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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate historical fiction and a heck of a good murder mystery, March 14, 2012
This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Overall: 5 stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 stars

Regulated for Murder is historical fiction, taking place in North Carolina during the last months of the American Revolution. It was also a suspenseful action-filled murder mystery. Author Suzanne Adair has written a superb story set against a realistic backdrop of revolution and the complexities of wavering colonial loyalties.

The book's title is based on the Regulator Movement, which was a North Carolina uprising, lasting from approximately 1765 to 1771, in which citizens took up arms against corrupt colonial officials. Although the last battle in the uprising had taken place ten years before this story, the fallout was still being felt in the colony.

When Lieutenant Michael Stoddard was sent with a message to Lord Cornwallis, he hardly expected to find his Loyalist contact Ezra Griggs murdered, even less to find himself suspected of the murder. Instead of a quick return to the comforts of garrison life in Wilmington, he found himself investigating the murder. There were plenty of possible suspects, but his time was running out, and if the locals learned that he was from the British army, he would be executed as a spy.

Regulated for Murder had all the elements of a marvelous historical drama, and the author wove the fictional elements into the historical background perfectly.

Characters: 5 stars

The story was filled with memorable characters. British officer Michael Stoddard was a decent man dedicated to investigating civil crimes and bringing the perpetrators to justice. He admired the saucy widow Kate Duncan, but she feigned disinterest until their paths crossed in a most unexpected way. Would she keep his secret and save his life, or would she turn him over to the rebels?

There was no shortage of bad guys. The sheriff and deputy of Hillsborough, where most of the story took place, were as evil as they came. When a murder took place in his town, the sheriff was far more interested in using it to his own advantage than he was in bringing the killer to justice.

Two of the most influential characters, Aaron White and Violet Griggs, were never seen or heard, but their stories had a profound influence on the story.

The British redcoats were, I believe, represented in an historically accurate way. Some were brutal warriors who gave no quarter, while others were decent types just trying to do their duty while maintaining their honor.

Writing style: 5 stars

The writing was professional quality. Dialogues were realistic. The book impressed me as being a finely-crafted story by an author who cared about her work very much. The story obviously required quite a bit of research about the American Revolution and what life was like for colonials in that era.

At the end of the book were an historical afterword, which gave some helpful background information on some of the events and places mentioned in the story; and a selected bibliography.

Note: Although certain characters in Regulated for Murder have appeared in other stories by the author, the book can be read as a standalone volume.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the "story" back into "history", December 24, 2011
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This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
This is a rollicking good yarn. Still, Adair's history is impeccable and provides a window into colonial life that our school history books zip over. The British Army in the colonies provided law enforcement and protected citizens, even those rebelling against the Crown. Lt. Michael Stoddard may be a soldier, but he's also a cop, sworn to protect and serve, whether it's the King and his interests or the folks in town. Even better, if Michael were a real man living today, he and his cohorts Nick and Kate would fit in just fine at your Super Bowl party. Adair manages a deft balance between period voice and showing us that people living in the colonies weren't that different from us. Plus, she spices the stew with plenty of excitement and peril.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable descriptions, tight plotting, a cast of rebels & redcoats and constant tension keeps page turning, December 22, 2011
By 
This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Novels set during the American Revolutionary period are rare to find any more so finding a great one is a challenge. Thank goodness for writers like Suzanne Adair who not only keep that era alive, but accurate and intriguing thanks to skillful story-telling, period detail, clever plotting and well-drawn characters.
In Regulated for Murder, Adair provides another great read (her 4th), this time in the form of a murder mystery that reintroduces the well-liked Lt. Michael Stoddard from her first novel, award-winning Paper Woman, on a mission to deliver a message to Lord Cornwallis via courier Ezra Griggs.
This historical thriller picks up the thread of Stoddard now stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina. Bearing a dispatch from his commander, redcoat Stoddard arrives in Hillsborough in February 1781 expecting to deliver his message to Griggs. Instead, he arrives at the scene of Grigg's murder and is impressed to investigate it in an effort to clear himself under Sheriff Schmidt whose penchant for framing innocents and protecting those with a purse has allowed a murderer to go free.
Having crossed paths with the cunning and devious Lt. Dunstan Fairfax in Adair's previous novel, tension builds as his hideous handiwork casts a shadow over Stoddard's assignment turned murder investigation.
A complex series of clues surrounding Grigg's murder that has origins more than a decade before with land agents pitted against regulators (business men/land owners) is deftly woven throughout this compactly mapped story that is populated with a wonderful array of characters each with their own tale that brings the revolutionary period to life and contributes to the web of the story.
Adair ratchets up suspense, intrigue and sexual tension in a story that takes place over 48 hours during a pivotal period in the American Revolution. Readers feel the hard days riding through North Carolina back country, the simplicity of colonial life interspersed with the hardships of war and the struggles of women and the physically impaired. Stoddard is ably assisted in his search for clues by the artistically gifted Noah Carroll whose sketches put a face to the deviant criminal stalking Stoddard, his new found friends and the town of Hillsborough. While boarding with lady interest Kate Duncan and her aunt Rachel White, Stoddard, with the help of Kate and fellow townspeople, pieces together the mystery of a young couple believed to have eloped, reveals the town's `sheriff' and deputy as deserters and frees a falsely accused dandy. But not before he is ensnared in a gruesome scenario with Fairfax that illustrates the brutality of war and unguarded frontier.
Anxious to catch land agent and suspected murderer Horatio Bowater now believed to have committed several heinous acts, Stoddard strikes an unholy bargain with Fairfax setting up a future confrontation between the two that readers hope to see resolved in a new installment of Adair's work.
Impeccable descriptions, tight plotting, a fascinating cast of rebels and redcoats and constant tension will keep readers turning the pages of Regulated for Murder and cheering on the intrepid Stoddard and his assistant, Spry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Fun History Lesson, September 5, 2012
Suzanne Adair's Revolutionary War mystery/thriller "Regulated for Murder" is a non-stop delightful read. The true-to-life story was meticulously fabricated after more research than I will ever do, no matter how many books I write (one to date...). The historical details are presented naturally without a hint of didactic interruption. Simply a great story, beautifully told.
Suzanne's characters walk right off her pages. She lives and breathes details of the period by participating in reenactments of Revolutionary War battles. Clearly, time-travel is the best way to research.
As a recently-arrived Yankee in North Carolina, this story, set in my new home state is now a part of my appreciation for it.
I applaud Suzanne for her professional story-telling! Michael Stoddard, her intelligence-officer protagonist, had me watching over his shoulder all the way. Highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suzanne does it Again!, October 22, 2011
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This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
I love historical mysteries that teach and entertain at the same time and Suzanne's prior trilogy (Paper Woman, The Blacksmith's Daughter, and Camp Follower) was excellent so I was delighted to hear a character from the tales of the St. James family was getting his own series.

Lt. Michael Stoddard of His Majesty's forces in North Carolina during the American Revolution has a complicated past and an uncertain future. We travel with him from Wilmington to Hillsborough where he becomes embroiled in multiple crimes tied to past events. No cookie cutter plot here--the historical research is impeccable (I love authors who put historical notes and bibliographies at the back of a book for further reference), the twists and turns kept me guessing all the way to the end (and anxiously awaiting more because of the intriguing loose ends!) and there isn't a dry, boring section in the entire novel. Regulated for Murder's story lines are interwoven like the threads of a fine tapestry.

I had first learned of the Regulators and Hillsborough when reading Diana Gabaldon's The Fiery Cross. Ms. Adair's Michael Stoddard series promises to be as informational and entertaining as Ms. Gabaldon's works--the characters in Regulated for Murder are all multidimensional, and even the creepy Lt. Fairfax has honorable moments. I also appreciate the fact that so many of the characters in the story have their own demons to confront.

This will become one of my "keeper" series that I re-read in order to experience the subtle nuances over and over. Huzzah, Ms. Adair!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A murder mystery set during the Revolutionary War, October 23, 2011
By 
This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair is a detective story set in the time of the Revolutionary War. Lt. Michael Stoddard is a British military investigator pursuing a shady land agent when he is pulled from the case and sent to deliver a message to Lord Cornwallis. Upon arriving in Hillsborough to meet his contact Stoddard discovers him brutally murdered. Originally a suspect he is cleared of the crime, but Schmidt the local sheriff forces him to help with the murder with threats of imprisonment and death.

I am not a person who reads a lot of books like this, but there were still several things that stuck out as unexpected. The first is the fact that the story is told from the perspective of a British officer. Pretty much everything else I have read taking place in this time period follows the side of the Americans. The second was the use of actual researched historical figures, regiments, and locations to bring the story to life. Having historically accurate people and locations made the story very easy to envision as actual occurrences rather than just words on the page.

Stoddard is a hard nosed soldier who must hide who he is or be outed and killed as a spy. That is extremely hard for him to do as he runs into a woman from his home town and suspects that Schmidt already has him pegged for what he truly is. He is totally believable as there are times where he just wants to run away to get away from the situation he is in. His romantic interest in Kate also adds depth to his character. It is also well done as I really am not a fan of romance stories, but the crime stays in the forefront of the plot the entire time with the potential romance staying in the background very nicely.

The story wraps up with a satisfactory ending, but there is more introduced to help continue the series along as well. I personally am looking forward to checking out another story involving Lt. Stoddard and would enjoy seeing more of his assistant Nick Spry as well.

Review copy provided by author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting historical fiction & murder mystery, October 16, 2011
This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Every unpunished murder takes away something from the security of every man's life. - Daniel Webster

Lieutenant Michael Stoddard of the 82nd Regiment is a redcoat and criminal investigator in Wilmington, North Carolina. under instructions from his superior Major James Craig, he leaves for Hillsborough to deliver a dispatch to Ezra Griggs who works for Lord Charles Cornwallis. working undercover as Michael Compton, the Lieutenant arrives to find the courier murdered in his home. Michael finds himself deputized to assist the investigation. as clues and evidence pile up, so do decade-old secrets that someone wants to remain buried.
author Suzanne Adair's latest novel transports the reader back to 18th century America where the political climate is volatile, where loyalists and rebels abound and where innocent men and women are caught in between. by including known historical personages and weaving facts and imagination into the story, she has skillfully painted another plausible scenario of this tumultuous era.
the author's attention to detail is excellent and conveyed to me images in sepia tones. the speech, customs, behavior and nuances of the period are addressed very well too.
the story itself is interesting and i particularly liked how the criminal investigation part was approached and conducted to arrive at solutions sans the benefit of modern forensic tools and technology.
the characters themselves are well-developed. i noticed again how women were featured as having important roles and making significant contributions during the Revolution.
one of the highlights in the book is the tense and bloody reunion between Michael and his traitorous nemesis Lt. Dunstan Fairfax. how it turned out was something i did not expect but it was all for the best - for now...
Michael's strength lies in his mental faculties but he should really do something more about his physical ineptitude when he gets into a fist fight. his weakness though makes him somehow endearing and marks him as a true officer and gentleman especially in the eyes of the Widow Kate and his able assistant Nick Spry.
overall, this is a wonderful piece of historical fiction and murder mystery and i look forward to reading more of Michael's future investigative undertakings.

Disclosure of Material Connection: i received an eARC from the author herself. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255,Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Regulated for Murder (Suzanne Adair), December 15, 2012
This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Set in 1781 North Carolina at the end of the Revolutionary War, Michael Stoddard working for Lord Cornwallis is sent to Harrisburg to deliver a letter to a courier, then return promptly back to Wilmington.

Once there Ezra Griggs ends up dead and Michael Stoddard becomes the number one suspect. With the aid of two women Kate Duncan and her Aunt Rachel, posing as Michael's cousin and Aunt they take him in, knowing the risks they face if his identity is uncovered.

Michael wants his name cleared, to find who the actual murderer is, and go home. As he begins to investigate this crime he starts to unravel some secrets, increasing the list of suspects. But his enemies are determined to find fault in Michael and continue to blame him. As he gets closer and closer to having his true identity revealed, he is also coming closer to the truth of the murder. Will he get his evidence out and his name cleared before he is charged and set to suffer the consequences of a killer?

Fantastic murder mystery.Suzanne Adair writes with great detail of the era , and brings us back to a time in History that will never be forgotten. Mixing true to the time events added with fiction, this makes for a fascinating read. I felt very satisfied at the end of the story and greatly enjoyed the historical setting. I will be reading more work by Ms. Adair. I highly recommend Regulated for Murder to mystery lovers as well as those who love historical fiction.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Stoddard is a Winner!, October 21, 2011
By 
TSmith (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Suzanne Adair's Revolutionary War historical thrillers are delightfully atypical and original. Instead of writing from the nearly ubiquitous Patriot perspective, her books are seen through the eyes of Loyalist, neutral, and British characters, unlike most novels taking place during this time. Her books are always a pleasure to read because it's obvious that the author has taken the time and effort to properly research and get the historical details right.

In her fourth installation, she brings a previously minor character, British Army Lt. Michael Stoddard, to center stage.

The book starts with Stoddard conducting a raid at the office of a shady land agent, who is nowhere to be found, but had left a nasty trap for Stoddard and his men. To his chagrin, Stoddard is soon taken off the case for a different assignment. He is sent incognito in civilian clothes on a courier mission to Hillsborough, NC with a message for General Cornwallis to give to another man to deliver. Michael finds his contact freshly murdered; so fresh, that he spies the presumed murderer escaping out the back.

And this is where the fun begins. The Sheriff and his cronies soon arrive, at first trying to arrest Stoddard for the murder. Michael, who gives a phony name and back story, is drawn into solving the murder and becomes entangled in much more than he'd originally bargained for. He quickly realizes that this is a complicated case, which has its roots in events taking place ten years previously, during the time of the Regulators.

The author populates Hillsborough with several engaging secondary characters, a few of whom I'd love to see again. We also see the dastardly Dunstan Fairfax reprising his role from earlier books.

This is a book that will keep you reading well into the wee hours, as you'll be too busy reading to see what happens next to bother with going to bed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and a fun story!, October 14, 2011
This review is from: Regulated for Murder: A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller (Kindle Edition)
Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair

In 1781 the Carolinas are awash in deadly political intrigue as Lord Cornwallis' army attempts to occupy the land and tamp out support for the revolution, now in its sixth year. In the small town of Hillsborough there's an uneasy truce between the royalists and the colonialists with average townspeople caught in the middle and doing their best to survive.

Into this tumult and turmoil one day rides Lt. Michael Stoddard of the 82nd Regiment, serving under Major Craig in Wilmington, North Carolina. He's traveling undercover, carrying a vital dispatch for Lord Cornwallis' eyes only. However, no sooner does Michael arrive in Hillsborough than he discovers, and is in turn discovered with, the body of Ezra Griggs, a loyalist with whom he was to meet. First accused of Griggs' murder by Schmidt, the shady sheriff of the county, Michael is subsequently impressed into helping Schmidt solve the murder. Fearing exposure and execution as a spy, Michael puts his prodigious talents as a criminal investigator to work on the case. Ah, but compounding Michael's concerns is the presence of comely Wilmington widow Kate Duncan, newly arrived in Hillsborough visiting an elderly aunt. Kate and Michael have a romantic spark growing between them that neither can ignore even as the murder investigation takes a deadly and dangerous turn.

Regulated for Murder is the first in a series featuring handsome and dashing Lt. Michael Stoddard, a supporting character in Ms Adair's three previous novels. Here Lt. Stoddard takes center stage, surrounded by a strong secondary cast that includes the tantalizing and beguiling Widow Kate, his trusted assistant Nick Spry and that very villainous of villains, Lt. Dunstan Fairfax.

Suzanne Adair tells a good story, well paced and buttressed with a wealth of historic detail that brings the reader back in time two hundred plus years, to an age when simply surviving took hard work, life was precarious and perils abounded and yet people were driven by the same emotions that drive us today in the twenty-first century; ambition, greed, love, hatred, lust and sometimes just pure wickedness.
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