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Murder on High Holborn (Adventures of Thomas Chaloner) Hardcover – 2 Jan 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847444334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847444332
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,977 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

Gregory solidifies her status as one of the best historical mystery writers around with this suspenseful and atmospheric whodunit...notable for an intricate and surprising plot (Publishers Weekly - starred review)

Another baffling, dangerous and multi-layered case for the Earl of Clarendon's investigator Thomas Chaloner. Cleverly plotted and packed with interesting historical details, this engrossing mystery is an exciting addition to the chronicles of Chaloner's adventures (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

The ninth adventure for Chaloner sees the Restoration London spy foil a conspiracy

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By travelswithadiplomat on 19 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At the heart of this latest Chaloner mystery is the idiom: "the love of money is the root of all evil"; throw in a lot of superstitious ghostly stories around Holborn coupled with a charlatan "warlock", a few ridiculous plots by the Fifth Monarchists, some inept spies and a mighty fine cake maker and you've got all the necessary ingredients for another fine Susanna Gregory novel.
Thomas is back from his swift departure in the last novel to Russia. As predicted, his ship foundered in the ice and he lost all the jewels and missives from his master, the Earl of Clarendon - which provides Gregory a neat segue into this mystery when we open with the sinking of Admiral Lawson's ship, the 'London', in the Thames.
A temporary triumvirate of Clarendon, Prince Rupert and Spymaster Williamson order Thomas to investigate immediately after he's tasked with finding out who killed Paul Ferrine at Temperance's Gentlemans' Club. The former are concerned only to uncover treasonous plots now England is at war with the Dutch, the latter is trying to restore her club's good name. Unfortunately for Thomas he also has to infiltrate the Fifth Monarchists - who are espousing a Easter Day plot to blow up London - alongside the hugely inept spy William Leving. He does so as a gunpowder expert, replacing the dead previous incumbent of the post. On the plus side it does give him fair excuses to keep missing Hannah's pickled ling pie even if he does "feel like the worst kind of coward".
Into the seedy mix comes John Scott, self-professing Cartographer Royal; Lambe, the court mystic who specializes in both a fierce charisma, parlour tricks, and the help of Alice Fanshaw. A combination that predicts dire events that insidiously come to pass through all-too-human, nefarious deeds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gregory is a marvellous writer of diabolically twisted and cunning plots that generally leave you wondering 'whodunit' until the last pages and even then throws in a curveball or two before the final solution is revealed. This is no different. Chaloner is requested to covertly look into various matters on behalf of the court but to do so it has to appear that he and Clarendon, his boss, have parted company - Clarendon as portrayed by Gregory is particularly miserly and leaps at the opportunity to save Chaloners wages for a few days missing the point that this guy is still risking his life on his behalf.

The problem, as ever, appears simple on the surface but Chaloner is soon drawn into a web of intrigue that requires all his intelligencier skills to not only solve but to ensure his own survival. This is book is number nine in the series and as such there is a lot of background that it is assumed you would know; Clarendon's relationship with Chaloner, Clarendon's precarious position within the Stuart court and his relationships with other courtiers, Chaloner's relationship with his wife, the antipathy between Chaloner and other 'professional' intelligence agents and agencies, Chaloner's family history (his Uncle was the Chaloner that signed the warrent for King Charles execution in 1649), Chaloner's relationship with his old boss John Thurloe and the 'Pillars of Hercules' owner Temperance and as all of this background has influences on the plot it is important stuff, that will leave a reader head scratching otherwise. Samuel Pepys makes another appearance albeit in the background and briefly and I wonder if this is for future plot development as we head toward 1666 and the great fire. Another good outing and I look forward to the next installment to see what other plots Gregory can thrust Chaloner into the centre of.
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Format: Paperback
Thomas Chaloner is my hero; he's brave, honest and has principles, as shown by his concerns over slavery. He even cared for a cat in the earlier novels - what's not to love? Susanna Gregory's detailed and descriptive novels take me away from these miserable times into a period no less challenging - I can smell London as soon as I open the book and feel that death lurks everywhere. If you find the number of names is confusing write a character list, it works for me. I tend to read in seasons with Thomas belonging to Winter and the grim January days are lifted by his arrival. He just needs to be a tad less principled and get rid of the irritating Hannah, perhaps the Plague will do it for him...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lovereading on 15 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
and the last. Ridiculous plot. Same predictable actions. Chaloner distant as ever. Found it terribly boring and repetitive.
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By ruralbuyer on 3 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent as usual, in fact I enjoyed this book in the Thomas Challoner series even more than the others as there was very little about the antics of the King and Lady Castelmaine in it. A thoroughly good read as ever. The times seem accurately portrayed and the atmosphere of Restoration London oozes from each page.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this, although not as much as some of Gregory's other Chaloner exploits. Was a bit disappointed that much of the adventure took him away from London as her descriptions of the era are a huge part of what I enjoy. Was also bit phased when it appeared to be about ships but this didn't last long & Chaloner was soon embroiled in the usual puzzle of endless intoxicating characters...possibly nearly too many this time. Will still be counting the months until Chaloner comes back in another chaotic adventure.
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