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History Mystery #1

The 15th Star

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Based on the real-life history-mystery of the missing star from the Star Spangled Banner

Set during the War of 1812:

In the fall of 1809 Grace Wisher, a young slave girl, escapes the plantation to live her life in the port city of Baltimore, Maryland. She is indentured to Mary Pickersgill who teaches her the skill of sewing flags and standards. Yet Grace is hiding a terrible secret, one men will murder for even hundreds of years later.

In the present, Keiko Zorben is finishing her master's degree by working as an intern at the Smithsonian Institute. While archiving mislabeled letters, she finds a clue to the whereabouts of the missing star from the Star Spangled Banner. For over two hundred years its location has been a real-life mystery, until now.

Keiko asks the handsome Dr. Julian Lone Wolf, the head of the American Indian Studies Department, to join her on her search for the missing star.

When a docent is murdered and an attempt is made on their lives, Keiko and Julian realize finding the missing star and the secret it holds, is their only key to survival.

Great Story - Drama, Mystery, Action, History, Humor and Romance

"This is one of the most fun stories I've read in a long time. I could not put it down and it all in one day. I loved how the author mixed present day with the past." Five Star Zon Reader Review

"The 15th Star" has been described by readers as a mix of "National Treasure" meets "1776."

Lisa Grace is also the author of the popular teen Angel Series.

Angel in the Shadows, Book 1 and Angel in the Storm, Book 2 are currently in movie development through Motion Picture Pro Studios, which has been involved with five academy award winning movies.

The author can be reached at: lisagracebooks@yahoo.com

For more information on Lisa Grace and her upcoming releases: http://www.lisagracebooks.com

Genres: History, Mystery, Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Additional locations and historical people of note mentioned in the story: Fort McHenry, Flag House, Claggett's Brewery, Paul Jennings, Grace Wisher, White House, Francis Scott Key, President James Madison, Dolley Madison, Major George Armistead, Louisa Armistead, Napoleon Bonaparte, King George, Baltimore, and Washington D. C.

256 pages, Paperback

First published June 26, 2012

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About the author

Lisa Grace

25 books141 followers
I have two new releases:
12 Angels by Christmas: Sweet Christmas Romance which just came out in paperback also.
FEUDAL LAND, Book 1 has been released as an ebook. The 6th part of the FEUDAL LAND serial is available too.

Stories on the Go is #FREE for everyone. My Christian Sci-Fi story the "Trouble with Tribble" is in it.

The paperback of The 15th Star (A Lisa Grace History Mystery) is available and True Treasure (History Mystery) by Lisa Grace are available.
Angel in the Shadows, Book 1 is FREE in all ebook formats here:
and has been optioned for a movie along with Angel in the Storm, Book 2 by http://www.motionpicturepro.com. In development.

I live on the water on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I love boating,reading (I know I have to update my library here, lol), and writing. I'm married with a young daughter. I love all animals and have had a pet opossum (they can be paper-trained), raised & released woodpeckers, & squirrels.
I love to speak at teen events. You can get more details about my public speaking on my website: http://www.lisagracebooks.com

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5 stars
59 (30%)
4 stars
68 (35%)
3 stars
45 (23%)
2 stars
13 (6%)
1 star
7 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah .
302 reviews7 followers
July 6, 2012
Great plot. The relationship aspect was rushed, but the mystery was well done.

But...please, please, please, e-book authors, employ a proofreader. Nothing is more distracting from an otherwise compelling story than constant punctuation and homonym errors. To is not the same word as too, no matter how many times you write it that way.
Profile Image for R.M..
Author 15 books18 followers
September 7, 2013
I am a fan of history and historical fictions. I also like mysteries. I was intrigued at the synopsis of this “history-mystery.” When done well, the combination can be amazing, it can keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you riveted to the page or the screen.

The story of The 15th Star is a compelling one. Borrowing her plot lines from history, Ms. Grace brings together truths and fiction to weave together a story spanning two centuries. When Grace Wisher, a slave girl on a cotton plantation in the South, is told that she has to allow one of the white men on the plantation to impregnate her, runs away. She, unlike most slaves, is able to make a clean break and runs to Baltimore, where she soon finds herself the indentured worker of Mary Pickersgill, a flag and banner maker. When delivering the Star-Spangled Banner made famous in Francis Scott Key’s poem written during the War of 1812, Grace befriends Mrs. Louisa Armistead, who promises to help Grace learn to read and write. Their correspondence is later saved.

It is this correspondence that is the glue that holds the past to the present. In the present day, Keiko—a grad student working at the Smithsonian—comes across an intriguing letter in papers of Mrs. Armistead’s donated to the museum. Intrigued by the mention of a star from the Armistead Flag, she goes on a whirlwind adventure with a new friend. Who knows what the next 24 hours will hold?

The book head-jumps quite often, though that type of storytelling does not bother me as much as it does others. Most of the jumps are in between chapter breaks, though there are a few rather abrupt ones when the present-day male and female lead characters are together.

The plot’s bones are strong and the flesh of the story is strong in most places. There are, as with any book, some places where you have to roll your eyes. There are some issues with the present-day antagonist’s motivation. There are a few connections between different characters that are somewhat unbelievable, and the chapter titles are not consistent (some are dates, some are locations, some are phrases). It is also an interesting editorial choice to use the term “Indian” where most present-day institutions use “Native American,” or “First Peoples.”

All in all, though, it was a pleasant read, especially after the latest updates--which resolved editorial and formatting issues present in the first edition.
Profile Image for Cathy.
896 reviews21 followers
March 30, 2013
This is described, by the author, as a history/mystery. It combines elements of real history with fictional parts to make a whole story.
The 15th star is from the flag which flew over Ft. McHenry during the war of 1812. It was the flag praised in the anthem, Star Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key.
Mrs. Armistead, wife of the fort's commander, gave away parts of the flag to those she considered heroes. Years later, when the flag was remade with the pieces, the 15th star was, and is still, missing. This story explores, fictionally, what may have happened to that piece. It jumps into the present with a search for the star by a researcher at the Smithsonian Institute.
Very easy to read. Easy, too, to get caught up in the lives of those from the past as told partly through letters. Looking forward to another history/mystery coming from this author.
463 reviews2 followers
February 5, 2013
The story is interesting and the plot well thought out. The characters are engaging. Unfortunately the author needs an editor. The grammar switches from present tense to past tense and back again with no regard for good writing among other problems. Some of the situations are unlikely, but for a quick read with an interesting and little known historical event this is a good read.
Profile Image for Bo.
35 reviews2 followers
June 26, 2013
The bones of the plot are good, but this reads like a very very rough draft.
Profile Image for Erica.
6 reviews14 followers
March 15, 2014
This is a first-reads review.
I love historical pieces and a mystery is even better. Sometimes these types of books spend too much time in one period, thereby neglecting the other. But not The 15th Star. Each period (the War of 1812 and present day) was given equal attention. Grace is the main character during the 1812 sections and Keiko is the star (no pun intended) during the present day. Keiko has discovered clues to the location of the missing 15th star on the flag that was the inspiration for the Star Spangled Banner. Grace, an indentured slave, helped make that flag. I enjoyed the author's backstory about Grace and the 15th star. I also enjoyed learning a little more about the War of 1812 and the culture during that time. While there were some grammatical errors, they did not distract this reader. I definitely "enjoyed the journey" while reading this book (Thanks Lisa!) and will miss Grace and Keiko. I look forward to reading Lisa Grace's other books, especially True Treasure, her next "history-mystery."
Profile Image for Stacy.
1,132 reviews8 followers
March 18, 2013
A nice little book that I picked up free for my Kindle. I always love a tidbit about history that I never knew and this book definitely fit that bill. It's about an indentured servant named Grace, who worked for Mary Pickersgill. I had no idea who that was until I read the book! Mary Pickersgill and some of her female relatives sewed the flag that flew over Fort McHenry at the onset of the War of 1812 - the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled banner. This book had a nice bit of history during that time, interspersed with a modern day intern working at the Smithsonian, researching the flag and the missing 15th star. Probably most of it is fictionalized, but I enjoyed the read, nonetheless!
Profile Image for Betty.
68 reviews4 followers
June 9, 2014
My heart was racing

My heart was racing

This is a great story. I was so caught up in the story from the first line on. I went to bed, but got back up to finish it. I could not believe I had gotten to know and love the people as I had. The slaves had a very hard live, but one did not give up. This is a story that is filled with History ,but some things were charged to make it fit and not put others not involved in bad light. Read the book to find out more information about the 15 th Stare and all that the slave girl went through.
July 24, 2012
Loved this book! It kept me enthralled and I had a hard time putting it down! I did not know about the 15th Star being missing from the flag. I hope to go to Washington, DC one day to visit the Smithsonian to see it.
Profile Image for ABCme.
308 reviews26 followers
July 4, 2012
This is one of the most impressive novels I've read in a long time. It combines the history of American flag making, slave workers and British invasions with modern day discoveries at the Smithsonian. It's fast paced, exciting, emotional and totally recommended!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
18 reviews130 followers
July 15, 2012
I loved this book! The characters, the historical aspect combined with the modern day mystery. I was drawn in quickly and i couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Tralisa Mcneal.
6 reviews5 followers
September 14, 2012
I read this book last weekend. This was an awesome read. I was glad that the author took the time to write a book that included a black in American history.
Profile Image for Kayra.
20 reviews
December 31, 2012
Historical part was fascinating. I thought the romance was unnecessary. Great book
Profile Image for Jeanne.
209 reviews6 followers
May 16, 2013
I really enjoyed this book and the charters in it. I would like to see these charters as a series of books on historical hunt. I always hate to see fun charters end.
Profile Image for Annie Drewello.
13 reviews
August 29, 2017
I picked this up because I just got back from a road trip where we saw the actual Star Spangled Banner. The plot was interesting, combining a true historical mystery with modern characters. The execution was lacking. It was almost as if the author couldn't decide if it was a historical thriller or a romance novel. The main character read as a "Mary Sue" where she could do no wrong but had a tragic past and saved the day despite it all. And the romance plot was unnecessary and far fetched. Who proposes the same day that you start talking to someone?

Some of the action was drawn out and rushed at the same time. Some of the letters, while important to the plot, were repeated word for word in a few spots which made for a redundant read. A handful of the characters seemed superfluous.

Not the worst thing I've ever read, it was a good fluffy read for fun... but I would not recommend it.
Profile Image for Bette.
725 reviews
August 27, 2021
A blend of history and mystery. The American flag is created and stitched by Mary Pickersgill, her daughter Caroline, her nieces Jane and Eliza, and Grace Wisher, an indentured servant. Upon its completion, Grace delivers it to Major George Armistead at Fort McHenry. This is the flag that flew in the battle of 1813 and which is the basis of Francis Scott Key's The Star-Spangled Banner.

This flag of 15 red and white stripes and 15 stars still exists today at the Smithsonian, although the 15th star is missing.

Lisa Grace has taken the history of this flag, creating a fictional account of the women who stitched it and brought it into the 21st century as a treasure hunt.

Interesting read, though I found the account of the 21st-century search for the star to be weak and the ending result improbable.
Profile Image for Jennifer Erwin.
1,311 reviews13 followers
September 5, 2018
I got this book I don't even know how many years ago, and FINALLY decided I needed to move it out of my TBR collection. Well...it's getting moved all right. Into my Couldn't finish/Didn't like collection. I think I got this because of another book I liked from the author and the description read that it was like a cross between 1776 and National Treasure. Now I LOVE National Treasure. Adore it. It's a really cute movie. But I don't like to read about that kind of stuff. I especially don't like to read about slavery. Yes I know it existed, but I read to escape the harsh reality of life. I don't want to relive it in my head.

That being said, this book was not for me and I respect that. I'm DNF'ing this book at 6%.
17 reviews
February 19, 2018

A well-written engaging history mystery. Almost disappointing at the end to find out it was pretty much all fictionalized. Would have liked to have seen a stronger Christian emphasis but there were no objectionable issues either.
1 review2 followers
August 26, 2017
Lots of errors

Good story, but starts out very slow. Also, there were a lot of grammatical errors, including the correct tense of verbs which I found very irritating.
Profile Image for Sarah.
51 reviews2 followers
September 10, 2018
Quit on this halfway through. I enjoyed reading Grace's story, but could not bring myself to spend the time necessary to wade through Keiko's nonsense.
Profile Image for Lori Henrich.
1,022 reviews70 followers
May 2, 2020
This was a pretty good. I like the mystery. I liked the history aspect. I did feel like the majority of the story was on the history part and not so much mystery. Clean story with a bit of romance thrown in with the mystery. Bit of a Christian focus as well.
Profile Image for Tom Blubaugh.
Author 6 books134 followers
March 2, 2020
This is a very good read. No spoiler alert here. You'll have to experience this creative writing to see how Lisa Grace weaves the past and present together to make history and fiction work in unity. Very creative writing.
Profile Image for Carolyn Injoy.
1,242 reviews134 followers
February 12, 2016
The 15th Star (A Lisa Grace History - Mystery) Lisa Grace, almost a five star.

Based on the real - life history - mystery of the missing star from the Star Spangled Banner.

us flag in 1812 that inspired the star spangled banner photo: Star Spangled Banner Publication1.jpg

Set during the War of 1812 about a young slave, Grace Wisher, who escapes a plantation, goes to work as an indentured servant for a flag maker Mrs. Pickersgill. She has a troubled & painful life & has a secret that will carry forward into the present day. It's a secret that is worth killing for. History rolls into the future.

A quote from another slave driving the wagon to Baltimore that she hops on to escape. "God's smiling on you today, I'm takin this load all the way to Balty-more. They got some slaves there, buts they got free ones too. You be careful & you'll get lucky. Say your freeman die a jack tar on a ship with all your papers goin' downat the bottom of the sea."

The tale is revealed through the research of an intern Keiko, working toward her Masters degree serving at the Smithsonian Institute. She discovers boxes of letters about Grace & her long-time friend Louisa Armistad. She thinks: "She would perservere, survive & recognize the unremembered."

She tells Dr. Writer of her recent discoveries & he responds: "Oh the wonder of brick & mortar walls, the things we take for granted. Again, today I am in awe of what our past has wrought."

Later he waxes poetic to Keiko: "Oh, the story behind the history, the truth behind the mystery. We conjecture & bring to light, whether it made a difference, turning left instead of right.

Some grammatical errors & typos but overall it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book.

I enjoyed reading history come to life. I recognize that journalistic license was taken but I found it believable.

Here is the link to purchase. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1482...
Profile Image for Rachel.
229 reviews7 followers
July 31, 2014
Some people somehow have the idea that this is about the Civil War (because Grace is a slave?)..Not so, this is about the War of 1812. While the book is fictional...it is based on fact. You'll have to read it to find out what is fact and fiction :)
I like books about the South, Civil War, etc. not so much revolutionary war, etc. so wasn't sure when I downloaded it to my Kindle how I'd feel about it. The price was right, though (freebie)so I decided nothing ventured-nothing gained. Well, I absolutely loved the book! The writing is good, the characters great, loved the story and learned a little bit of history at the same time. Can't beat that. I've never read the author before, but will most likely do so in the future.
While I dislike reviews that go into the story, in this case I have to tell a little. Grace is a young slave who runs from her home. She ends up in Baltimore and being a good seamstress gets a "job" helping to make colors(flags)for ships. A large flag is ordered for a fort and Grace helps to sew it and delivers it to the fort. At the fort she is befriended by the wife of the commander. This wife later gives pieces of this flag to persons she feels are heroes for one reason or another. Grace is one of them. This is her story and the story of the 15th star that was given to her and later disappeared. To see why she ran,why she earned the star and a lot more--
read the book!
This is a mystery with some history, a bit of drama, suspense and yes, romance. It goes back and forth from Grace's time to the present day. I highly recommend it to just about anyone, however lovers of romance, mystery and history will really enjoy it.
Profile Image for Marilyn Turk.
Author 34 books51 followers
February 5, 2015
I thought the story was very good and kept me reading. However, as I've noticed other reviewers mention, it is obvious this is the author's first book. She really needed a proofreader for the whole thing, even though she mentions several published authors who mentored her. Misspelled words and tense changes were very distracting, and I was embarrassed for her because the story itself was good and well-paced. I also thought all the military stuff and fight in the basement was a bit over the top too, and I visualized an action movie instead of a mystery. Hopefully, her next books were better edited. She is a good storyteller.
Profile Image for Joleen.
1,984 reviews1,207 followers
November 16, 2014
Interesting historical fiction book much of which was set around the war of 1812, with a present day storyline of a woman researching the characters from the past. Keiko was trying to find letters and documentation hoping to find the missing 15th star from the giant flag flown over the skies during that battle (Star Spangled Banner)
Interesting, however neither the writing styles nor romantic plot in present time were riveting.
But if I were 18, I would probably have loved it.
Easy book to read. Nothing unseemly. Good read for youth and young adults.
Profile Image for Lisa Harber.
4 reviews
September 7, 2014
Love, love, love!!

I absolutely could hardly put this book down! I loved the historical background from which this book was written, and I honestly felt like I was transported back in time. I fell in love with the characters, and felt like Grace deserved so much better than what life gave her. This novel was also a lot of fun and exciting waiting for the mystery of the lost star to be unraveled! I was sad it had to end. I am excited to read more of your work.
Profile Image for Anniethecavie.
10 reviews
June 13, 2014
This book started off good in the historical chapters about a slave. Then it flips to the story of a young woman who works at the Smithsonian. After briefly introducing her colleagues who she works with, it flips into some lusty language about her attraction to one of them. Was not quite baked. Abandoned it for a better read.
26 reviews
May 20, 2015
A great read,showing the realities of post-war life

A great read,showing the realities of post-war life

It's so sad sometimes to be an adult and know that things are not as simple and honorable as they seemed as a child. This book illustrates that in a very respectful way. Very recommended, history mystery!
Profile Image for Lex.
26 reviews
February 12, 2015
The mystery upon which this book is based is interesting, but the love story, which I felt a little beat-over the head with as the reader, could have been a little, I dunno... subtler, maybe. More mystery, less moon-eyed wishing and internal dialogue from the main modern character would have made this book more tolerable.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews

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