I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received a copy of The Barrister and the Letter of Marque to review. I was not particularly in the right mood  when I began to read it and was tempted to put it down for later. It did get off to a slow start but I persisted and after a few chapters I got caught up in the story and had no desire to stop reading before I reached the end.

I know other reviewers have mentioned a few historical errors but I tend to slide right by those because I’m all about the story and this one was quite intriguing. Although it is somewhat unusual for a Regency type novel to be written from a man’s point of view, The Barrister and the Letter of Marque was a refreshing detour from the usual. The legal details involved in solving the case as well as the mystery and suspense that accompanied them made for a story that wouldn’t let go. I loved the fact that there was very little romance involved but the plot and mysterious atmosphere were almost perfect.

I am not particularly acquainted with this author’s other novels but I sincerely hope that he will continue with more along this line. I liked it quite a lot.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed 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.

Read an excerpt HERE.


Todd M. Johnson ( 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.