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The Piccadilly Plot Audio Download – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Susanna Gregory prologues her seventh Thomas Chaloner murder mystery in Tangiers with the fateful charge of Colonel Teviot up a hill that leads to the death of five hundred of England's finest. Problem is, the charge wasn't quite so fateful given the false scouting information given by Harley, Newell and Reyner - members of the Piccadilly Company, who are dealing in illegal trading of a lot of gravel and glassware. Of course, gravel and glassware doesn't quite prove to be the commodity that has the foppish courts of Charles II split into the warring merchants and Thomas quickly finds himself tasked with four matters to uncover. Firstly, Clarendon wants him to find who has been pilfering the bricks he needs to build his new palatial mansion; secondly, he is charged by Clarendon's wife, Frances to discover why Cave was murdered by Eliot in a fight in Piccadilly in the opening pages of the book; thirdly, to uncover the culprit putting letters in the Queen's private boudoir implicating her in a plot to kill Pratt, the architect designing Clarendon's new abode; and fourthly, why Teviot was send to his death in Tangiers. What makes it tricky is his somewhat selfish employer who thinks his bricks are the priority whilst the obvious attempts to push England and Portugal into war are clearly of wider import to both Thomas and Thurloe.
Thrown into Ms Gregory's inevitable mix are the likes of Margareta and Janzoon, ambassadors from Holland whose poor grasp of the English language leads to unfortunate mispronouncements that gradually raise the offence and ire of the Court. We have the dastardly privateer, Fitzgerald - a man whom even Thurloe fears - who leads the Piccadilly Company with his motley crew of henchmen directed by the openly murderous Brinkes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...from the pen of Gregory. The characters involved in this book are colourful, rivalling anything from Carnaby Street centuries later...but the machinations of the outer circle of court and the rich is, as ever, peopled by some nefarious folk whose activities form the basis of this tale.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Combine Gregory's fine writing, meaty with surprising gems of history, served up in an excellent plot and with just the right amount of character colouring and background painting, and you have a book to make anybody forget the winter woes and the terrible weather. The Piccadilly Plot is better than any scarf, electric blanket or overcoat.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have the pleasure of owning all the books about Thomas Chaloner, once a Parliamentarian and now spy for the Earl of Clarendon. I have thoroughly enjoyed all Susanna Gregory's books on Chaloner's adventures in restoration London but this has to be the best yet. I found it difficult to put down and was guessing to the end who was the mastermind behind all the villanous acts. Susanna Gregory has to be congratulated on how cleverly she weaves a number of sub plots within the main plot. This book is no different, because no sooner is Chaloner recalled from Tangier by the Earl than he is given a number of problems to untangle, not least being asked by Williamson the Spymaster for his help. I particularly admire the way Ms Gregory manages to invent a thoroughly enjoyable story based on so many real characters from the past. A wonderful read. Can't wait to acquire her latest book on another Chaloner adventure.
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Format: Paperback
This is a CJ Sansome wannabe but the standard of writing isn't nearly as good. I was immediately struck by the cliche-style, and it meant I just couldn't get into the plot or believe in the characters and eventually gave in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Poor Thomas. I mean really. How can you not feel sorry for him? He's been exploited, trampled upon, mocked, bullied, scorned, jilted, widowed, stabbed, shot at, deceived, humiliated, ridiculed, put into plaster casts, bashed senseless; he can't trust anyone, he's always running breathless from one place to another and the only thing that loves him is his viol! All in the name of a career. I like this character - although, at the seventh adventure, I still find it difficult to picture him in a defined way - because of all said above. He moves in a difficult world. A world of personal and political intrigue. A world the author describes superbly. The historical detail is perfect. The plot is well structured. I wish though that in the next books his dignity is in some way restored since in my opinion he is on the verge of becoming a laughable character.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent series, well written, story moves well, lots of fact woven into the storyline using real people and real incidents, as with the previous books. I just love them, in part because I have been really interested in Cromwellian and Stewart times having traced my ancestors back to early 1600s, so reading these books brings them 'alive' in a sense. I look forward to Susanna's next one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another entertaining tale involving the ex Parliamentary spy Tom Chaloner. This can be read as a stand alone, but, as it's the 7th in the series it's a better read after reading the first six.

The continued machinations and intrigues of the Stewart court, the interplay between Clarendon's own entourage and family and the home (and past) life of Chaloner all come into play together as he is challenged on his return from Tangiers to find the thief stealing the building materials for Clarendon's new house.

There are several sub plots and red herrings deviously interwoven as each lead discovered by Chaloner just raises more questions. The solution doesn't begin to unravel until the last thirty pages and when it does it`s a doozy.

The descriptions of restoration London and the Court of Charles II is vividly brought to life to the extent you can smell the streets, hear the commotion and become transported back in time. I certainly spent an enjoyable few hours following Chaloner around not really caring about what was happening around me. I can't wait for the next instalment to see what happens in his various strained relationships; Clarendon, Williamson, Hannah and the intriguing character of Kipps.

Well worth the money.
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