Old Scores

Old Scores

eBook - 2017
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In 1890, the first Japanese diplomatic delegation arrives in London to open an embassy. Cyrus Barker, private enquiry agent and occasional agent for the Foreign Service Office, is enlisted to display his personal Japanese garden to the visiting dignitaries. Later that night, Ambassador Toda is shot and killed in his office and Cyrus Barker is discovered across the street, watching the very same office, in possession of a revolver with one spent cartridge. Arrested by the Special Branch for the crime, Barker is vigorously interrogated and finally released due to the intervention of his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, and his solicitor. With the London constabulary still convinced of his guilt, Barker is hired by the new Japanese ambassador to find the real murderer. In a case that takes leads Barker and Llewelyn deep into parts of London's underworld, on paths that lead deep into Barker's own mysterious personal history, Old Scores is the finest yet in Will Thomas's critically acclaimed series.
Publisher: [S.I.] : St. Martin's Press, 2017.
ISBN: 9781466890299
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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emerge
May 02, 2019

Can I start with how much I love these covers? Each is a work of art with shadowy figures, unmistakably Victorian, shrouded in foggy gaslight. The tone is set. You know you’re in for a clever, atmospheric mystery full of colourful characters.

It’s 1890 & at the home of Cyrus Barker, staff are getting ready for a very special visit. Barker is hosting a Japanese delegation who are in London to open an embassy. The ambassador is a soft spoken, gentle man who appreciates Barker’s garden. However, the ministers & body guards who accompany him seem less than impressed.

Thomas Llewelyn has been working with Barker for several years now & beneath the polite conversation, he picks up an odd tension. Something is very wrong. His spidey-senses prove correct when later that night the ambassador is shot & Barker arrested in possession of a fired pistol.

It’s a PR disaster for the Foreign Office & Trelawny Campbell-Ffinch (who’s as pretentious as his name) is determined to convict Barker as quickly as possible. But the canny detective has a few friends in useful places. He’s soon back in his office where he gets an interesting offer. General Mononobe, one of the delegates, wants him to find the ambassador’s killer.

What follows is a ripping story full of secrets, riddles, hidden identities & dirty politics. And danger of course, usually at the expense of long suffering Thomas. The clash of cultures presents a unique challenge. But Barker is up to the task of deciphering the enigmatic Japanese contingent. Faithful fans know he spent time there before settling in London & for the first time, we get some glimpses of his mysterious past.

Thomas’ personal life is slowly moving forward as he continues to spend time with widow Rebecca Cowan & she plays a much larger role in this outing as she begins to meet the people that make up his adopted family. The gang is all back including Harm, a judgemental Pekingese who is the true master of the house. Each of these characters is so well rendered with distinct personalities & colourful backgrounds. They’re a ragtag bunch that act like siblings. Sometimes they fight but they always have each others’ backs.

This is book #9 & as with all series, readers have their favourites. To be honest, I didn’t love the last one but I think it was more about setting than story. So I’m thrilled to report this one finds Barker & Llewelyn in top form & right where they belong….in the middle of a clever, intricate mystery. Highly recommend this series, starting with “Some Danger Involved”.

l
lkucharski
Oct 18, 2017

Another great mystery in this series. This one finds them back in their own agency again and the event of a Japanese Embassy forming in London brings old scars from Barker's past to light. If you like the series you will enjoy this, there is history and humor throughout the murder and calamities.

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