THE NINTH DAUGHTER by Barbara Hamilton
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Abigail Adams seeks justice for both the colonies and women.

Boston in 1773 is no place for a woman alone, but Abigail knows Rebecca Malvern had to sew and edit rebellious pamphlets to make ends meet. Still, she’s shocked to find Rebecca missing from her tiny quarters and a horribly mutilated corpse in her place. After Abigail sends for the Sons of Liberty, Sam Adams and Paul Revere scour Rebecca’s house for every trace of sedition before alerting the Crown authorities. But their purge is not thorough enough. Redcoats show up at the Adams home, accusing John of murdering Perdita Pentyre, a wealthy merchant’s wife. To find Rebecca and save John, Abigail inquires where only a goodwife could—among the servants and lady’s maids. Scouring the countryside for Rebecca, she saves the Lieutenant of His Majesty’s Guard from a band of irate patriots; he tells her that two common women were murdered the same brutal way last year. Is Perdita’s murder also the work of a madman, or a calculated killing disguised as insanity? While tension mounts over tea in Boston Harbor, Abigail seeks the killer and her missing friend.

Novels that re-imagine historical figures are a dangerous gambit, but the wry repartee between Abigail and John, together with the fact that this clandestine investigation of the murder of loose women would never have made the official record, make Hamilton’s debut believable and gripping.

Pub Date: Nov. 29th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-425-23077-0
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009