Sign of Nine Stripes
by Carol Amorosi
Genre: Historical Fiction
Print Length: 269 pages
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
Mystery, romance, and history—Sign of Nine Stripes engages American history buffs with both story & truth.
Angus is back, and this time, he plans to make a name for himself in the colonies. But it wouldn’t be a true MacKay Mystery if there weren’t a few dangerous obstacles in his way.
In this third installment of the MacKay Mysteries series, Sign of Nine Stripes, Angus makes his way back to America to start what he hopes will be a new career as a surveyor. But the Pennsylvania area that he left is not what it used to be. There are political issues rising and unwanted taxes that have forced people to choose whether they wish to protest for their right to representation or to remain under the jurisdiction of Britain.
With all that going on, Angus also deals with another unsolved crime that arrives at his doorstep. And don’t forget about romance! Angus gets closer than ever to happiness and a future he can be proud of, but tensions are rising.
Amorosi continues to do a fantastic job of balancing an intriguing mystery with gripping historical events. The Stamp Act, as well as the fallout from the French and Indian War, are at the forefront of this book. History lovers will enjoy the countless historical tidbits. Notable people like Benjamin Franklin make an appearance in this book as he attempts to calm the angry protestors and avoid any violence making its way to Philadelphia.
Unlike the previous books in the series, this third book doesn’t have as much of a dangerous edge. In books one and two, there are crimes being committed left and right, but in this one, I wasn’t quite as fearful for the lives of Angus and the people around him. The Sons of Liberty are lurking about with their flag, but they never feel like too much of a threat. While there is a murderer on the loose, this book is geared toward solving only one crime rather than multiple like the previous books. Because of this, the pace feels a bit slower than before.
Amorosi brings love to the forefront in Sign of Nine Stripes. Little Hawk, a Native American woman that Angus became friends with years ago, has been on his mind during his time away and plays a bigger role in this story than before. As Angus isn’t getting any younger, he begins to feel the pressure to get married and start a family, but that doesn’t push him to make a move. Despite multiple characters spelling it out for him about Little Hawk’s feelings, he only has weak excuses for not moving forward. He seems to be in a middle ground in this story, and it makes what could be an exciting and budding romance into a back and forth game that goes on a little too long.
Angus seems aimless trying to solve this crime when he doesn’t really need to. No one suspects him or any of his friends as was the case before, so following his obsession with getting to the bottom of it feels less exciting than his previous ventures.
Still, I am hopeful for where Amorosi will take the series in the future. Sign of Nine Stripes might be a slightly calmer installment, but readers will be glad to venture through the history, and they too, I’m sure, will look forward to what comes next.
Thank you for reading Jaylynn Korrell’s book review of Sign of Nine Stripes by Carol Amorosi! If you liked what you read, please spend some more time with us at the links below.