Book Review, Historical, Mystery/Suspense

Book Review – The Barrister and the Letter of Marque

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque

by Todd M Johnson

As a barrister in 1818 London, William Snopes has witnessed firsthand the danger of only the wealthy having their voices heard, and he’s a strong advocate who defends the poorer classes against the powerful. That changes the day a struggling heiress, Lady Madeleine Jameson, arrives at his door.

In a last-ditch effort to save her faltering estate, Lady Jameson invested in a merchant brig, the Padget. The ship was granted a rare privilege by the king’s regent: a Letter of Marque authorizing the captain to seize the cargo of French traders operating illegally in the Indian Sea. Yet when the Padget returns to London, her crew is met by soldiers ready to take possession of their goods and arrest the captain for piracy. And the Letter–the sole proof his actions were legal–has mysteriously vanished.

Moved by the lady’s distress, intrigued by the Letter, and goaded by an opposing solicitor, Snopes takes the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, he learns that the forces arrayed against Lady Jameson, and now himself, are even more perilous than he’d imagined.

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque combines the intrigue of John Grisham, the vibrant world of Charles Dickens, and a mystery worthy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. . . . This richly historical and lively paced story has all the makings of a modern classic.”–JOCELYN GREEN, Christy Award-winning author of Shadows of the White City

“At once atmospheric and gripping, Johnson’s latest is a luminous and refreshing new offering in inspirational historical fiction.”–RACHEL MCMILLAN, author of The London Restoration and The Mozart Code

“A fascinating glimpse into a Regency London readers seldom see.”–ROSEANNA M. WHITE, bestselling author of Edwardian fiction

My Thoughts

This is a new to me author. I love historical mysteries, so when I heard about this, I was instantly intrigued. I first picked up this book about two weeks ago and tried to read it. I only got about the first two chapters read, and then had to lay it down. Finally, yesterday, I picked it up and began reading it again. I actually had to re-read parts just to remember what was going on.
But…let me tell you, in spite of the seemingly slow start of this book, once you’re in it, you do NOT want to stop. I kept reading. And reading….and finally realized I’d have to just keep on until I would finish. (I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep with this story hanging over in my brain…lol)
I enjoyed the characters, William, Edmund, and Obadiah. I liked seeing their methods of pursuing and solving this mystery.
The whole plot line is really intriguing. A ship captain has a letter from the king giving him rights to take over other ships and bring home their spoils…only when he gets to the dock, his letter is mysteriously missing…??!!
I had lots of ideas of what might have happened.
I will not give any spoilers, because the book is absolutely amazing. I will say that my mind was going down some of the right tracks. But the journey of getting to the resolution was captivating and really fun to read.
I would love to see more books in this series. I will definitely be finding more mysteries from this author!
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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