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An Experiment in Treason by Bruce Alexander
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An Experiment in Treason

by Bruce Alexander

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#9 Sir John Fielding mystery in which Jeremy and Sir John become involved in a plot involving Benjamin Franklin and the American colonies. Someone has stolen a packet of letters from the home of a prominent member of Parliament, believed to be damning to certain British officials with regard to the rights of the Colonials. A footman was brutally coshed on the head and killed during the burglary, therefore it’s a murder case as well. Mr. Franklin is high on the suspect list as having hired certain thugs to perform the deed, but without proof, Sir John and Jeremy are stuck at a standstill.

Several changes are in the works with regards to secondary characters as well, as the Fieldings’ former cook, Annie, stars in a production of Romeo and Juliet, Molly (the new cook) settles in and is courted by Dr. Donnelly (the medical examiner) and Jeremy and Clarissa’s relationship begins to change. Enjoyable entry in the series as always; the author’s notes indicate that he played fast and loose with known historical fact in this book with regard to Ben Franklin’s involvement, but I thought he did it very well. It *is* historical fiction after all! ( )
  Spuddie | Mar 7, 2009 |
Well, it does pay to wait, because not since Murder in Grub Street or Watery Grave has one of Alexander's books entertained me so well. This one I would rank right up there; the mystery is solid, the action is good, and it was obvious that Alexander did his homework in researching various events focusing around Benjamin Franklin.

So, having said that, let me say that if you're following the series, you are going to really enjoy this one. The only thing I didn't like was the way the relationship between Jeremy and Clarissa was going (personally, I can't stand the character of Clarissa), but I'm a purist -- I don't want much to get in the way of the plot.

A brief description with no spoilers:

The Secretary of State for the American Colonies, Lord Hillsborough, is robbed, and one of his footmen is killed during said robbery. What was stolen was a packet of letters, but when Hillsborough goes to see Sir John, he is less than forthcoming about their contents. Sir John is a bit upset about this, but nevertheless he continues to investigate the theft. His work leads him to suspect a colleague of none other than Benjamin Franklin. Things take a nasty turn and heat up quickly, putting the lives of several people in jeopardy.

Very well done and I was quite impressed!

This is number 9 in the Sir John Fielding series. You'll enjoy it if you are into historical mysteries or if you want to read something about events leading up to the American Revolution. Don't start with this one, though, if you're planning to read the series. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Nov 9, 2007 |
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I, Jeremy Proctor, must start this narrative of one of the most singular cases of Sir John Fielding, magistrate of Bow Street Court, with an admission.
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Book description
A packet of incendiary letters is stolen from the London residence of a prominent official, and turns up in the colony of Massachusetts. Why are the contents of the letters so controversial? Why has a suspect in the theft turned up dead? And what should Sir John do about his feeling that Benjamin Franklin himself is somehow complicit? While the tensions rise, Sir John and Jeremy search for answers - and find that justice isn't always served by the letter of the law.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425192814, Mass Market Paperback)

Sir John Fielding has trailed a packet of controversial letters from London to the colony of Massachusetts. But when the suspect in the theft is found dead, Sir John turns his eye on the possible involvement of Benjamin Franklin.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"In An Experiment in Treason, a packet of incendiary letters is stolen from the London residence of a prominent official, and turns up in the colony of Massachusetts. Why are the contents of the letters so controversial? Why has a suspect in the theft turned up dead? And what should Sir John do about his feeling that Benjamin Franklin himself is somehow complicit? While the tensions rise, Sir John and Jeremy search for answers - and find that justice isn't always served by the letter of the law."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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