Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque

 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.

My thoughts: I love Regency era fiction, so I found this book and the slightly different look at that era to be fascinating! I loved learning the history behind a Letter of Marque and what England looked like after the Napoleon wars. The mystery behind the seizing of the Padget is a delicious one that many twists and turns as William and his friends try to figure out what is really going on with the claims of piracy verses a Letter of Marque. 
It took me a little bit to get into the story, since there is a lot to take in at the beginning, but I am so glad that I stuck with it! The story is well written and the surprises with the mystery kept me on my toes. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this one!
I received this book from Bethany House. This is my honest review.

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