Follow the Author
Plague Pits & River Bones (The Detective Lavender Mysteries, 4) Paperback – January 11, 2018
Enhance your purchase
London, 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist.
And when Lavender’s trusted deputy, Constable Ned Woods, finds a mysterious severed foot washed up on Greenwich Beach, they soon realise that these ancient bones are more sinister than they first appeared.
With Bow Street Police Office undermanned and in disarray, it will take all of Lavender and Woods’s wit and skill―and some help from Lavender’s spirited wife, Magdalena―to unmask the fiend behind the mayhem, restore peace and justice to the beleaguered city and solve the tragic mystery of the severed foot.
But will they do so in time to foil a plot that threatens to plunge the country into chaos?
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
”Well written, well researched, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable.” ―Helen Boyce, The Book Club
“This fourth book in the mystery series combines a well-crafted plot and a set of likable core characters…Gripping.” ―Cynthia Slocum, Historical Novel Society
About the Author
Karen Charlton writes historical mysteries and is also the author of a non-fiction genealogy book, Seeking Our Eagle. She has published short stories and numerous articles and reviews in newspapers and magazines. An English graduate and former teacher, Karen has led writing workshops and has spoken at a number of literary events across the north of England, where she lives. Karen now writes full-time.
A stalwart of the village pub quiz and a member of a winning team on the BBC quiz show Eggheads, Karen also enjoys the theatre and won a Yorkshire Tourist Board award for her Murder Mystery Weekends.
Find out more about Karen’s work at www.karencharlton.com.
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (January 11, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 348 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542048397
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542048392
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #953,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The present narrative takes place in 1812 London and, in addition to following the exciting plot, I learned a lot interesting details about how London police worked back then (for example how the Bow Street Police Office was financed and that there was not paid sick leave for injured on duty policemen). The story starts a little slow and there is a lot of wading through disgusting garbage and poking of decomposing corpses involved. But I learned to pay attention from the beginning because many supposedly unconnected details have a tendency to be a part of the final big puzzle in K. Charlton’s books. And, of course, some of them proved to be important when narrative picked up the speed.
I liked author’s elegant writing style and her attention to details; it reminded me a little of the old adventure classics. All characters, good and bad, were interesting and felt real; it was great fun to read about them. I also appreciated the author’s note explaining which of the described events were real or based on real and which were purely fictional. I am looking forward to the next book.
I can see the development of Lavender's Moriarty and I'm not sure that I particularly like this direction.
Top reviews from other countries
Sorry if I sound too pedantic because the content of the book is interesting and informative, but those two items really spoiled what I would otherwise have enjoyed.
I read this whilst struck down with COVID and it certainly helped me take my mind off my discomfort.
Based in the early 1800's the historical detail is both interesting and intriguing. The author bases the story around real historical events, this one around the assassination of our Prime Minister of the time. Of course much of the filler is all down to the authors imagination but if the reader is in doubt the author explains fact from fiction in her notes at the end of the book.
The story is fast moving and concerns what appear to be different investigations which all come together at the end.
I have only docked a star because against all odds Detective Lavender survives the day to fight other battles in future books which is a tad predictable but pleasing at the same time. Very much recommended and a special thanks to the author in helping me get through the worse days of my COVID isolation
At the end of the book you'll find the historical details concerning this tale, and these are superbly implemented once again within this great mystery.
Story-telling from this author is once more of a superb quality, all characters, whether real historical or great fictional, come vividly to life within this thrilling mystery, and the atmosphere of Regency London comes wonderfully off the pages.
And not to forget as a whole this mystery is very well structured and executed by the author.
The mystery is set in May, AD 1812, in Regency London, and for our protagonists, Detective Stephen Lavender, and his friend, Constable Ned Woods, there will be three separate cases waiting for them, and all connected with a special link.
These three cases are, on the one hand the murdered body of Baron Lionel Danvers, which is found in the Plague Pit within the back yard of the Bow Street Police office, secondly robberies from rich people in and around London, and thirdly the appearance of a skeleton of a black African man found along the fringes of the river Thames, and central in their investigations will be a trickster called, Nidar or Captain Leon, along with several other aliases, who's causing mayhem in his attempts to hurt his enemies.
What will follow is an intriguing and suspenseful mystery, where Detective, Stephen Lavender and Constable, Ned Woods will have to do their utmost to outwit their foe in an ultimate attempt to catch the master culprit of the murder and robberies, and whether they will succeed or not, that's for all of you to find out by reading this book.
Highly recommended, for this is an absolute fabulous series which everyone should be reading, and what this episode is concerned I want to call it: "A Marvellous Thrilling Mystery"!
I liked the setting: London 1812. I liked the characters and humour, the love interest, the themes. Second historical London based book this year focused on the slave trade - the other was Blood and Sugar which is still my favourite book I have read this year. This book is filled with many interesting facts, why would I have known Bow Street was built over an ancient plague pit ? - but I do now. Knowledge to store for a quiz at some time!
I bought the book because I was intrigued by the title. Great title! But it has been languishing near the bottom of my to read like for nearly two years. I have no explanation for why it has taken me so long to read it. But I am so glad I did. Very enjoyable. My heart sank a bit when I began reading when I discovered it was the first book in a series but all was very well. It stood perfectly finely as a standalone novel just with a bit of back story. I am going to have to read more in the series and join Magdalena and her handsome Detective Lavender, Ned Woods and the gang again very soon. A really nice read. In fact just ordered the next book in the series going forward rather than back. I really enjoyed the book.