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The Emperor's Assassin: Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner (Dell Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440240840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440240846
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 762,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Inside Flap

For twenty years, England and France have been at war. Now the war has come home...
On a sunny July day in 1815, Plymouth Sound is crowded with boats vying for a view of England's great battleship HMS Bellerophon. For aboard the vessel is the stout little Frenchman who threw the world into chaos. In London, some people clamor for Napoleon's execution, others for his exile, and still others for a civil trial on English soil. For one humble London detective, the debate has turned deadly. Bow Street Runner Henry Morton has a murder to solve--and Napoleon himself is at the heart of the matter.
The victim is a Frenchwoman, the mistress of a count. Soon Morton is racing through a demimonde of French expatriates, Bonapartists, fanatical Royalists, and one very dangerous, drunken petty crook. From an exotic London brothel to a scene of carnage on a Dartmoor farm, the detective enters a covert war over Napoleon's fate. And amid the betrayal, deception, and murder, Morton will face a waterloo of his own.


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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Henry Morton is back! And in "The Emperor's Assassin," the sequel to "The Thief Taker," our erstwhile detective establishes himself as an officer--and a favorite character--to be reckoned with.
It's 1815 and the Napoleonic wars are over, for all intents and purposes. The Little Admiral/General/Emperor is in custody aboard a royal naval vessel at rest in Plymouth Harbor, awaiting the solution of an international legal conundrum: what to do with him. Two viable sides, heavily vested in the outcome, are competing, at all costs, to prevail: the Bonapartists and the Royalists.
And "at all costs" means murder. A young (beautiful) woman is found dead in London and the Bow Street Runners (early detectives in England) take over. This is Morton's world, of course. It's determined that she has been tortured, most brutally, and the chase is afoot. One thing leads to another as Morton and his crew begin to try to sort out the red herrings from the Dover souls, as it were.
T.E. Banks (in reality Canadians Sean Russell and Ian Dennis) appears to capture the landscape and atmosphere of Regency England, as well as to create exciting characters set in a most exciting time. Morton ably directs the chase in a book that seems to increase its pace as the pages turn. Some of Banks' characters continue from the first book, most noteably Mrs. Arabella Hildebrant of Drury Lane (famous actress and Morton's love interest) and Jimmy Presley, his chief aide.
Will Napoleon be assassinated? Will Morton find the culprits and solve the mystery? History answers the first question and Morton skillfully answers the second in a clever and intriguing period piece. Readers can hope for a third adventure. Soon.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this second adventure of Henry Morton and I'm glad I did. The setting is wonderful. The historical detail interesting and well researched. There is literally everything, from political manoeuvring to spies, murders and fantastic wild coach chases! A good adventure read to make you feel young again. Thumbs up.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misfire 14 Jan. 2015
By Jack11615 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This should have been a good novel to read as the 200th anniversary of Waterloo approaches. It is set in the brief time when Napoleon was in British naval custody between Waterloo and imprisonment on Saint Helena. But I'm reminded of some of those old film noir movies, the unsuccessful ones in which vaguely identified figures flail around noisily and violently on a murky screen until the viewer loses both track and sympathy. So it's almost a saving grace that the main outlines of this "mystery" are transparent from early on. You can lose patience, but you can't get lost.

The book's plot turns on London detectives' justifiable misinterpretations of various French émigrés and their affiliations, motivations, or crimes in the backwash of the Napoleonic Wars: but none of the characters - alas, not even Napoleon himself - is shown with enough personal or historical focus to make this engaging. That's a pity because, after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo in Paris (January 2015), the issue of foreign ideologies murderously expressing themselves in countries distant from their origins might resonate with readers. But Bonapartism and Royalism are dusty museum pieces, neither inspiring nor alarming unless a vivid narrative brings them to life. Maybe a study of failed ideals is hinted at ... but in the end this is just the East End Gang vs. the South Side Mob plus a plot to kidnap some rich guy off a boat.

The authors, collectively "T. F. Banks," do not understand the word "whom" and should consider not using it. They have trouble with a few historical details too: for instance, the Great Western Road is in Scotland while the Great West Road is in England. That matters for clarity and plausibility - but they give it both ways at different points. Whatever they may call the road, cutting-to-the-chase works more excitingly with Aston Martins than with horse-drawn coaches ... even though these coaches cover the once-famous distance from London to Plymouth with astonishing dispatch.

I can't help remembering how much superior the first novel of this series was, The Thief-Taker. That book shed light on a small, almost forgotten aspect of English history - detectives before police reform and "Scotland Yard". It was a neat little story, neatly told. Trying to project its characters onto the world stage (model 1815) is much less successful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars but his books stand above the crowd for good story telling and writing craft 3 Nov. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The two Bow Street Runner books are early novels by Sean Thomas Russell as T. F. Banks. His historical novels are very well written and well researched. These are well-crafted mysteries which reveal the origins of the English police organizations in the early Nineteenth Century. The Runners were private contractors, working for the magistrates. They were essentially bounty hunters, paid a fee for conviction of felons and debtors that they caught. They also did private work, mostly recovery of stolen property. They were the only police until Robert Peel was able to enact and establish a permanent force of constables, the "Bobbies." Although the population had opposed such a force, they realized that the bounty system was a fertile field for corruption, and they came to accept the need for someone to oppose the growing wave of crime, especially in London.
The first book, The Thief Taker (2001), was set in 1815 in in London as people anxiously awaited news of the battle of Waterloo. This book, The Emperor's Assassin (2003) is set later in that year. Napoleon is a prisoner on a British warship anchored off the English coast, while Parliament debated what they would do with him. I wish there were more novels in this series. I suppose that there were not enough big dramatic events in that period, but there were certainly enough societal developments to address. This author has more recently been producing a series of novels set in the Royal Navy during the earlier Napolionic Wars. That is already a crowded genre, but his books stand above the crowd for good story telling and writing craft.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And exciting mystery set in a tumultuous period... 1 May 2008
By April - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
All of England is astir as the great enemy, Napoleon, after twenty years of warfare, is kept off-shore, imprisoned in the HMS Bellerophon after he had escaped once before and had to be defeated at Waterloo. Sight-seers in small boats cluster around, hoping to catch a glimpse. Bow Street Runner Henry Morton is drawn into the intricate politics of the French when the mistress of a French loyalist is found dead with signs of torture. The war is ended and the Loyalists have the upper hand in France--so why all the intrigue? There is no hope of a plot to free Napoleon, is there? He is guarded far too carefully. There can be no chance of an attempt at an assassination, can there? Whatever the international issues, Morton knows that murder has occurred and it's his duty to find the killer.

The background of post-war politics and intrigue and the disposition of Napoleon is fascinating. This small pocket of time is brought to life vividly in various scenes and situations. The mystery is a good one, starting simply, but spiraling into multiple murders and treachery and multiple factions set at cross-purposes, driven by all too human motivations. There are the usual questioning of witnesses and searching out suspects, but also quite a lot of action with foot-chases and pistols and fisticuffs and racing carriages across country and smugglers in hidden coves and clambering over cliff-sides.

I thoroughly enjoyed the many aspects of this tale. I hope this series continues, since it promises to be a very good one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morton's 'Memoirs' is another thriller! 7 Jan. 2006
By Billy J. Hobbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Henry Morton is back! And in "The Emperor's Assassin," the sequel to "The Thief Taker," our erstwhile detective establishes himself as an officer--and a favorite character--to be reckoned with.

It's 1815 and the Napoleonic wars are over, for all intents and purposes. The Little Admiral/General/Emperor is in custody aboard a royal naval vessel at rest in Plymouth Harbor, awaiting the solution of an international legal conundrum: what to do with him. Two viable sides, heavily vested in the outcome, are competing, at all costs, to prevail: the Bonapartists and the Royalists.

And "at all costs" means murder. A young (beautiful) woman is found dead in London and the Bow Street Runners (early detectives in England) take over. This is Morton's world, of course. It's determined that she has been tortured, most brutally, and the chase is afoot. One thing leads to another as Morton and his crew begin to try to sort out the red herrings from the Dover souls, as it were.

T.E. Banks (in reality Canadians Sean Russell and Ian Dennis) appears to capture the landscape and atmosphere of Regency England, as well as to create exciting characters set in a most exciting time. Morton ably directs the chase in a book that seems to increase its pace as the pages turn. Some of Banks' characters continue from the first book, most noteably Mrs. Arabella Hildebrant of Drury Lane (famous actress and Morton's love interest) and Jimmy Presley, his chief aide.

Will Napoleon be assassinated? Will Morton find the culprits and solve the mystery? History answers the first question and Morton skillfully answers the second in a clever and intriguing period piece. Readers can hope for a third adventure. Soon. (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
5.0 out of 5 stars superb! 15 July 2014
By Beth Ann Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well written mystery with complex characters and a great feel for the time period. I will be anxiously awaiting book 3.
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