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The Thief Taker by Janet Gleeson
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The Thief Taker (2004)

by Janet Gleeson

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This was a pretty meh historical fiction mystery. Agnes is a young cook for a middlingly wealthy family and she gets recruited by the master of the house to assist with finding a large silver wine cooler that's been stolen from their shop. They explain why she was picked, but I still found it rather unlikely they'd recruit their chef to help solve a crime, even if they wanted it done without the help of the local police. There were also some murders that happened, so Agnes takes it upon herself to solve those, as the family she works for could care less about the loss of a few servants.

Nothing really grabbed me, though. Agnes was likable enough - your standard, headstrong, independent, forward-thinking woman who struggles between wanting to do what's right and wanting to keep her job because she has a child to support. There's the dichotomy between the upper and lower classes and of course, the guessing game of who-dun-it. It was well-written but not stand-out. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Nov 1, 2018 |
Marvelous! Great story, vivid setting, and characters both endearing and realistically nasty. I particularly loved the process of the protagonist thinking through the mystery while she jellied her knuckle of mutton and strung her cardoons- but then I'm a foodie and interested in historical food details. Well done! ( )
  MargaretPinardAuthor | May 23, 2015 |
Marvelous! Great story, vivid setting, and characters both endearing and realistically nasty. I particularly loved the process of the protagonist thinking through the mystery while she jellied her knuckle of mutton and strung her cardoons- but then I'm a foodie and interested in historical food details. Well done! ( )
  margaret.pinard | Jul 24, 2014 |
I really wanted to like this book. I'm a fan of historical fiction, and had hopes this might be the beginning of a series I could explore and enjoy. It may be the start of a series, and did, indeed, have some luscious details about life below stairs, particularly in the kitchen, but I just never connected with the main character, or any others. The mystery, itself, kept me paging through til the end, but it was with a great sense of relief when I finally finished, and realized I could pass it along via a BookCrossing release. I do love the cover art on the book, though. ( )
1 vote bookczuk | Nov 27, 2011 |
Agnes Meadowes is a cook in a household in London around 1750; she solves a mystery involving a theft and a murder. ( )
  jepeters333 | Jul 28, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Agnes Meadowes first saw the girl one Monday morning, huddled in a doorway in Foster lane.
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Book description
In the cellar there was no sound at all except her own breathing and the soft rustle of her skirts. After her eyes had grown accustomed to the dark, she noticed a niche in the wall a yard from where she stood. She saw something there about the size of her fist. Agnes quietly picked it up. It was wrapped in a cloth and surprisingly heavy. . . a pistol, the hilt filthy with mud and dirt. Suddenly she heard the chinking sound of glasses nearby. There was no mistaking the voices now. Before she had time to call out, another door creaked open and the pair emerged from the darkness.
Agnes Meadowes is cook to the Blanchards of Foster Lane, the renowned London silversmiths. Preparing jugged hare, oyster loaves, almond soup, and other delicacies for the family has given her a dependable life for herself and her son. But when the Blanchards' most prestigious commission, a giant silver wine cooler, is stolen and a young apprentice murdered, Theodore Blanchard calls on Agnes to investigate below stairs. Soon she is inside the sordid underworld of London crime, where learning the truth comes at a high price.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743290186, Paperback)

In the cellar there was no sound at all except her own breathing and the soft rustle of her skirts. After her eyes had grown accustomed to the dark, she noticed a niche in the wall a yard from where she stood. She saw something there about the size of her fist. Agnes quietly picked it up. It was wrapped in a cloth and surprisingly heavy. . . a pistol, the hilt filthy with mud and dirt. Suddenly she heard the chinking sound of glasses nearby. There was no mistaking the voices now. Before she had time to call out, another door creaked open and the pair emerged from the darkness.

Agnes Meadowes is cook to the Blanchards of Foster Lane, the renowned London silversmiths. Preparing jugged hare, oyster loaves, almond soup, and other delicacies for the family has given her a dependable life for herself and her son. But when the Blanchards' most prestigious commission, a giant silver wine cooler, is stolen and a young apprentice murdered, Theodore Blanchard calls on Agnes to investigate below stairs. Soon she is inside the sordid underworld of London crime, where learning the truth comes at a high price.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

"Agnes Meadowes is cook to the Blanchards of Foster Lane, the renowned London silversmiths. Preparing jugged hare, oyster loaves, almond soup, and other delicacies for the family has given her a dependable life for herself and her son. But when the Blanchards' most prestigious commission, a giant silver wine cooler, is stolen and a young apprentice murdered, Theodore Blanchard calls on Agnes to investigate below stairs. Soon she is inside the sordid underworld of London crime, where learning the truth comes at a high price."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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