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Carver's Quest (ADAM CARVER SERIES Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Nick Rennison
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

It is 1870. When amateur archaeologist Adam Carver and his loyal but obdurate retainer Quint are visited in their lodgings in London's Doughty Street by an attractive young woman, their landlady is not pleased. The visitor's arrival pitches Carver and Quint headlong into an elaborate mystery which comes to centre on the existence (or not) of a lost text in Ancient Greek, one that may reveal the whereabouts of the treasure hoard of Philip II of Macedonia.

Two deaths soon ensue as master and manservant follow what clues they can grasp in the roughest and most genteel parts of the teeming metropolis, with the whiff of cordite and blackmail never far from their nostrils. The scene shifts to Athens and the wilder fastness of a Greece gripped by political unrest as Carver and Quint join forces with Adam's former Cambridge tutor in an attempt to track down the elusive text. But nothing is quite what it seems, and no one involved is prepared for the final, shocking denouement amidst the extraordinary hilltop monasteries of Meteora...


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Review

"The book bristles with an energy and inventiveness that positively leap off the page. . . . readers may well be looking to spend more time in the company of Carver and Quint." "--Crime Time"

About the Author

Nick Rennison is a writer, editor and bookseller. His books include Sherlock Holmes: An Unauthorised Biography, Robin Hood: Myth, History, Culture, The Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide and 100 Must-Read Historical Novels. He is a regular reviewer of historical fiction for both The Sunday Times and BBC History Magazine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1103 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus (5 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B9E3SGO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #211,426 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Nick Rennison is a writer, editor and bookseller with a particular interest in the Victorian era and in crime fiction. He has written several Pocket Essential guides published by Oldcastle Books including Short History of the Polar Exploration, Roget, Freud and Robin Hood. He is also the author of The Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide to Crime Fiction, 100 Must-Read Crime Novels and Sherlock Holmes: An Unauthorised Biography. His debut crime novel, Carver's Quest, set in nineteenth century London, was published by Atlantic Books. He is a regular reviewer for both The Sunday Times and BBC History Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Review by His Obdurate Retainer 24 Nov. 2013
By Euromancer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
First of all, a confession: I know Nick Rennison, having been his collaborator on two previous nonfiction books and having once worked with him on a daily basis some decades ago in a certain bookshop. Hopefully, you'll not see this as an admission of nepotistic intent, but a candid statement of insider knowledge. You could say that like the two central characters in this novel, Carver and Quint, Nick Rennison and I have enjoyed the relationship of Gentleman and Obdurate Retainer. Though on occassion, he was the retainer and I the gentleman, while at other times the roles were reversed. Mein Gott, we have even been equals now and then...

Secondly, a fact about the format of this book. At the time I write (November 2013), 'Carver's Quest' has just appeared in bookshops in B format £8.99 rrp. For some reason, Amazon are not currently selling this edition, instead offering the larger format, more costly trade edition. No matter, for 'tis the content that counts....

...and what content it is. Knowing Rennison, I expected erudition, wit, a pretty turn of phrase, intrigueing characters, plotting and structure of labyrinthine yet engaging nature and a dash of page-turning compulsion. After all, the man has written around 30 non-fiction books on subjects too numerous to mention here, reviews books for the Sunday Times and the BBC History magazine, is probably the best-read man I've ever known (and I've spent 30 years in bookselling so I've encountered some frighteningly enlightened types) and - to be -fair - he always buys his round.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars could have been better 9 Jun. 2013
By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Review

This book has much to make it appeal to the reader of Historical Fiction and Historical Crime Fiction because it is advertised as Flashman meets Sherlock Holmes. The only problem with that description is that it builds a level of anticipation in the reader. There isn't even the smallest spark of Flashman in this novel, and the only similarity to a Sherlock Holmes novel is the time period and that Carver has a sidekick.

This isn't a bad book, its just not a thrilling book, well not for the first two thirds, then when we finally reach Greece it starts to pick up. The early part of the book seems to be too much laying of ground work and back story. For me the author should have built this part of the tale into the treasure hunt, maybe in a retrospective / timeslip.

Rallis and Greece seem to be the catalyst that brings the book finally to life. Which is a shame, the author clearly knows and likes his time period especially 1870's London, he has no issue with the use of the English language, but maybe that contributes to my issue. Any book blurb that contains the phrase "but his obdurate retainer" is going to be somewhat wordy, and this book was most certainly that.
This is a 430 page book and took me a week to read, about four times longer than it should. It was a slog. But that said I did finish it, something made me keep reading. Maybe it was the premise of finding the treasure of Philip of Macedon, maybe it was the grumpy nature of Quint the "Obdurate Retainer"? I honestly don't know, this isn't a bad book, and unlikely to be a great book, personally for me it was frustrating and hard work, a slog.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Poor man's Rider Haggard! 4 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I galloped through this book, but a little of that was perhaps the novelty of my first read on a Kindle! The book is certainly a page turner and I certainly wanted to see it through to the end. However, having done so, I felt that there hadn't been quite enough "meat on the bone" . Adam' Carver's assistant Quint is certainly a bit formulaic and not nearly as interesting as say Dr Watson.

On ballance I would say ideal for a rainy afternoon but expect to feel a little guilty at not reading something more worthwhile.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't seem to get anywhere 26 Nov. 2013
By annemar
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are lots of good things about this book. I loved the language and dialogue and really liked the two main characters, Adam Carver and Quint. However, in spite of the quality of the writing, which I think helped keep be reading, the story just meandered through Victorian London and then Greece without the reader really knowing where it was going - and then it ended all of a sudden with a 'reveal' happening without any insights/effort on the part of Adam. Seemed a bit pointless.
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By Eleni
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent adventure and a colourful portrait of the Victorian Era!
No way to tell the Good Guys from the Villains until the very end, perhaps not even after the end as the conduct of some of the characters leaves cpace for speculations.
The writer has a deep knowledge and understunding of what he is writing about- I 'm Greek, I should know.
I'm looking forward to a new quest by Mr Carver in some other corner of the Earth.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dickens meets Holmes meets Wilde - Carver's Quest 13 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback
Carver's Quest is a cracking novel; I was utterly engrossed. Set in late 19th Century London and Greece it tells the story of an a master and servant odd couple, Carver and Quint (from Quintus, the fifth foundling baby found outside the orphanage that week), who become embroiled in a mystery which involves murder, blackmail, brigands and a lost ancient Greek manuscript that may point the way to the lost burial place and golden treasures of the father of Alexander, Philip of Macedon. But that bald plot doesn't do the novel justice; if you are thinking Dan Brown, or Flashman, think again. Rather think Charles Dickens, Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde. Rennison revels in colourful characters who would emerge naturally from a Dickens novel; delicious, witty and realistic (and well-researched) period dialogue; and enthralling descriptions of the fashionable and the sordid London of the time. A twist too is that Carver, who is an attractice character with wit, determination and bravery, is no Sherlock Holmes and despite his best efforts, finds himself regularly baffled by events and their connections. Some readers, and some reviewers, have found the plot rather slow, at least until the action speeds up when the treasure hunters get to Greece and travel to the strange and formidable pinnacled monasteries of Meteora (and again, Rennison has done his homework here; he presents a fascinating and vivid picture of the birth of the independent Greek State and the turmoil of the time there and popular resentment against the looting of the new nation's heritage). Certainly, if you need constant noise and action, you might prefer Dan Brown. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book.
Great read.
Published 1 month ago by LEONARD BLISSETT
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I read it to the end.
Published 2 months ago by P. A. Bevan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, attention to
Good,attention to detail
Published 12 months ago by Isa M Rees
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea but the action needs to be ramped up
Convoluted and slow paced. Great idea but the action needs to be ramped up.
Published 14 months ago by bbcgoogle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun
Beautifully written and very entertaining. It reads like a Wodehouse/Dickens collaboration. I look forward to the next instalment of Carver and Quint.
Published 20 months ago by Timothy De Ferrars
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Bill
I'm not much of a one for words - I'd rather read them, especially the way Nick Rennison sets them down. Just buy this book it's GREAT!!!
Published 21 months ago by Billy Courtney
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Did not fulfil its promise,reviews were misleading,I found it rather infantile and the promised action and thrills only started near the end of the book, needed a good editor.
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Victorian mystery thriller
Very enjoyable. Took me back to youth time readings of Sherlock Holmes, journey to the centre of the earth & king Solomon's mine
Published 23 months ago by Stefan
5.0 out of 5 stars Total immersion in the Victorian age
Carver's Quest is a wonderful way to spend a few happy hours engrossed in mid-Victorian London and then travelling in European Turkey. Read more
Published on 22 Aug. 2013 by Gordon S
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