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The Price of Murder (Sir John Fielding Series #10)
     

The Price of Murder (Sir John Fielding Series #10)

4.4 9
by Bruce Alexander
 

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“Outstanding.”—Library Journal
 
When the body of a young girl is pulled from the Thames, blind magistrate Sir John Fielding’s investigation leads his protégé, Jeremy Proctor, into the notorious Seven Dials section of London. There the sordid inclinations of both the working class and aristocracy may be

Overview

“Outstanding.”—Library Journal
 
When the body of a young girl is pulled from the Thames, blind magistrate Sir John Fielding’s investigation leads his protégé, Jeremy Proctor, into the notorious Seven Dials section of London. There the sordid inclinations of both the working class and aristocracy may be found—and there, Jeremy learns that the girl’s mother has disappeared near the racetrack. As he delves further into the mystery, he will begin to realize just how high the stakes are, and—when an acquaintance of his own suddenly vanishes—just how terribly steep the odds really are.
 
“I’ve already invoked the spirits of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens to describe the pleasures of Bruce Alexander’s wonderful series…Now it’s time to add Sir John [Fielding’s] illustrious brother, novelist Henry Fielding, to that list of noble begetters.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“Alexander balances darker narrative colors and a deeper look at series characters with a satisfying mystery and rich period authenticity.”—Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
Historical mysteries rarely offer so many depths of pleasure as this series. Long may it ride.
October 26, 2003
Publishers Weekly
In Alexander's 10th enjoyable Sir John Fielding novel set in Georgian England (after 2002's An Experiment in Treason), the brilliant blind magistrate and his young apprentice Jeremy Proctor investigate the brutal murder of a little girl whose mother had sold her into slavery. The trail leads Jeremy into a new world, the racetrack, as he joins forces with the victim's uncle, legendary jockey Deuteronomy Plummer. The challenges of the inquiry mount, as crucial witnesses turn up dead and evidence suggests that a member of the upper class is involved. The assistance of Jeremy's almost-fiancee, Clarissa Roundtree, proves vital when her childhood friend Elizabeth Hooker disappears only to resurface after a melodramatic escape from a brothel-a subplot borrowed from a celebrated real-life unsolved mystery. As with other recent entries in this fine series, the once-dominant Sir John plays a largely supporting role. His sage advice and struggle to serve justice in a corrupt milieu guide his assistant's growth and maturation. This shift also mirrors a trend to underplay the whodunit aspect. Routine police procedure has largely supplanted Holmesian deductive pyrotechnics. Restoring the old balance by adding to Jeremy's sleuthing skills in future entries might win more classic mystery fans. (Oct. 13) FYI: The subplot, based on the unexplained disappearance of a young woman named Elizabeth Canning, takes center stage in Josephine Tey's The Franchise Affair (1948) and is "solved" in Lillian De La Torre's Elizabeth Is Missing (1945). Arthur Machen's The Canning Wonder (1926) provides the definitive nonfiction account. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Blind Georgian London magistrate Fielding and assistant Jeremy (Murder in Grub Street) investigate the death of a young girl but find her mother has disappeared. Jeremy's subsequent search for her takes him to the racetrack, where close and personal danger lurks. An outstanding historical. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It's 1774, and a child killer prowls the streets of London's tenderloin. Jeremy Proctor, the narrator and young protégé of blind barrister and renowned sleuth Sir John Fielding, reaches maturity in this tenth series episode and, appropriately, takes a more active role than in earlier investigations (An Experiment in Treason, 2002, etc.). But the case is an unhappy one, especially considering Jeremy's impending nuptials. While his longtime love, Clarissa the housemaid, plans for the wedding and nervously prepares to step temporarily into the shoes of the vacationing cook, Jeremy probes the drowning of young Maggie Plummer, pulled from the Thames as the latest in a string of recent victims. His first task is finding Maggie's indigent mother Amanda, who's so elusive she must be involved in the crime. Amanda's pompous brother Deuteronomy offers a hand in locating her, but he too seems duplicitous. Traveling with Deuteronomy leads Jeremy to apparent chicanery at the racetrack and a singular horse called Pegasus. And Clarissa's intense interest in wagering on the races is just one of a handful of unattractive new traits in his bride-to-be that give Jeremy pause. It takes the brilliant Sir John, working at the 11th hour, to reshuffle the seemingly disparate pieces of the puzzle into a surprising but rational explanation. Alexander balances darker narrative colors and a deeper look at series characters with a satisfying mystery and rich period authenticity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425198070
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Series:
Sir John Fielding Series , #10
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
178,141
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.76(h) x 0.82(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Price of Murder (Sir John Fielding Series #10) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
A young child, no bigger than eight, is fished out of the Thames River in London of 1774. When Sir John Fielding of 4 Bow Street, the magistrates of London and Winchester hears of this, he sends his protégée Jeremy Proctor to investigate. A month ago Alice Plummer reported her daughter was stolen and Sir John thinks that the child in the water was Margaret Plummer. When Jeremy arrives on the docks, he learns that the child was naked and there is evidence of sexual intercourse.

The autopsy reveals that the child was indeed brutally molested and smothered to death. When Jeremy tries to find the mother, a neighbor says that she disappeared with a large sum of money after giving her child to a man that said he would place her with wealthy parents who couldn¿t have a child. When Jeremy and Alice¿s brother Deuteronomy, a famous jockey, manage to locate Alice in Newmarket she is honestly horrified to find out what happened to her child. She manages to give the authorities the slip and take justice into her own hands but Sir John and Jeremy are determined to find the man who actually killed the child and bring him to justice.

Historical mysteries don¿t get better than THE PRICE OF MURDER. The story is told in the first person narrative from Jeremy¿s perspective years after the events of this novel have taken place. His asides to the audience are thoroughly entertaining and make the readers feel as if they are part of the tale. Depending on how one feels about animals, justice was not meted out totally by a human agent.

Harriet Klausner

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