A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson {Book Review}

 **I received a complimentary copy of this book for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 

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.

Todd M. Johnson
 (www.authortoddmjohnson.com) has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong. He lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter.

We all know that we are not supposed to judge a book by it's cover... but I'll be the first to admit, that I'm quite guilty of doing just that on occasion. And it's not always a bad thing. In fact, it was the cover of The Barrister and the Letter of Marque that first drew me to this unique novel. The intrigue just jumped off the cover! Aside from that, I'd read one of Todd M. Johnson's previous contemporary reads and enjoyed it, so I was curious to see how this historical read would compare. I must say it was every bit as enjoyable! I always love a good mystery, and found it really interesting to see how different things were in 1818 as far as the law and solving crimes... and can only imagine that those who have more interest in law would find that even more interesting. The characters were well written and the story intriguing... very different than anything I typically read. Overall, an entertaining read and one that fans of historical fiction and mysteries is sure to want to check out. 


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