Cover image for The price of murder
The price of murder
Alexander, Bruce, 1932-2003.
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons [2003]

Physical Description:
257 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Central Library X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Kenmore Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Audubon Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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Blind eighteenth-century London judge Sir John Fielding returns in the tenth novel of Bruce Alexander's critically acclaimed mystery series. In The Price of Murder, Sir John and Jeremy are drawn deep into the notorious Seven Dials section of London, where they must contend with the most sordid inclinations of both the working class and the aristocracy. When the body of a young girl is pulled from the Thames, Sir John and Jeremy begin to investigate; but the girl's mother is nowhere to be found, until Jeremy's search for clues leads him to the racetrack. There, he discovers just how dangerous the high-stakes battle is that he has gotten himself into-and, when an acquaintance of his own suddenly disappears, just how terribly steep the odds.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Alexander's detective novels starring Sirohn Fielding, the blind magistrate of Bow Street Court in mid-eighteenth-century London, may be the best historical mystery series around. Alexander's got it all: a heroic central figure, a setting that both fascinates and appalls, and a gift for concocting plots that weave in and out of social classes. Also, unlike many writers in this genre, who lay on historical details with a trowel, Alexander brings Georgian England alive with facts fitting the action. Alexander's detective is a real-life one: the younger half-brother of the novelist Henry Fielding, Sirohn Fielding, who studied law and became chief magistrate after losing his sight at 19, relied on members of the Bow Street Runners as his eyes and ears. This fact-based device gives the novels a sort of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin feel, as Fielding's apprentice,eremy Proctor, scours London for the suspects Fielding later cross-examines. In the tenth Fielding adventure, the discovery of a seven-year-old girl's body in the Thames sends Proctor into the notorious Seven Dials district of London, where he seeks the girl's mother, only to discover that the gin-addicted mother was tricked into seling her daughter into child prostitution. More revelations of child abductions leading to child slavery follow, with suspense ratcheted up when the childhood friend oferemy's fiancee disappears. Marvelous. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Alexander's 10th enjoyable Sir John Fielding novel set in Georgian England (after 2002's An Experiment in Treason), the brilliant blind magistrate and his young apprentice Jeremy Proctor investigate the brutal murder of a little girl whose mother had sold her into slavery. The trail leads Jeremy into a new world, the racetrack, as he joins forces with the victim's uncle, legendary jockey Deuteronomy Plummer. The challenges of the inquiry mount, as crucial witnesses turn up dead and evidence suggests that a member of the upper class is involved. The assistance of Jeremy's almost-fiancee, Clarissa Roundtree, proves vital when her childhood friend Elizabeth Hooker disappears only to resurface after a melodramatic escape from a brothel-a subplot borrowed from a celebrated real-life unsolved mystery. As with other recent entries in this fine series, the once-dominant Sir John plays a largely supporting role. His sage advice and struggle to serve justice in a corrupt milieu guide his assistant's growth and maturation. This shift also mirrors a trend to underplay the whodunit aspect. Routine police procedure has largely supplanted Holmesian deductive pyrotechnics. Restoring the old balance by adding to Jeremy's sleuthing skills in future entries might win more classic mystery fans. (Oct. 13) FYI: The subplot, based on the unexplained disappearance of a young woman named Elizabeth Canning, takes center stage in Josephine Tey's The Franchise Affair (1948) and is "solved" in Lillian De La Torre's Elizabeth Is Missing (1945). Arthur Machen's The Canning Wonder (1926) provides the definitive nonfiction account. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Blind Georgian London magistrate Fielding and assistant Jeremy (Murder in Grub Street) investigate the death of a young girl but find her mother has disappeared. Jeremy's subsequent search for her takes him to the racetrack, where close and personal danger lurks. An outstanding historical. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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