Granger’s Crossing

Written by Mark W. Tiedemann
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

The 1780 war service of Continental lieutenant Ulysses Granger proves costly—his sergeant and childhood best friend Ham is killed while on a mission of mercy in the local Spanish-held community. All baffling signs point to murder, not death in battle. Granger is seduced and falls hard for a gunsmith’s French wife before he is called away to pursue British and Native American forces.

At war’s end Granger returns as a civilian merchant to St. Louis and resumes his investigation, seeking justice for Ham’s family. He continues to pursue the lovely now-widow, too. It will take all his courage and Connecticut Yankee ingenuity to uncover a plot rife with buried treasure, duplicity and contradictions.

Well-drawn characters of the 18th-century milieu of Native American, Spanish, free and enslaved African Americans, French and immigrant New Englanders and fast-paced action sequences make up for somewhat slow plot development and a middle that might have been more tightly edited. Granger’s emotional development is a refreshing bonus amid the action-adventure. A welcome addition to historical novels of the early Federal period.