During this week, in 1768, Boston’s royal customs officials, who on June 11 of that year fled the city for the safety of the British Garrison on Castle William, a fortified island in Boston Harbor, petitioned the Crown for military intervention. The customs men had ordered the seizure of John Hancock’s ship, Liberty, which they believed (with good cause) to be carrying contraband wine. The seizure of the ship led to rioting which left the customs men feeling threatened, prompting their flight to Castle William.
The Liberty controversy was the catalyst for a series of confrontations between the royal Governor of Massachusetts, Francis Bernard, and the Massachusetts General Court, which was led by, among others, Samuel Adams. These confrontations culminated in the arrival in Boston of British troops in late September 1768, and the commencement of the city’s occupation under royal decree.
I bring this up because the beginning of the occupation provides the historical backdrop for the second book in the Thieftaker Chronicles. The book is tentatively titled The Dead Ship, and it once again finds Ethan Kaille investigating a murder committed with magic. He must find the sorcerer responsible while threading his way through the ongoing struggle for power between loyalists and patriots, and while also keeping one step ahead of his rival, the lovely Sephira Pryce.
This second volume in the Thieftaker series is finished, but is still being edited and revised.