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The Blood Royal (Joe Sandilands) Hardcover – 22 Sep 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Constable Crime; hardcover edition (22 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849019967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849019965
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3.5 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 568,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Praise for "The Blood Royal" "For a series writer to break the bounds of chronology requires courage, and Barbara Cleverly is not afraid to take that bold step.... Cleverly's intrigues absorb the reader's mind, and her spare but elegant prose serves her well. Joe, as always, is the epitome of determination, intelligence and charm, and Lily is a character the reader will want to see again in this spellbinding series."--"Richmond Times-Dispatch" "Cleverly underscores the idea that the actions of great nations can be substantially less noble than the nations themselves; it is a fine writer who can make her readers reflect on such concepts.... Compelling and effectively written; with each chapter, the reader is drawn further into the narrative and the darkness of the time.... Another very good read from Barbara Cleverly."--"The Strand Magazine""A darkly glamorous thriller."--"Kirkus Reviews" "Lovers of golden age mysteries will revel in this jarring meeting of the insouciant upper crust and the roiling masses."--"Booklist" "Barbara Cleverly mysteries are addictive, and "The Blood Royal "is highly recommended." --"Historical Novels Review" "Cleverly's skill with narration is matched with her ability to convey both her characters' social class and emotional drama in her dialogue.... I was so impressed with Cleverly's writing and her ability to draw you into her story that I immediately read her first of the series, the award-winning THE LAST KASHMIRI ROSE, written in 2001. But if you are unfamiliar with this series, there would seem to be no harm in starting with this one, as it seems to be signalling a new direction and certainly offers much to enjoy." Praise for Barbara Cleverly "Despite her mastery at vivid scene-setting, Cleverly never loses sight of the historical puzzle that is central to her story. Simply put, it's a stunner."--"New York Times""Specta

Book Description

The ninth in the prize-winning Joe Sandliands series.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the ninth book in the Joe Sandilands series, but is set earlier than the rest in 1920 and 1922. Another difference is that although Joe is the main character a lot of the action is seen through the eyes of Lily Wentworth, a female constable, brave and resourceful but not quite "out of the top drawer". Because of cuts, her job is on the line, but Joe adds her to his staff for a special job, which requires her to be able to pass as out of the topmost drawer. The nuances and small pettiness of class difference and snobbery add interest and some humour to the story.

Meanwhile, there has been a killing. A prominent admiral, on the point of retirement, and an acquaintance of Sandilands, has been shot as he returns home late at night with his wife. At first sight it seems to be an assassination by Irish terrorists, an open and shut case. But then there seem to be indications that Russian revolutionaries may be involved. This ties in with the special duties that Joe has recruited Lily for. Is there a red plot threatening the great and the good of the British establishment or are more domestic issues involved?

The plot is complex and at times tortuous, but, if followed with care, it does all make sense and the solution ties up enough of the loose ends to be satisfactory.

In addition to Lily we meet some more of Joe's team - his over-protective secretary, Miss Jamieson, the enigmatic James Bacchus of Special Branch and his deputy, aristocratic and arrogant Rupert Fanshawe late of the Grenadier Guards. Through the actions and reactions of these characters we get and interesting and, I think, a fairly accurate representation of London life at the beginning of the twenties.

I really enjoyed this book and I hope we see more of Lily Wentworth in the future. She's good value.
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: "Are you sure this is the place, cabby?"

It's 1922 and Commander Joe Sandilands, back from his tour in India, is now head of the CID and the Special Irish Branch of the Metropolitan Police. Tsar Nicholas, cousin to King George, and his family have been murdered in Russia and the Irish threat is ever present. With the murder of Lord Dedham by a pair of Irish gunman with the assistance of an escaped third gunman, and suspicions of a Russian spy out to kill the Royal Family, Joe commanders the assistance of Lily Wentworth, a young Constable he saved from being knifed in the posterior while arresting a child predator.

For those who have been following this series and reading the books as they are released, Ms. Cleverly has jumped us back in time from Joe's last adventure, set in 1926, to this one. For those for whom this is their introduction to Joe, fear not as it reads very well as a standalone and provides sufficient character definition so as not to feel lost.

The biggest difference is that whereas the previous books focused on Joe alone, this is a collaborative, and professional, effort between Joe and Lily. One of the most significant things about Lily, is seeing how the role of women in England had changed during this time. There actually was the first female CID officer, Lilian Wyles, appointed in 1922/23. That blending of historical facts, and many characters, within a fictional story is only one of the things Ms. Cleverly does extremely well.

Another of Ms. Cleverly's strengths is her voice. She conveys emotion very effectively. Both the dialogue and her narrative convey the social class and role of the character involved.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of the Joe Sandilands series and I have to say this is the best , and most complex yet. I will not summarise the plot, that can be seen in other reviews, suffice it to say that it is superbly researched, quite complex and brilliantly written.
As another reviewer has said ,Joe appears in this book more as a puppet-master, controlling the actions of others, however in the new character of WPC Lily Wentworth, he is not always completely in control and ,in many ways, she proves to be equal to Joe in her sleuthing. There are two parallel mysteries, many clues leading to many suspects, each one equally plausible as the "villain". just when you think you have the solution you are confounded.
The final denouement, when it comes, is a complete coup de foudre though the threads leading to it have been delineated from the start. The final paragraph leads us to expect another outing for Joe and Lily. I for one cannot wait to read it
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Format: Hardcover
In her latest novel, Barbara Cleverly's Joe Sandilands takes a less prominent role - more as a puppet master manipulating the strings of his Petroushka, which, surprise, surprise, turns out to have a mind of its own - not to mention a sharp intelligence and bags of courage. This particular puppet is of course, an attractive young female PC.

Thus, with the focus more on WPC Lily, we are offered a much deeper insight into the Commander's character and his relationship with his peers and subordinates, even perhaps, the interesting analogy with Sir George, stemming from their encounters in India - both formidable individuals but with an eye for the ladies.

The murder and attempted murders of prominent figures in the Establishment lead to a frantic hunt for the culprit before even greater damage can be done. Various suspects are offered with particular regard to the prevalent fears of foreign assassins both Irish and Russian.

Social life in early 1920s London seems very plausible, with the clever use of the most prominent amongst the eligible bachelors adding the final glitter to the high society frivolities.

A well researched book, up to the usual standard and a satisfying traditional twist draws it all to a close. Then on the very last page - a hint of further assignments to be shared by the Commander and his WPC....

Much recommended.
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