Most helpful positive review
another riveting installment in the series
on November 9, 2001
Another riveting installment in the Sir John Fielding mystery series; and while it is really quite easy to figure who the evil criminal mastermind is in this particular novel, "Smuggler's Moon" is still an engrossing and exciting read.
Because the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, is particularly concerned about the thriving smuggling trade in the seaside town of Deal, he asks Sir John to travel there to investigate the charges that the magistrate of Deal may be in league with the smugglers. This is a case of particular sensitivity because the magistrate of Deal, Albert Sarton, happens to be a protege of Lord Mansfield's, while the charges of complicity have been raised by the Chief Customs Officer of the region, George Eccles, and a friend of Lord Mansfield's Sir Simon Grenville. Together with an entourage that includes his trusty aide, Jeremy Proctor, young Clarissa Roundtree and Constable Perkins, Sir John makes for Deal in order to investigate the charges of corruption against Sarton. Once there however, Sir John and company find that things are not as clear cut as they were led to believe: the local people seem wary, while Sir Simon comes across as being incredibly cagey, and Sarton proves to be completely open and trustworthy! And then the group finds themselves drawn into an investigation of a murder at Sir Simon's estate. Just who was this murder victim and why was he murdered? And did the murder have anything to do with the smuggling trade? Soon, Sir John, Jeremy, Clarissa and Constable Perkins find themselves involved one of the most treacherous and dangerous of cases of all time.
This series keeps getting better and better. This time David Alexander treats us to a look at the flourishing smuggling trade that has plagued the English authorities since time immemorial. The lure that the trade has for anyone looking for a quick, easy and exciting way to make money, the danger that those who oppose the smuggling face, and the total lack of cooperation that the local people give the authorities, is laid out perfectly by the authour. I was so engrossed with the manner in which the plot was unfolding that I read "Smuggler's Moon" from cover to cover in one sitting. The Sir John Fielding-Jeremy Proctor mysteries is a wonderful series that boasts of exciting plotlines that intrigue, well drawn characters, and evenly sustained and maintained suspense. Also, David Alexander does a wonderful job of evoking the feel and the atmosphere of the 18th century. I've enjoyed every single one of these mysteries so far, and have no hesitation in recommending the entire sires as an excellent read for anyone who has yet to enjoy the Sir John Fiedling-Jeremy Proctor murder mysteries.