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A character who requires a very different sort of back story, and in switching to that world, the tone of the book changes from all that came before. But Cleverly's a pretty adept writer and plotter, and I do look forward to the future installments. Oct 22, Sally Atwell Williams rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , relationships , politcs , mystery , secrecy , war , england , emigration , lies , crime. It's , WW1 is over, the Russian Revolution is still going on, the Romanov Tsar and Tsarina and their children have been murdered by in a most hideous manner.

Russian aristocracy was leaving as quickly as they could, mostly to England, residing in London.

Joe Sandilands is a Scotland Yard police officer of the highest order. Lily Wentworth is a constable who works with him. Several murders have taken place of high ranking English government officials. Joe has been assigned to find out who is d It's , WW1 is over, the Russian Revolution is still going on, the Romanov Tsar and Tsarina and their children have been murdered by in a most hideous manner.

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Joe has been assigned to find out who is doing the killing. I found the book very complicated but interesting. In the interest of not giving anything away, I will stop here. I must say I really love the books when he was in India. Dec 28, Carla rated it it was amazing. Another great mystery by Barbara Cleverly.

A Detective Joe Sandilands Novel

A little Russian intrigue for Sandilands to solve with the help of a new partner Constable Lily Wentworth. Although the notion of women in the police force was looked down on for that time period and consequently made some of the male characters a bit annoying , Lily proves to have the skills to keep up with Joe. Can't wait to read the next one. Jan 17, M.

It is a fine read, filled with history.

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Histry which becomes skewed for the purposes of the book. But who's counting? The new female lead is fierce and fun. That alone may be worth an extra star. Feb 27, Heather rated it liked it Shelves: reading-challenge. This is a solid entry in the Joe Sandilands series of mysteries, but not up to the level of the beginnings in India. This is somewhat of a departure in the Joe Sandilands series, in that Joe teams up with an unlikely partner in Policewoman Constable, Lilian Wentworth. Their partnership is eyebrow-lifting on several levels, one being that the "Policewomen" of the time apparently did not have the authority to make arrests and as such wern't "real" officers of the law.

Also, there is more than rank separating a lowly constable from a lofty Commander; the obvious things such as experience and skills which h This is somewhat of a departure in the Joe Sandilands series, in that Joe teams up with an unlikely partner in Policewoman Constable, Lilian Wentworth. Also, there is more than rank separating a lowly constable from a lofty Commander; the obvious things such as experience and skills which have been honed over years, but there are also more subtle differences such as leadership, confidence and instincts. Add to all this the fact that Joe is an extremely good-looking, young, ex-Army officer, with panache and "Lily"Wentworth is very pretty, young and as we would say now, "gung ho" to further her career in the Police Force, with wits to match, they are well set-up for romantic sparks to fly!

The plot is actually less complicated than it appears: what we have is an apparent political murder and an assassination attempt. The solution to the murder has strong overtones of an Agatha Christie approach, which I was NOT happy with, hence the 4-star rating, rather than a 5-star. The ball-room scenes of the assassination attempt are among the liveliest and most appealing in the entire book! I could also have done without the "Perils of Pauline" ending, but that was rescued from sickly melodrama by the last chapter of the book.

All-in-all, a thoroughly entertaining read! Oct 06, Stven rated it liked it Recommended to Stven by: library. There was a chapter early on where the author introduced her Constable Lily Wentworth in action at the London underground which was rather delightful and gave me the hope to keep reading to the end Her favorite device was the situation described without naming the character, leaving you waiting for a punchline at the end of a chapter to tell you where the scene might actually fit into the story.

She used this a couple times too many, too. Nevertheless, it's nicely written prose, entertaining if not taken too seriously or too impatiently, and it's possible I'll give Ms. Cleverly a second reading. Sep 07, Paul T rated it liked it. It really was quite annoying at times. Aug 27, Bob Harris rated it really liked it. As usual, lots of twists and turns with unexpected outcomes. Good twists and turns Enjoyed the relationship between Sandilands and Wentworth. Sometimes the cuteness was a little heavy handed, but the story was good. Jul 14, Michael Rhode rated it liked it Shelves: library.

Good mystery. Had me fooled. I very much enjoyed this book in the Sandilands series.


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Here is one thing I loved -- the introduction of a clever sidekick in woman police constable Lilian Wentworth -- another remarkable female character to spice up the life of commander Joe. I didn't love the fact that the book was out of chronological order and having introduced this female, it seems that she has disappeared from the novels that follow in time. Too bad.

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The other part of my dismay was the complicated plot involving British in I very much enjoyed this book in the Sandilands series. The other part of my dismay was the complicated plot involving British intelligence and Russian history. It just got bogged down at times. In fact, when I was finished with the whole book, I realized that I had completely forgotten how the book began which was a foreshadowing of what was to become.

Maybe it was just me, but I often seemed mired in the detail and lost track of where we were going and where we were. I don't think Cleverly is always proficient at understanding the depth of the reader's ability to follow along and keep in mind the historical context. Just because she has explained it doesn't mean that it stays in ones mind as the plot unfolds. Perhaps that reflects on the kind of reader I am -- but when a mystery is complex, I have difficulty factoring in all the other complexities simultaneously.

I have also experienced places in other of her novels where I feel there are gaps that the reader is supposed to fill -- and perhaps not always able to do that. I have several "huh? This novel takes place timewise earlier than a few previous novels, but I don't see the character development that took place with the main character having been displayed in the previous novels. I wonder if it is difficult in a series where character development is important to take the books out of time since you need to make sure that the development is evident in the previous books.

They rarely go to jail, rarely are eliminated, but often brought in line. It is an unusual kind of mystery -- this pragmatic author takes the reader into a world that is not black and white but shades of gray.

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This is a wonderful series. In the ninth Joe Sandilands mystery, after Strange Images of Death, , the handsome police commander is back on fulltime duty in London, where the wake of the war has produced a different kind of crime. Whether dedicated to restoring the Russian monarchy or intent on overthrowing the British monarchy, political miscreants mingle with common criminals. When an outspoken opponent of Irish home rule is shot dead on the street, Commander Sandilands is running the CID Criminal Investi In the ninth Joe Sandilands mystery, after Strange Images of Death, , the handsome police commander is back on fulltime duty in London, where the wake of the war has produced a different kind of crime.

Joe is on the outlook for a killer who may be a woman. She must be Irish—but she speaks plumy English—and a mysterious young Russian just arrived in London. What motivates such a daring shooter? What if she aims higher—much higher--next time? How can Joe protect the throne of England from assassination attempts? He chooses Constable Lily Wentworth based on ability and availability; her looks are incidental.

After all, there are many places a policeman cannot go—like the loo in Claridges, where Lily corners a suspect.

The Blood Royal (Joe Sandilands Series #9)

And there are things a policeman cannot do, like waltz with…someone who needs protection on a dance floor. Lily goes the distance, acting as decoy, intelligent foil, and almost equal partner in anti-crime as they untangle a very tangled plot. Barbara Cleverly mysteries are addictive and The Blood Royal is highly recommended. I wrote this review for the Historical Novel Review, a great source on line or in print for information on new novels set in the past. Oct 22, Marilynn Larew rated it really liked it.


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In the fifth of the Joe Sandilands mysteries to take place in London after his return from India, Joe investigates a conspiracy by Irish terrorists to assassinate high-ranking British officials and members of the royal family. This shifts suspicion from the Irish to the Russians. As Joe works his way through the tangle of clues, he must convince his police and Special Branch colleagues that WPC Wentworth is an asset to his team, an idea distasteful to men who regard women constables as fit only for catching rapists in the parks and aiding women and children.

A woman detective? Lily is often quicker than Joe in spotting crucial clues and, while dangerously independent in her actions, she proves to be an excellent detective assistant.