Sup With the Devil-Barbara Hamilton

Sup With the Devil

Barbara Hamilton

Berkley, Oct 4 2011, $14.00

ISBN: 9780425243206

 

Seventeen years old Harvard oriental language student Horace Thaxter sends a note his Aunt Abigail Adams in Boston saying someone who his two uncles John and Mercer gave a reference to tried to kill him.  Abigail heads to Cambridge where Horace tells her that Mrs. Lake hired him to translate Arabic.  He explains to his aunt the note was written in Arabic letters but as if it was English and the content involved a 1688 meeting between pirate Captain Jezebel Pitts and Governor Morgan.  After completing the project, Mrs. Lake is upset that there is no reference in the note about the Devil’s Treasure she seeks. She gave Horace some food, which he insists were poisoned and her thugs abandoned him on a remote road; a farmer saved his life.

 

As Abigail investigates what happened to her nephew, someone murders another student George Fairfield who had remained loyal to King-George.  Abigail expands her inquiry from the lost treasure to the homicide while The Sons of Liberty want the allegedly cursed gold as do loyalists, neutralists and avarice souls.

 

The latest Abigail Adams mystery (see The Ninth Daughter) is a great pre Revolutionary War whodunit that brings out the divisions between residents of Massachusetts as many oppose combat against the king.  The investigation is clever as intelligent Abigail shows why she would one day be one of the more brilliant Fist Lady’s.  However, it is the historical tidbits, (like the oriental languages which include Russian, Persian, Arabic and biblical Aramaic, but not Chinese or Japanese) that anchors this great tale.  Barbara Hamilton writes a delightful Abigail Adams tale one year after the tea.

 

Harriet Klausner

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