Resolution – I’m going to keep some sale books around for reading when I really do NOT know what to read next. That little decision was made on the basis of Some Danger Involved which I got on sale and which proved to be a fine book – the start of a new series for me but which I may put off reading all the way through for awhile.
Some Danger Involved
by Will Thomas
2003 / 304 pages
read by Antony Ferguson – 9h 28m
rating: B+ / historical detective
In Victorian London, Private Detective Cyrus Barker needs an assistant. (The preferred job title is “private enquiry agent.”) After interviewing several he chooses Thomas Llewelyn – our first person narrator.
The two of them go to a Chinese restaurant, (Barker is Scottish and Llewelyn is Welsh) for lunch – a mysterious and possibly dangerous type place where Barker shows off his ability to speak Chinese. Later Barker reveals that he provides for all of Llewelyn’s needs. The stage is set for this atmospheric Victorian who-done-it.
This is a very capable start to a good series – it’s got all the elements including likable and intriguing main characters and a strong atmosphere combined with an interesting plot and a few idiosyncratic motifs like books and food. It’s a form of Sherlock Holmes with his own Doctor Watson.
And the setting is wonderfully well done showing 19th century (probably around 1840) London with all its warts – anti-semitism particularly, in this case, but there are lots of immigrants from lots of places and the attitudes of many Brits has changed from acceptance to annoyance – “They’re taking our jobs, they’ll marry our women!” Shakespeare and Dickens are mentioned.
The plot: After Llewelyn is hired and finds out that the crime of the day is the murder, or actually the crucifixion, of a youngish Jewish scholar. The head rabbis hire Barker and the tale proceeds through some who-done-it, some thriller-type events to a great conclusion.