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on 4 June 2003
This book was recommended to me by a friend and although I'm a modern murder and thriller reader normally, I decided to give it a go - and I'm so glad I did.
Janet Gleeson has brought the 18th century vividly to life with her descriptions of not only the scenery and smells (and yes there are occasions when you really can smell things!) but also the social niceties of the day. The hero for instance due to his station in life is not allowed to question statments made by a Lord, even when they are patently wrong as it is 'not his place' to do so. This makes the murder mystery even more intriguing as many things we would take for granted that you could do nowadays, were closed off to him during his investigations.
The description of travelling on top of a carriage in the snow whilst the other travellers were inside with their feet buried in straw to keep them warm, made be glad to be alive today! There are many other descriptions of everyday life of which I was totally unaware so this book has educated as well as entertained me.
This book is unputdownable and I thoroughly recommend it.
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on 4 July 2015
Having read her credentials, I was expecting a scholarly trip into the world of Chippendale. I cannot understand the excellent reviews it got in the press.No sense of period, most of the characters talk, think and behave as if they were in the present. The book has no pace, no excitement. I doggedly stuck to the bitter end and wish I hadn't.
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on 18 August 2005
This is a very ordinary detective novel first and foremost. The plot, transposed into 20th / 21st would probably not make it past the publisher's in-tray. The fact that its shoe-horned into Georgian England doesn't make it much better in my view. What I found most disappointing was the flipping between 18th century speech patterns and more modern ones. Its the prose equivalent of a 18th Century character in a film listening to their iPod on screen. I didn't find any of the characterisations to be believable. I thought the narrative was inelegant. If you like authors like Griffin and Palliser you should steer well clear of this.
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on 15 February 2015
Bought as a present and the recipient absolutely loved this gift as she had been looking for this book for about ten years.
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on 31 July 2015
Wonderful story set around A journeyman of Thomas Chippendale - a mystery which is fascinating.
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