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Murder In Grub Street [Mass Market Paperback]

Bruce Alexander
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 1996 Sir John Fielding Mysteries
Sniffing a set-up when he oversees a seemingly open-and-shut case involving a murdered printer and a raving poet, Sir John Fielding is aided by thirteen-year-old Jeremy Proctor and uncovers a sinister truth. Reprint. PW. NYT.

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From Publishers Weekly

The lusty life of London's Covent Garden?and its diverse practitioners?highlights the second appearance of blind Sir John Fielding, an 18th-century magistrate first met in Blind Justice. Jeremy Proctor, Sir John's 13-year-old ward, has been hired by Grub Street publisher/bookseller Ezekiel Crabb. But the night before the apprenticeship is to begin, Crabb, his family and two employees die in a hideous massacre. Houseguest and rustic poet John Clayton, found dazed with ax in hand, is taken into custody. But Fielding is not satisfied with the evidence. In pursuit of the truth, he enlists the help of the Bow Street Runners, Samuel Johnson (but not Boswell), a pickpocket, a gambler, another publisher and, of course, Jeremy. More murders and a torched synagogue lead to a band of religious zealots who have come from Monongahela in the American colonies to convert London's Jews. Still needing facts, Fielding sets a trap that snares the villains in a stunning double climax. Especially noteworthy are scenes of Sir John in action at the Bow Street Court, dispensing practical justice to Londoners high and low.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA?In this sequel to Blind Justice (Putnam, 1994), 13-year-old Jeremy Proctor again teams up with Sir John Fielding, the blind magistrate and co-founder of London's first police force, this time to investigate who massacred the printer, Ezekiel Grabb, and his family and two employees the day before Jeremy was to be apprenticed to him. Acting once more as Sir John's eyes, the boy becomes ever more deeply involved in the magistrate's life and eventually earns himself a permanent place in his household. Though fiction, this book relies heavily on historic figures as its key characters. Its strength is its depiction of 18th-century London, seen through the eyes of young Jeremy, as he ranges from Grub Street to the Bedlam madhouse, from Covent Garden to London's worst slums..?Pamela Rearden, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In my research for materials pertinent to the murders in Grub Street, which was indeed one of Sir John Fielding's most infamous inquiries, I came upon the preceding document which I had kept near thirty years as a reminder of just how this grisly matter began. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good March 17 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Murder in Grub Street", the second installment in Bruce Alexander's "Bow Street Runners" series is more carefully crafted than the first book, but still has weaknesses. It is a period mystery set in 18th-century London. Blind magistrate Sir John Fielding and his young sidekick Jeremy, who narrates the story, solves a mass murder case in London's publishing district. It's a good tale, but some of the weaknesses of the first book are still here: Fielding does things no blind person -no matter how gifted- can do; young Jeremy speaks like an educated adult, and his occasional forays into childhood speech sound just like an adult-trying-to-write-like-a-child wrote them. The plot is carefully constructed but hinges on some artificial twists that must leave readers shaking their heads: Jeremy narrowly escapes from a building that blows down in the wind, not once but twice; a poor street urchin pops up conveniently every few pages to provide important clues. The most interesting thing about Alexander's mystery series is the local color and language of historical London. They're fun and easy to read, but as mystery novels go, these first two are strictly average.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Sequel to "Blind Justice" June 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Murder in Grub Street" was an excellent sequel to "Blind Justice", and I feel that most of those who enjoyed the first book in Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding series should be very appreciative of this, the second book.
In my opinion, "Murder in Grub Street" is slightly superior to "Blind Justice" partly because the characters whom we already know become more fully rounded, as Sir John Fielding officially welcomes Jeremy Proctor into his household, and their relationship becomes more akin to father-son.
Jeremy Proctor's virtue and his elevated manner of speech might be cause for some annoyance, but he is NOT a complete goody-two shoes, and one of the seminal occurrences in this novel is when he gets into a street brawl with sneak thief, Jimmy Bunkins, a lad about Jeremy's own age.
The brawl between Jeremy and Bunkins becomes occasion for Sir John to actually regard Jeremy as a son who has, on this occasion, disappointed him, and we see how Sir John deals with a situation in which Jeremy has, for the first time, failed to meet his expectations.
Jeremy's antagonist, Bunkins, communicates not in the King's English but in his street "cant" (slang), which is remarkably easy for the reader to follow, and he becomes a key figure in the story and will presumably figure again in this series. Bunkins's morally-flawed but street-wise personality makes him a good foil to Jeremy.
When he warns Jeremy, "You'll do nicks to me, for I see no Beak-runners by your side, nor barking irons in your daddles", I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I had no trouble interpreting this to mean, "You'll do nothing to me, for I don't see any officers of the law with you or any guns in your pockets.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historical novel March 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As others say, there's not much mystery here. But I enjoyed the atmospheric story of 1750's London street life, the new civil police, religious conspiracies and debate, criminal jurisprudence, and the effects of windstorms. I liked the contexts provided for famous but hitherto isolated things like Bedlam, Co(n)vent Gardens, coffehouses, Boswell's Samuel Johnson, Henry Fielding (Tom Jones), and the famous Grub Street itself (scene of the bloodiest events). The writing is quite "proper" and rather sentimentalizes boy hero Jeremy, aide to the blind Judge Fielding, but includes an intriguing dollop of the "flash" street slang of the day, in the person of a street urchin who one hopes becomes a regular in the series. In an odd way the major events of the second half, when the evil genius has been singled out, are a reprise of the first: the type of murder, the undertaker, the street vendor, the reformed prostitute, the urchin, all come back rather as goody-goodies.
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2.0 out of 5 stars underdeveloped and predictable Aug. 2 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Murder in Grub Street is a lot like Columbo: you know who the killer is from the beginning (with the book, the middle of the story); the rest is sitting back and watching how the detective(s) figure the murderer out. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of Columbo or this book. There is no suspense. There is barely even a hesitation as to when Sir Fielding believes that the Brethen of Spirit is the killers. The author, from the introduction of these characters, almost singled them out as the bad guys; sure, he paid attention to what the other suspects were doing, but he made sure that the detectives (a.k.a. Fielding and Jeremy) knew about all the mean things the Brethen did. Like I said, all the talk about the Brethen left no spaces for any "surprises"; no twists, no sudden revelations revealed. Murder in Grub Street was mediocre at best, nothing short of boring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, engrossing tale. Sept. 2 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The day before young Jeremy Proctor is to report to his new apprenticeship with printer, Mr. Crabb, a horrible murder occurs. Crabb, his wife and children, and two of his assistants are butchered in their beds. The suspect is a mad poet, John Clayton, who was found holding an axe and covered with blood in the house. While Sir John Fielding investigates the crime, he and Jeremy become aware of a new direction for their lives and their interest is aroused by a religious sect from America.
Jeremy is now 13 and thrilled to be taken into Sir John's household as are the readers. You are transported to Regency London to observe actual historical characters as they might have been. Vivid language, multi-dimensional characters, and carefully detailed descriptions all contribute to a rich tale of murder most foul.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars An ok read
Fun historical fiction, but pretty predictable. Definately not as good as the 1st or 3rd books. I would read it anyway to keep up with the likeable characters.
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by "rmmcid"
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Follow up
This is a great third book. Navy captain drowns, who did it? Blind Fielding is da man.
Published on April 1 2003 by Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good historical novel
Easy to read, keeps your interest. Set in London in the 18th Century which is described in a good level of detail but done so as part of the story not like reading a history book. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2001 by C. Upthegrove
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again a FANTASTIC novel!!!!!
This is the 2nd in the Sir John Fielding series. This book finds Sir John and Jeremy once again embroiled in another murder investigation. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2001 by Brian Siegel
4.0 out of 5 stars Just slightly under "Blind Justice"
If you're looking for a classic whodunnit, look elsewhere. The guilty party is fairly obvious about half way through the book. Read more
Published on April 5 2000 by Luc Duteau
2.0 out of 5 stars I was a little bit disappointed!
I was very expecting and excited after reading reviews. Besides this book was applaused by many establishments: I think that I was too naive! Read more
Published on March 7 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER MASTERPIECE!
The second book from Bruce Alexander was just absolutly fantastic. I cannot say enough about how wonderful Bruce Alexander is. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Phooey!
Although I would encourage anybody looking for a good (if not deep) read to pick up "Blind Justice", the first book in this series, I would advise those same people to... Read more
Published on Aug. 29 1999
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