A Broken Vessel: The Second Julian Kestral Mystery

( 2 )

Overview

Julian Kestrel, the dandy detective of Regency London, is most decidedly a man of the world and, through his valet, Dipper, reformed Cockney pickpocket, is not without ties to the underworld. One such connection is Dipper's sister Sally, a prostitute who accidentally happens across the possibility of murder while picking her clients' pockets. Since Sally is not quite in the position to go to the police with her knowledge, she and Julian must chase the clues all through London, from glittery parlors to the dank ...

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A Broken Vessel: Julian Kestral #2

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Overview

Julian Kestrel, the dandy detective of Regency London, is most decidedly a man of the world and, through his valet, Dipper, reformed Cockney pickpocket, is not without ties to the underworld. One such connection is Dipper's sister Sally, a prostitute who accidentally happens across the possibility of murder while picking her clients' pockets. Since Sally is not quite in the position to go to the police with her knowledge, she and Julian must chase the clues all through London, from glittery parlors to the dank halls of a home for fallen women.

In 1820's London, Julian Kestrel and an unlikely partner--bold and bewitching prostitute Sally Stokes--stalk a murderer through the high places and low life in Regency London, after Sally mistakenly steals a letter from one of her clients containing an urgent plea for help from a distraught young woman.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this atmospheric and gritty mystery set in 1820's London, dandy Julian Kestrel (first encountered in Cut to the Quick ) searches out the truth about a supposed suicide. Sally Stokes, a ``game girl,'' or prostitute--and the sister of Julian's valet--likes to lift handkerchiefs from her clients. Among the three she collects in one night's work, she finds a letter from an obviously upper-class young woman despairing over her fate in an establishment for fallen women. Intrigued by the mystery, Julian and Sally set out to determine her identity. Sally insinuates herself into the Reclamation Society, where she learns that one of the inmates is a recent suicide, while Julian attempts to trace the owners of the handkerchiefs. The closets of these gentlemen, however, harbor assorted skeletons, and Julian and Sally's investigations draw them ever deeper into danger. Ross briskly explores the sordid underbelly of the Regency period with sharply etched characters, authentic slang and a smartly intricate plot sweetened by a fetching and unusual love story. (May)
Library Journal
Ross's second Julian Kestrel mystery ( Cut to the Quick, LJ 2/1/93) teams the Regency buck cum amateur detective with London prostitute Sally to search for the murderer of a woman in a refuge for ``fallen woman.'' The trail starts with an anonymous letter leading to three ``flats'' (johns); the trails converge and diverge before tying up neatly at the end. While readers may guess the dead woman's identity, and even the killer's, before the book's end, the witty repartee, unusual protagonists, and accurately rendered picture of early 19th-century London manners and morals should engage mystery readers. Ross is a writer to follow--and collect.
School Library Journal
YA-Ross's second mystery about Julian Kestrel, the Regency dandy, teams him with Sally Stokes, a cockney prostitute who helps him solve a clever and devilish murder. One night, as is her custom, Sally steals a handkerchief from each of her three clients. In one, she finds a letter from a woman being held against her will and begging for help. A concerned and frightened Sally runs into her brother, a reformed pickpocket and Kestrel's valet. Soon she and Kestrel are matching wits to find the owner of the handkerchief and locate the desperate woman. Through dogged legwork they locate the three men, each from a different strata of society but each of whom has something serious to hide relating to a young heiress, the Reclamation Society, and the seamy underground life of London's Haymarket District. The clues come thick and fast in this action-packed mystery. Ross provides a good look at the beginnings of the London police force as well as the working of the English courts and the role of magistrates in this authentic view of early 19th-century social life.- Mary T. Gerrity, Queen Anne School Library, Upper Marlboro, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934609712
  • Publisher: Felony & Mayhem, LLC
  • Publication date: 4/16/2011
  • Series: Julian Kestrel Series , #2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 417,187
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 15, 2013

    Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. 4-1/2*. Julian Kestrel

    Well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. 4-1/2*. Julian Kestrel is a fabulously-written lead character - intelligent, thoughtful, ethical and thoroughly likeable, which the reader learns from his words and deeds, thankfully, rather than just because the author says so. The plot is interesting and involved, without being overly convoluted. The characters and suspects are well-described, their actions understandable, and their motives realistic.
    The mystery begins when Kestrel, having arrived home early one evening, finds his valet Dipper entertaining a young woman in his parlor. Dipper, so named for his light fingers in in his early life, introduces his sister Sally, a working girl. Sally routinely steals a handkerchief from each of her clients, and among this evening’s haul is found a heart-wrenching plea from a young woman being held captive. Unfortunately, Sally has no idea from which client she acquired the letter.
    Thus begins this well-written mystery revolving around the underbelly of 1820’s London, upper-class society’s strictures and foibles, and the pursuit of money and thus power for good or ill – and all in an entertaining, rather than moralistic, structure.
    It is not necessary to read Cut To The Quick, the previous novel, to appreciate this one, but it surely is enjoyable to have the background.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    This is the first Julian Kestral book I have read. Can't wait to

    This is the first Julian Kestral book I have read. Can't wait to read the other three! I read it in one day.The characters were well developed. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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