michael Stoddard—even though he is a Redcoat. Cheering for him makes me feel a traitor, but I can’t help myself. My American Revolutionary ancestors are probably scowling down at me from above (giving them the benefit of the doubt).

Major Craig and the 82nd regiment take over Wilmington after the rebel soldiers have fled. Those left in town are paroled to conduct business. Soon Major Craig is made aware that on the day the rebels fled, a local woman named Julia Garrity went missing. Michael Stoddard is appointed Lead Investigator to find her.

In this book, Michael is twenty-six. He’s a man of honor and treats those he encounters without bias unless they have broken the law. As his assistant, he’s chosen young Private Nick Spry, age eighteen. They are mismatched physically and by rank, but have much in common. Both young men are keen observers of detail, a quality important in any investigation.

The men are allowed to board at the house of a local woman, Mrs. Chiswell. She isn’t home, but her housekeeper, Enid Jones, is terrified by past events. Michael and Nick are pleased they have good food and a better place to bunk than the barracks. (Nick is also pleased the maid next door is a buxom blond, Molly.)

Michael is aided in his search by attractive widow Kate Duncan, co-owner of White’s Tavern with her brother, Kevin Marsh. One of those assisting with Kate’s intervention is Mrs. Hooper, wife of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Not only has Mrs. Garrity disappeared, but there have been attacks directed at other women: Mrs. Farrell and a young widow, Esmé Delacroix.

A curious new religious group has set up just outside town. A supposed Anglican vicar, Elijah Spivey, encourages women to take part in foot washing and to accept leadership roles in his Mary and Martha of Bethany congregation.  Mr. Spivey is partial to brunettes with brown eyes, which fits Mrs. Garrity’s description. But Mr. Garrity is not blameless, nor is his housekeeper, Mrs. Overstreet.
Although referred to, the demonic Lt. Fairfax does not make an appearance.

As usual with Ms Adair’s books, historic details are blended in without being pedantic. On the contrary, her writing makes history come alive. DEADLY OCCUPATION is a fast-paced mystery that kept me unable to stop reading until the conclusion. I don’t give spoilers in my reviews so I can’t tell more. Allow me to summarize and say this great book is thick with intrigue and subplots to keep readers guessing. DEADLY OCCUPATION is definitely a 5 out of 5 rating.



Kindle UK




Suzanne Adair, Author
Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in a two hundred-year-old city at the edge of the North Carolina Piedmont, named for an English explorer who was beheaded. Her suspense and thrillers transport readers to the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Check out Suzanne's web site and blog at to learn more of her adventures.

Here's what Suzanne Adair says about her writing:

I write page-turner crime fic­tion nov­els set dur­ing the Amer­i­can Revolution.

Why the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion? Well, I hated his­tory the way it was taught in high school: gut­ted of all the cool stuff, reduced to facts and dates so you remem­ber it the wrong way. Come on, admit it, when you think of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion, you imag­ine bewigged, bor­ing men who spout unin­tel­li­gi­ble polit­i­cal philosophy—right?

And who wants to slog though that?

When you read fic­tion, you want to be immersed in another world. You want to escape.

I’m on a mis­sion to make the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion acces­si­ble and fun for you. I give you real­is­tic, relat­able char­ac­ters, tightly plot­ted drama, and thrilling his­tory. You’ll feel like you’re there. Even bet­ter, you’ll never miss the 21st century.

Pre­pare to be trans­ported into a past where heroes are ordi­nary peo­ple. Like you and me.


Suzanne said...

Thank you for the lovely review, Caroline!

Caroline Clemmons said...

I loved this book and recommend it to everyone! Thanks for stopping by.