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Some Danger Involved

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Some Danger Involved (2004) Will Thomas

Set in London in 1884.

I believe I started with series when Grandmom was living with us–both of us loved it for certain.

Thomas Llewelyn is a young Welshman who is at the end of his rope. He was kicked out of Oxford, spent time in Oxford prison, and has now run out of money. His last hope is a position advertised in the paper.

ASSISTANT to prominent enquiry agent. Typing and shorthand required. Some danger involved in performance of duties. Salary commensurate with ability. 7 Craig’s Court.

The Enquiry Agent is Cyrus Barker, and of course hires Thomas. This book is the first case Thomas assisted with–the crucifixion of a Jew that seems like the start of a pogrom in England.

I love the history–especially that of the Jews in London.

Of all people, it was the Puritan, Oliver Cromwell, who restored the Jews to England in 1656, at the request of Rabbi Israel, a man not unlike our own Sir Moses. The first synagogue, Bevis Marks, opened in 1701. It was a Sephardic synagogue, Spanish and Portuguese, but the German and Dutch Ashkenazim followed almost immediately.

The anti-semitism wasn’t unexpected, but it was odd to see so-called Christians ignoring the New Testament just as they do today and building and imaginary man in their own image to suit their own needs.

He was the ‘New Man.’ Can you picture him as a hook-nosed, kinky-haired, furtive little fellow? Of course not! He was a big, bluff carpenter, a robust leader of men, a man’s man. He was the perfect specimen of manhood, and in all ways we should aspire to be like him.

I also also amused by some random bits.

“This fellow Cowen surely doesn’t intend to build a magical golem of clay, does he?”

“Why not? We’ve done it before, we can do it again.”

“I find a clay man marching around the East End a trifle hard to believe,” I confessed.

“Fine. We’ll make him out of steel and run him on steam, then. This is the nineteenth century, after all.”

For a first book, this was well done and very enjoyable, and didn’t fee like a first book–the characters obviously had detailed backgrounds, and the mystery was well-developed;

One anachronism stood out to me, and I can see how it was a simple mistake to make.

Sir Walter Raleigh, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth the First all were imprisoned here at one time or other.

This is set in 1884. There was only one Elisabeth at the time, so why would she have been labeled as “the First”?

I enjoyed this just as much on a second read as I did on the first, though it makes me meloncholy and miss Grandmom a little.

I also wish the kindle versions weren’t so expensive–or that the ebooks were available to borrow from the library. $15 is a lot to pay for a second copy of a book.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Touchstone

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, Mystery, Private Eye, Re-Read     Comments (0)    



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