The Smuggler's Gambit
Reviewed by Author Roy Murry
This first book of the Adam Fletcher Adventures I picked from a list because I like the word Gambit. Those who play chess know the importance of planning one's moves (Gambit) before playing and changing it to your advantages to produce the result desired, that being to win the game.
In Smuggler's Gambit, Adam is a young man full piss and vinegar, seventeen, who gets in trouble with the lawyer defending his mother's honor. Forced into an apprenticeship, he becomes a pawn in a game he is too young to understand, smuggling.
A criminally minded man, who makes the first move, using his popularity posture, leads Adam into a deadly game of life. His ward is a respectable smuggler, considering the historical period before the American Revolution when the King's subjects disliked his taxes in which the story evolves.
Adam's resolves his confusion between the two men and makes an unorthodox move that gives the upper hand to the criminals. Through ingenuity, Adam's near-death experience after a happenstance with those undesirables is his last adventurous move that gives him and his new family a checkmate.
The game was played well by Adam with little experience in such matters. The Smuggler's Gambit is a must read to start the series.