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A Conspiracy Of Violence: 1: Chaloner's First Exploit in Restoration London (Exploits of Thomas Chaloner) Paperback – 4 Jan 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (4 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751537586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751537581
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susanna Gregory was a police officer in Leeds before taking up an academic career. She has served as an environmental consultant, doing fieldwork with whales, seals and walruses during seventeen field seasons in the polar regions, and has taught comparative anatomy and biological anthropology.

She is the creator of the Thomas Chaloner series of mysteries set in Restoration London as well as the Matthew Bartholomew books, and now lives in Wales with her husband, who is also a writer.

Product Description

Review

Susanna Gregory--creator of the Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew--returns with an enthralling new mystery series set in Restoration London. A must for fans of historical whodunits. The pseudonymous author Susanna Gregory is a Cambridge academic. Writing under the pseudonym Simon Beaufort, she is also the author of the Sir Geoffrey Mappestone Mysteries.

Book Description

Susanna Gregory, creator of the Matthew Bartholomew series of mediaeval mysteries, has created another compelling fictional detective set in Restoration London.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ilmk on 31 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Pseudonymal Susanna Gregory finally takes the step of having a new character and a new setting. However, it is the familiar gripping plots, eloquent style and descriptive powers, taut narrative and fine characterisation that remain. Her Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles are a fine example of the medieval murder mystery and it is fair to say she ranks alongside Ellis Peters at the top of the genre.
So, Thomas Falconer, a.k.a Tom Heyden, disgraced clerk, recently returned from his career in Holland, desperately seeking a reference from the old Parliamentarian power, Thurloe, and finding himself immediately embroiled in a chase through the streets of Restoration London hunting the killers of a delivery boy, Storey and Snow, hired incompetent thugs of Kelyng, a fanatical royalist and hunter of regicides.
Very quickly, Chaloner finds himself serving three masters. The first is Thurloe, the ex-Parliamentarian, with his sister Sarah and brother-in-law Dalton, who asks Chaloner to discover who murdered John Clarke, a spy he had recommended to Chaloner's second master. This is the Lord Chancellor, Lord Clarendon, who also commissions him and his aide, the military man who fears the entire animal kingdom, Evett in another search for the hidden gold of the Tower of London that was placed there by the regicide Barkstead. This brings him into contact with Wade and Robinson who previously had assisted excavations in the Tower. His third master is to be Dalton, employed as a clerk.
Before long Chaloner is embroiled with the Brotherhood. A collective of the Leybourn brothers, his mendacious ex-master, Downing, Livesay (who was blown up), Ingoldsby, Barkstead (the executed regicide) and Hewson (who was murdered by Kelyng's men at the very beginning.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Aug. 2006
Format: Hardcover
A change of lead character, a change of century and a change from Cambridge to London. Will it work, is it too much too soon. The reader need have not fears Miss Gregory carries it all off with consummate ease. The book is still beautifully written, the character are strong and soon become like old friends and the author proves that she is as knowledgeable about restoration London as she is about 14th century Cambridge.

England at last has a monarch back on throne, Charles II is ensconced in his Whitehall Palace and the dreary, drab days of Oliver Cromwell are fast fading to a distant memory. The capital is starting to breathe again after the stifling days of the Protectorate. But those difficult days have left their mark on the Londoner's, many have lost their means of employment. One such man Thomas Chaloner has become a spy for John Thurloe, the feared Secretary of State.

Thomas has recently returned from the Low Countries and is in desperate need of employment Thurloe has many enemies at court and recommends Thomas for a post with Lord Clarendon. In return he expects to be kept informed of any plots against himself.

While there Thomas finds out that Thurloe has already sent one of his ex-employees to the court and the man is dead, supposedly by footpads.

Thomas begins to uncover the greed and corruption that is rife among the men of power and soon finds that his own life has little value in the court of Charles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kiltie Chisholm on 31 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recently purchased as part of a special offer in a local bookshop.

I started reading it a few days later..... And could NOT put it down!! I was hooked from the first page. I would describe it as a historical James Patterson but with more meat on the bones. Although the chapters are MUCH longer than those in a James Patterson.

As I type this, I am now half-way through the third book in the series and it, along with the second, is un-put-downable!

I love reading about historical London and I think the way the author has used genuine historical characters as central players in her plots is extremely well done.

There are plenty of twists and, just as you think you're getting everything sussed, you find that actually, you were completely wrong.

Thomas Chaloner - the main character - is likeable, frustrating and sometimes annoying. All at the same time! However, as a spy in Restoration London, you do understand why this is and you accept it as part of his spying remit.

Susanna Gregory works very hard to keep as much historical fact as possible in her writing which makes this a very enjoyable history lesson. I've learnt so much about this period of English history and have enjoyed every minute of it.

I have already recommended this book, and series, to a few friends and would recommend it to anyone reading this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 6 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author has written a series featuring Matthew Bartholomew, set in fourteenth century Cambridge; this is a hugely engaging and successful series, which is now up to the twenty first volume.

This book is the first in an unrelated series by the author (originally published in 2006), featuring the spy Thomas Chaloner, and set in Restoration London, in the 1660s after the restoration of King Charles II to the throne. The Court, London, and indeed the whole of England is divided between political and religious nuances – Puritans and Cavaliers, Protestants and Catholics, those loyal to the King and those who hanker still from Cromwell’s rule. Thomas Chaloner has returned from Holland and visits John Thurloe, Cromwell’s ex-Spymaster, hoping for an opportunity to find some employment. Thurloe sends him to the Earl of Clarendon, the Lord Chancellor. But Chaloner quickly finds himself torn between his duty and his inclination; and anyway, how can he possibly help himself if he no longer has any idea who he can trust?

This is a great start to a new series by the author, and there are now some ten books in the series for me to catch up with). Chaloner is an earnest man who wants to do what is right, but who finds himself caught between loyalty and prudence, and between his head and his heart. He finds himself, in this story, surrounded by a vast number of people all of whom have their own agendas, and he has to make some bitter choices as he seeks to save his King, and his own life. Wonderful; I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and enjoyed the racing narrative, well interspersed with humour and wit. Chaloner is a character that I would be more than happy to read more about, and I look forward to his further exploits.
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