DEADLY OCCUPATION is Book 1 in the Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mystery series. If you like Diana Gabaldon, Bernard Cornwell, and Jim Butcher, then you'll love this fast-paced, tension-filled detective novel.
"Thick with intrigue and subplots to keep readers guessing." -- Caroline Clemmons, author of the "Kincaids" series
A wayward wife, a weapons trafficker, and a woman with "second sight"--it's a puzzle that would have daunted any investigator. But Michael Stoddard wasn't just any investigator.
Late January 1781, in coastal North Carolina, patriots flee before the approach of the Eighty-Second Regiment, leaving behind defenseless civilians to surrender the town of Wilmington to the Crown. The regiment's commander assigns Lieutenant Michael Stoddard the tasks of tracking down a missing woman and probing into the suspicious activities of an unusual church. But as soon as Michael starts sniffing around, he discovers that some of those not-so-defenseless civilians are desperately hiding a history of evil.
"[Michael Stoddard] is not a stereotypical hero...He's a hard-working man in a difficult situation, someone I think most readers will be able to identify with and root for." -- Amber Foxx, author of the Mae Martin Mysteries series
Leap into adventure in the past. Buy DEADLY OCCUPATION to start reading Michael Stoddard's tales of murder, intrigue, and peril today!
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As the King’s Eighty-Second Regiment occupies Wilmington, North Carolina, in January, 1781, Lieutenant Michael Stoddard is ordered to stop a rebel attack on the home of a loyalist merchant. From the start, the reader is drawn into Deadly Occupation by Suzanne Adair, into the action and into the world of military command, order, and investigation. The Revolutionary War grinds on. Deadly Occupation by Suzanne Adair, is a prequel (chronologically the first in the series) to Regulated for Murder and A Hostage to Heritage, the first two novels in the Michael Stoddard series. If you have never read a historical mystery and would like to try one, this is a great series to start with. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel, yet once you read her fluid style, you will want to read the whole series. Suzanne has mastered fast-paced plotting, filled her novels with captivating characters, and keeps her readers hooked with dramatic tension. The novels are entertaining, yet I’ve absorbed an incredible amount of historical detail without feeling like I’m reading history. I love all kinds of mysteries, but this series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Here’s what I love: Michael Stoddard is a young, 27-year-old, Lieutenant with a gift for solving crimes, a chin full of blemishes, and a murky past. In this novel, he chooses an assistant, 18-year-old Nick Spry. Spry has his own talents, an eye for detail and a relaxed way with people that encourages them to open up to him. He’s young, but he’s no one’s fool. They are an unlikely pair, yet they get results. Stoddard’s love interest, the widow Kate Duncan, owns a tavern and is easy on the eye. Yet, she is no pushover. A strong woman with great intuition, she keeps Stoddard guessing and on his toes. Throughout the series, Stoddard agonizes over a sociopathic nemesis who makes an appearance in all of Adair’s historical novels, including those not in this series, starting with Paper Woman: A Mystery of the American Revolution (where Michael Stoddard first makes a brief appearance), Camp Follower, and The Blacksmith’s Daughter. Stoddard is a minor character throughout this alternate series. Adair’s handling of Lieutenant Fairfax as a villainous thread of evil through all of her novels is brilliant. Whether stationed in one location or on the move with the Regiment, the settings are well-crafted with historical details that bring each scene to life. The suspects and characters populating the novels are realistic, with basic human motivations. They are colorful, interesting, and many are seemingly drawn from authentic historic figures. Suzanne Adair makes history come alive through a uniquely creative fiction style.
Deadly Occupation is the third book published in the Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mystery series. It is actually the first book in this wonderful series, written from the British point of view. If you've not read the other books, start with this one, as you will be introduced to the recurring characters. For those that have read the other two books, you will learn more about how Stoddard became an investigator and more insight into his assistant, Nick. The 82nd regiment has just landed outside of Wilmington and are in the process of setting up their encampment. Most of the rebels have left the area and the situation is rather chaotic. Craig, the commander of the 82nd is approached by Gabriel Garrity, a rebel and local gunsmith, and ask Craig's help in locating his wife who has been missing for three days. Stoddard is assigned to find Julia Garrity, the wife. As they begin to look into the last day Julia was seen at home, Garrity's housekeeper feels certain that Esme Delacroix, who is reputed to be a witch, is responsible for her disappearance. They also learn that Julia had some connection with Elijah Spivey, a preacher of a questionable church. It's up to Stoddard and Nick to sort though this information that has been gathered, most all of it from rebel sympathizers, to find was having actually happened to Julia and to find her. While the rebels aren't a 100% helpful, most all want to see law and order restored to the town of Wilmington. I love both series set during the American Revolution and centering in North Carolina and historical mysteries in general. Adair has amassed a wonderful and believable cast of characters in her books. She does a fabulous job setting the scenes and describing how things were in the 1700's. I also found it interesting as to just how much of the American Revolution was fought in North Carolina. Certainly hoping to see more of these exciting stories.