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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
Comparison: Iain Pears, Robert Goddard, Charles Palliser.
Similar this month: None, but try Jude Morgan for historical detail and Barbara Nadel for whodunit.
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Thief Taker by Janet Gleeson
London in 1750â€¦ Agnes Meadowesâ quiet world of culinary activity â€“ preparing jugged hare, oyster loaves, almond soup and other luxuries â€“ as cook to the Blanchard family is a happy refuge from the bustle of city life. But a single night is about to change all that.
The Blanchards are renowned silversmiths and when their most prestigious and expensive commission, a giant silver wine cooler destined for Sir Bartholomew Grey, is stolen, a sinister chain of events is set in motion. That same night an apprentice is murdered and a young maid, Rose, disappears. Are these portentous happenings connected? Called upon by her master to investigate â€˜below stairsâ, Agnes enters an arena full of secrets, jealousy and murderous intent. Forced to play cat and mouse with the infamous Thief Taker, she is drawn into Londonâs murky criminal underworld where it seems the truth â€“ like the expensive delicacies Agnes keeps under lock and key â€“ comes at a price. Now she must decide how big a sacrifice she is prepared to make to bring the villains to justice.
'Colourful and wildly entertaining...A wonderful read'
â€˜Take the rarefied world of Gosford Park, add the dark atmosphere of Sherlock Holmes and a pinch of stylish prose and you have The Thief Taker - an absorbing novel that evokes days of sin and skulduggeryâ Daily Record
â€˜Historical detail that is as strong as its racy plotâ€¦redolent with authenticityâ Good Book Guide
'A delicious five-course banquet: a murder mystery is succeeded by an abandoned infant weepie, a love story, a social history and, finally, a richly flavoured, full-bodied, 18th-century whodunnit...You'll be kept guessing right up until the last page in this splendid novel'
HARPERS & QUEEN
'A compulsive page-turner which will appeal especially to anyone who was spellbound by Charles Palliserâs The Quincunx'
â€˜Take the rarefied world of Gosford Park, add the dark atmosphere of Sherlock Holmes and a pinch of stylish prose and you have The Thief Taker - an absorbing novel that evokes days of sin and skulduggeryâ
About the Author
Publication date2nd May 2005
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PublisherTransworld Publishers Ltd
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