Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Sup with the Devil

Sup with the Devil (Abigail Adams Mystery - Book 3) by Barbara Hamilton

Publication Date: 09/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0425257266
ISBN-13: 978-0425257265

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Barbara Hamilton (aka. Barbara Hambly) on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads 

(Note: I was disappointed that there was no page for Barbara Hamilton and that there was no mention of this series on Barbara Hambly's website either. Although there is a blog post about her alter ego. The series was not even listed under the authors list of books. It's such a good series, it's really a shame that there is very little mention of it.)

Books in the series:

The Ninth Daughter (2009), A Marked Man (2010), Sup with the Devil {Mass Market Paperback} (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Sup with the Devil, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Murder in Colonial America...

1774: Spring brings uncertainty to Boston as the entire city awaits the Crown’s response to the infamous Tea Party. Urged on by the Sons of Liberty—and Abigail’s husband, John—militias form and arm themselves. But when a Harvard Loyalist is murdered, the only side Abigail finds herself on is the side of justice… 

After an attempt on the life of her scholarly young nephew Horace, Abigail travels to Harvard to investigate. A mysterious woman had hired Horace to translate some Arabic, only to leave him disoriented and frightened—and at the mercy of her henchmen. But Horace survived—with a tale of pirate treasure…
While Abigail and Horace try to unravel the strange circumstances, one of his fellow students—a young man loyal to the King—is murdered. And though the Sons of Liberty are desperate to find the rumored gold, Abigail is more interested in the truth. For the Devil’s treasure comes with a curse that could bring down anyone, regardless of where their allegiance lies…


Barbara Hamilton is a pseudonym for popular historical romance writer, Barbara Hambly. Hambly has also written other historical mysteries including the Benjamin January series. The latest book in the Abigail Adams series by alter ego, Hamilton is well written and extensively researched. Pre- Revolutionary War Boston comes to life in this historical whodunit featuring the ever resourceful Abigail Adams, as a fictionalized amateur sleuth. Hamilton's use of political intrigue and historical references add a sense of authenticity and genuineness to the book. A great addition to the series!

The real Abigail Adams was in intrepid character in her day. She was very intelligent and interested in politics and government. She is remembered for her contribution to the property rights of married women and women's education during Revolutionary times. She was certainly interested and involved in her husbands political career and that of her son, John Quincy Adams. I thought Barbara Hamilton chose a very well known and amazing woman to be the heroine of this series. Abigail would most definitely have been a good amateur sleuth. Her inquisitiveness and ingenuity were unparalleled in her time and well represented here.

I am a big fan of historical writing in general, whether be fiction or otherwise. I was really interested in this series because of Abigail Adams and I was intrigued to see how she would be portrayed here. Hamilton is quick to show the reader that Abigail was very intuitive and well versed in the politics of the times. She wrote her as versatile and willing to help those in need. In Sup with the Devil she is coming to the aid of her nephew Horace who has had a traumatic experience. Hamilton shows the depth of Abigail's character throughout the book and the reader is drawn in to Horace's story quickly. 

I liked the premise. The political intrigue with the Sons of Liberty and the historical characters like Sam Adams and Paul Revere that show up in the book, add credibility to the story, but they are not the main focus. The focus is squarely on the fact Horace has been poisoned and his friend murdered, possibly in reference to an Arabic translation referring to the Devil's treasure. It was a very engrossing story that kept me on the edge of my seat and in thoughtful repose by spurts. Some of the action was quick and furious while some parts tended to drag a little bit.

Abigail goes to Harvard with the intent to find the culprit. I liked her tenacity and the way she was able to bring others around to her way of thinking. Horace was a competent sidekick in this one, though his spouting of Latin phrases was a bit aggravating at times. It is obvious that Hamilton knows her time period thoroughly and has done a lot of research to make sure that Abigail purports herself as a woman of the late 18th century should. The historical references in the book are interesting and add to the overall Colonial feel of the story.

It was a good mystery. It had a lot of good clues and Abigail was adept at finding and understanding them. I had this one figured out before the main character even starts to consider the killer as a suspect. I know, that's a bit soon, but sometimes it's more about the journey than the big reveal and that's the case with this book. It was so interesting that the reader doesn't really mind that the bad guy is in plain sight. I enjoyed the fact that Hamilton still gives the reader a lot to think about and maybe even makes them waver on who they think it is throughout. Overall I liked this one and I think this series deserves a lot more credit than it gets.

Sup with the Devil is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Barbara Hamilton is a pseudonym for Barbara Hambly. Hambly is a full-time author, who works in several genres. In the mystery world ,she is known for her bestselling Benjamin January historical mystery series, includingA Free Man of Color and Good Man Friday among other titles. She has also written a number of historical novels about famous women in American history, including Mary Todd Lincoln and Dolly Madison.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Sup with the Devil by Barbara Hamilton.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 8th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your favorite woman from history and why you like her.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


justpeachy36 said...

There are so many to choose from for this one. I won't say that Harriet Tubman is my favorite because I have many. But she was a very strong woman who risked her life to help others and that is a quality that should be remembered. But there are also women like Madam Curie and Marie Antoinette that changed history in their own way. There are certainly no wrong answers here!!!

traveler said...

Emma Lazarus is my favorite strong woman who is fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I think there's a lot of unsung heroes among women in history, simply because of their status as women. I have enjoyed the stories of Dolley Madison. I wrote a bio of her for a class once. She also seemed very smart, and helped save many items from the British during the War of 1812.

Rita Wray said...

I have a lot of respect for Susan B Anthony because of what she did for the women's rights movement.

Karen B said...

Oh, so many. Betsy Ross. Whether or not she sewed the first flag I was fasinated with her as a young child, thus beginning my love of American history.

Carol N Wong said...

Lucretia Mott, Betty Fredian and Lucy Stone worked diligently for women's rights. Sacajewa led the way for Lewis and Clark. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first American physican and Clara Barton started the American Red Cross. Helen Keller worked for the blkind and deaf. Eleanor Roosevelt worked for racial Equality. There so many more!


Linda said...

Many,! Abigail Adams -while husband, John was off making a country, AA managed family, farm and gave him sound advice "Rememer the ladies"! Seriously! And Billi Jean King 9/20/73 Battle of the Sexes & what did for women's sports, ESP. Tennis and women's equal rights. Actually human rights. And continues to do even today!


Nancy said...

I'd say Madam Curie is just one of many who made a difference in so many lives. As I also look back on my ansesters, my mom who beat TB and raised 5 children, her mother who raised 9 children, and so on. So many unnoticed women who influenced our own personal lives.

bn100 said...

Jane Austen for the books she wrote

lag123 said...

I admire Rosa Parks for her courage during a time of turmoil.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Dotty Kelley said...

Eleanor Roosevelt. She set the tone for what modern First Ladies should be.

Renee said...

I have just been reading about Abigail Adams and her intelligence. I have to read this series!! Loving it!!!!

Wendy Newcomb said...

Clara Barton, I love what she did during the war, I fell in love with her when I read a book about her in grade school, many moons ago!


ann said...

I would say Eleanor Roosevelt for the great lady she was and Rosa Parks for what she did to help the people to join together as one

Sue Farrell said...

Eleanor Roosevelt is my favorite woman of history because my mother talked of her so often that she just came alive to me.

cyn209 said...

oh wow!!
one favorite??
i guess mine would be Lucille Ball!!! she was definitely someone who was ahead of her time!!!!

thank you for this giveaway!!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

Linda Kish said...

Florence Nightingale. She may have had a questionable past but she is noted as the founder of modern nursing. As a nurse, I find her interesting.