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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » An Experiment in Treason: A Sir John Fielding Mystery (Sir John Fielding Mysteries)

An Experiment in Treason: A Sir John Fielding Mystery (Sir John Fielding Mysteries)

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Bruce Alexander

Sir John Fielding and his young prot‚g‚, Jeremy Proctor, those delightful Georgian versions of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, get mixed up in pre-Revolutionary War intrigue in their ninth outing (after 2001's Smuggler's Moon). A burglary of … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Bruce Alexander
Publisher: Putnam Adult
1 review about An Experiment in Treason: A Sir John Fielding...

Brit view of outrageous colonists

  • Jan 20, 2003
Rating:
+5
Though not his best in the outstanding Sir John Fielding series, Alexanders ninth provides a lively view of British outrage and bafflement at the fractiousness of the American colonies as well as a rich portrait of crime and policing in 18th century London as the blind Bow Street Court magistrate Fielding oversees his Bow Street runners and investigates a murder/robbery with ominous political overtones. Young narrator Jeremy Proctor, Fieldings eyes and legs and increasingly mature assistant, tells the tale with verve, initiative, and wit, indulging in a little romance of his own along the way.

The case involves the theft of inflammatory letters and the collateral murder of a footman at the home of an arrogant British lord, secretary of state for the American colonies. Though Lord Hillsborough refuses to divulge the letters contents, its clear they connect with the rising colonial foment. Dinners with Samuel Johnson and Benjamin Franklin speed Fieldings cogitations while Jeremy scouts the back alleys and low taverns for the hired miscreants. The central mystery is a bit weak, but it hardly matters as Alexander brings history to life from the perspective of those making it and Jeremy continues to charm and provide the action, from disarming a mob to battling a ruthless assassin. Franklin appears in all his warts and brilliance and only the British aritsocracy comes off worse. Well-written, atmospheric and intirguing, the series continues to delight.

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