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Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding Series #8)

Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding Series #8)

4.0 3
by Bruce Alexander

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Blind magistrate Sir John Fielding investigates corruption and murder in the seaside town of Deal, which has become a haven for smugglers.


Blind magistrate Sir John Fielding investigates corruption and murder in the seaside town of Deal, which has become a haven for smugglers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sir John Fielding, the blind magistrate of Bow Street Court, returns for another rousing period crime adventure, as told by 17-year-old orphan Jeremy Proctor, from the pseudonymous Alexander (Blind Justice; Watery Grave; etc.). In 1772, Jeremy is learning the law from Sir John, for whom he is companion and attendant, but he has little time for study when the Lord Chief Justice sends Sir John to the town of Deal in Kent to investigate the conduct of the magistrate there. Fifteen-year-old Clarissa Roundtree, another stray welcomed into the Fielding household as Lady Fielding's assistant, accompanies them to Kent. Lying a short distance from the French coast, Deal prospers from "owling," the local term for smuggling. Soon after their arrival, the local magistrate is murdered, while smugglers boldly continue their activities. Sir John, as acting magistrate, plans an ingenious land-and-sea trap to ensnare the smuggling gang and sever their supply and distribution lines. At the swashbuckling climax, under the bright light of a "smuggler's moon," Jeremy proves himself a hero as part of the boarding party engaging in an on-deck saber fight with the villains. As for Clarissa, who once aspired to write romance novels, she conceives of the first murder mystery in the wake of the action. As usual, the author deftly captures the flavor of the period without overdoing the archaic language. This is an exciting novel sure to please established fans and those who appreciate classic yarns in the tradition of Treasure Island. (Nov. 5) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Sir John Fielding, a blind, 18th-century London judge, and his orphan accomplice, Jeremy, visit the smuggler's haven of Deal in order to check on a supposedly crooked magistrate. The pair find murder and more in this lively eighth addition to a popular series. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The idyllic English seaside town of Deal is transformed so regularly of a night into a hotbed of "owling"-smuggling, to a non-18th-century reader-that those involved in the illegal trade refer to Deal as "Smuggler's Beach." Word of the town's fame has reached no less than the Lord Chief Justice, who entreats blind magistrate and sometime sleuth Sir John Fielding to investigate Deal's young magistrate, Sir Albert Sarton. But though stuffy squire Sir Simon Grenville and his crony, Chief Customs Officer George Eccles, accuse Sarton of incompetence or criminal activity, they seem far more incensed by his marriage to a tart former cook. Nothing daunted, Fielding obligingly travels to Deal with his protege and amanuensis Jeremy Proctor and Clarissa Roundtree, secretary and ward of the absent Lady Fielding, who's off tending her sick mother in York. Jeremy and Clarissa, both on the verge of adulthood, flirt between rounds of snooping, he among waterfront ruffians, she at Mrs. Keen's tearoom and forbidding Deal Castle, where she's spooked by a legendary ghost. A handful of murders raise the stakes. Series irregular Black Jack Bilbo helps Jeremy negotiate Deal's piratical underside, and provides the muscle needed to neutralize the smuggling ring, while along the way introducing us to such colorful locals as reformed owler Dick Dickens and French pirate queen Marie-Helene. Maritime action a la Patrick O'Brian overshadows a leisurely, predictable mystery. Still, Jeremy's curiosity and enthusiasm are infectious, and Sir John performs in his eighth adventure (The Color of Death, 2000, etc.) with his usual Holmesian panache.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sir John Fielding Series , #8
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.74(h) x 0.84(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Bruce Alexander is the pseudonym for a well-known author of fiction and non-fiction. The previous books in this series are Blind Justice, Murder in Grub Street (Named by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book in 1995), Watery Grave, Person or Persons Unknown (named by the Chicago Tribune as one of the best novels of 1997), Jack, Knave and Fool, and Death of a Colonial.

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Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding Series #8) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this series, when I was younger and stupider, but now I recognize it as another that bowdlerizes history for the benefit of modern sensibilities. All this marrying the lower classes and elevating urchins would never have happened in that time period, and seriously distracts from the overall presentation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the previous reviewer in all aspects. Even though this book was a bit weaker in story, it was barely. It still had all the charm and captivated me as I read it. I hope Mr. Alexander continues the series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
While the 'mystery' part of this book is not too difficult to solve and is not as strong as previous novels, this is still a nice addition to the series. One truly cares about the characters and that makes all the difference.