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A Marked Man (An Abigail Adams Mystery) Paperback – October 5, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Near the outset of Hamilton's well-crafted second Abigail Adams mystery (after 2009's The Ninth Daughter), 16-year-old Lucy Fluckner comes to Abigail for help. A good friend of Lucy's, 24-year-old bookseller Harry Knox, who prints pamphlets for the Sons of Liberty, has been arrested for the murder of Sir Joseph Cottrell, the King's Special Commissioner and, according to Lucy's Tory chaperone, Mrs. Sandhayes, Lucy's fiancé. Lucy insists that the victim, a notorious womanizer, was not her fiancé, her heart all too clearly belonging to the accused. Abigail and her lawyer husband, John, resolve to prove Harry innocent. The disappearance of a Negro servant woman from the house of Lucy's Loyalist parents adds to the intrigue. Hamilton once again brings to life colonial Boston on the brink of revolution, vividly portraying such noted patriots as Sam Adams, leader of the Sons of Liberty; silversmith Paul Revere; and Dr. Joseph Warren. The action builds to a bizarre if satisfying ending.
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Review

“Hamilton breathes vivid life into her historical characters . . . A satisfying read for mystery lovers and American history buffs alike.”--Kirkus Reviews

“Well crafted . . . Hamilton once again brings to life colonial Boston on the brink of revolution, vividly portraying such noted patriots as Sam Adams [and] Paul Revere.”--Publishers Weekly

"This time period in American history, especially in the Boston area, is rife with secrecy and suspicion of others, making it a perfect setting for a complexly plotted mystery with many suspects and motives.”--The Mystery Reader

"Quickly becoming one of my favorite series."--Over My Dead Body

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Product Details

  • Series: An Abigail Adams Mystery (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425237087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425237083
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,808,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
86%
4 star
14%
3 star
0%
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See all 21 customer reviews
I really enjoyed how historical characters where woven into the story.
E Penn
I can't wait to read the first book in the series and will look forward to reading a new book each year.
Laura
Vivid historical details about the everyday life and politics were skillfully woven into the story.
Debbie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sandra on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
The second book in this captivating series is even better than the first, in the way it invokes the increasing tensions between the colonial population and the British soldiers stationed in the Boston area.
If I have a criticism, it is that there is too little of the fascinating Lieutenant Coldstone, whose partnership with the erudite Abigail Adams is one of the most interesting elements of the plot!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Stephenson on October 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
As much as I loved the first book, this one is stronger since the author has a chance to further develop the characters as the series continues and find out what works for the mystery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
In 1774, two and half months have passed since the infamous (depending on your loyalties) Boston Tea Party. Teenager Lucy Fluckner asks Abigail Adams to help her friend twentyish bookseller Harry Knox, who is in trouble with the Commonwealth law. The Sons of Liberty printer was arrested for murdering the King's Special Commissioner Sir Joseph Cottrell.

Abigail supports freedom from the crown and is proud of her husband John who is a major participant in the Sons of Liberty's endeavors. As such she agrees to look into the homicide. Stunningly, Lucy's chaperone Mrs. Sandhayes insists the victim was her charge's fiancé; Lucy denies it as she loathed the philandering Tory and though she fails to say so Abigail knows she loves the accused. Abigail and John, who is a lawyer, investigate and quickly learns that a Negro female servant vanished from the home of their client's parents and that the victim had many enemies on all three sides of the brewing revolt.

The key to the strong second Abigail Adams historical mystery (see The Ninth Daughter) is the sense that the reader is in Boston divided between Loyalists, Neutralists, and Rebels just prior to the Revolutionary War. The story line is fast-paced and the investigation super, but it is meeting the prime real persona and fictional characters representing the divided times in Boston in 1774 that makes A Marked Man a strong late eighteenth century thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Wallace on February 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have thoroughly enjoyed both The Ninth Daughter and The Marked Man. Great reads, with interesting historical detail woven through, and characters all worth getting to know--for better or for worse. Ms. Hamilton has done a superb job creating a feisty fantastic sleuth while staying true to the times Abigail Adams lived in and the historical record of who she was. Can't wait to read more!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah J. Ross on January 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mystery lovers, historical fiction lovers, and admirers of anything Barbara Hambly writes, rejoice! The resourceful and indomitable Abigail Adams is at it again, tracking down the solution to yet another murderous mystery. In an uneasy partnership with British Provost Marshall, she treads the delicate line between a search for the truth and the need to protect the Sons of Liberty from increasing British persecution. This tale involves not only murder and espionage but long-simmered revenge, mistaken identities, forensic pathology, star-crossed lovers, a land grab and a secretive tenant, all while Abigail keeps up a lively household when woman's work ran dawn to dusk.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kyra the Red on December 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a immensely good read. The author is a historian, so the details of the time period were rich and fascinating, but the mystery was never given second billing. Every character was given a complex personality and even the most secondary players were provided depth. Moreover, the "feeling" of the attitudes and understandings of the socio-cultrual norms of the era were clearly communicated without ever becoming pedantic or boring. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Graf on October 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love a mystery and this book did not disappoint me. I enjoyed the mix of history and mystery. The portrayal of characters such as Abigail Adams, Samuel Adams, and other is done very well. They flow well with all that I've read on them in other places.

Most mysteries I can figure out early in the book. I have to say that on this one I did not. I got half the mystery figured out. The author stumped me on the other half.

It's a very pleasurable read that will have you reading until the last page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Duggins, Ph.D. on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barbara Hamilton's novel, "A Marked Man," is one of the extraordinary books of the decade. First the book is a great mystery tale with all the twists and turns of a super WHODUNNIT page-turner, in this case a plot that begins with a corpse and goes on to pile up missing persons suspected of being dead, too. Add to that the climate of American politics with the open hostility of the Redcoats facing the "Sons of Liberty" in Boston. The two sides are already faced off in this novel and the revolution is inevitable.

A second aspect of this novel is that it is good history as author Hamilton courageously portrays an epoch and characters who are well known to all educated Americans. A writer who dares dip a foot in that pool surely must know that if her history is askew her readers will know it - and scream to high heaven about the slightest mistake. "A Marked Man" does just that, breathes life into the private relationships of Abigail Adams and John Quincy Adams, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. To dare that is like teasing an IED on an Iraq patrol. To her credit, Ms. Hamilton dares to take us down that road and emerges unscathed, indeed her obvious mastery of the characters and history of the times is awesome in its breadth and detail.

To me, beyond the intriguing plot, the white knuckle tension and conflict, and the historical accuracy, it's author Hamilton's superb use of language, the elegant writerly style of her prose wins the day. The following excerpt of her character delineation, as described by Abigail Adams in the text, is but one paragraph in more than 300 pages of splendid writing craftsmanship.

"Neither pretty, both fairish rather than fair; both slender rather than beefy of build.
Read more ›
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