An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, as they work to solve the gruesome murder of a young scholar in London's Jewish ghetto. When the eccentric and enigmatic Barker takes the case, he must hire an assistant, and out of all who answer an ad for a position with "some danger involved", he chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man with a murky past.
As they inch ever closer to the shocking truth behind the murder, Llewelyn is drawn deeper and deeper into Barker's peculiar world of vigilante detective work, as well as the heart of London's teeming underworld.
Brimming with wit and unforgettable characters and steeped in authentic period detail, Some Danger Involved is a captivating novel that introduces an equally captivating duo.
©2004 Will Thomas (P)2016 Tantor
This is the beginning of a what I hope to be a great new series. The narrator does a great job with my only complaint being the narration of Irish characters which to be truthful is a quirk with me. DO NOT LET THAT DISSUADE YOU FROM A GREAT BOOK!
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. Will Thomas has written a story about a clash of cultures in Victorian London that was interesting to listen to because he is a very good story teller who includes many historical and even theological bits of information that take it well beyond a simple period mystery.
Told from the perspective of Thomas Llewelyn, the assistant to the eccentric but brilliant Cyrus Barker, the story focuses on their efforts to find the killer of a young Jewish man, and stop the possibility of there being another pogram against the Jews who inhabit this London ghetto.
I find it somewhat interesting as well, that the author has given his own name to the assistant who is initially desperate for any sort of job--indeed is contemplating suicide because he sees no way to go on living--but quickly becomes a character with a lot of fortitude and intelligence and who develops the most over the course of the book.
I nearly marked the stars down a bit because there are a few anachronisms (mostly in language that probably would not have been true to the times) that were a little pesky, but the overall story was so engaging that I decided they didn't make that much difference. A good story, a good mystery and good narration. That's worth 5 stars to me.
Great mystery novel! I've read the whole series - so glad I can listen to them now!
They're very well researched and every book focuses on a minority community in Victorian London - this book is the Jewish community.
In the Holmes tradition, but with enough variation to make it interesting. An interesting story that taught me about race relations I hadn't thought about before, with characters both predictable and surprising. Pleasant ambiance, more like Nero Wolfe than Holmes . . .
I've enjoyed listening to this mystery and will be watching for more titles by Will Thomas. The characters are very well rounded and believable. The loss of one star for performance is that I felt Mr Barker's voice should be deeper and gruffer, but the accents were spot on. I liked the variety of people throughout the story, their various areas of expertise, quirks and how they handle unexpected events.
I love a good mystery. My favorite author right now is Edward Marston. I am enjoying the Great War Series.
I will recommend this books to everyone I know.
Thomas Llewellyn, he was humorous, easily identified with, and very likable.
He was very at Scottish accents, in fact all of the various accents, and portrayed the verbal expressions of the characters very well.
I can't think of one.
I really like this genre - historical mysteries and I loved the concept of the down-on-his-luck assistant detective but the author did not do the mystery justice. The author got bogged down in educating the reader about Jewish history that he forgot to challenge the reader to a good mystery.
My issue with the mystery portion of the book is that the plot+clues were extremely flimsy. Good mysteries tie all the pieces together at the end in a satisfactory way. But Mr. Thomas petered out at the end and just typed out any old ending to complete his book.
There were so many holes at the end of the book that it was jarring to listen to and disappointing to waste one credit.
**** SPOILER ALERT *****
1) Barker and Llewellyn drive around London for several days talking to possible suspects. Other than political beliefs, none of the people they talk to is a good suspect. All of the talking and posturing was boring and did not seem to advance the mystery. There was no connecting the dots as there is in most mysteries. These men just walked around and talked to religious people and waited for things to happen.
3) If Racket was driving the cab, how could he shoot into the cab? Did I miss that they were stopped?
2) The end is the most frustrating: When Llewellyn gets in the cab with Racket, supposedly Barker sees him leaving and fights his way through the mob to follow him. He later says that he was only a few seconds behind the cab. However, logistically, the amount of time that it would have taken for Racket to hitch Llewellyn onto the post is much more than a few seconds. Combine that with the "confession" that Racket gave to Llewellyn after Llewellyn was tied up upside down - another 2-3 minutes. Where was Barker? Surely the author could have come up with another solution to be 5 minutes behind.
3) The author tries to make it appear that Barker is omniscient and perfect. If he was so suspicious of Racket, why didn't he tell Llewellyn? That seems so irresponsible for such a perfect detective and out of character.
Wow! Just the kind of book. I have been looking for! Thank you Will Thomas and keep writing more books! Antony Ferguson is a wonderful narrator!
"Jolly enough take on an old formulae"
The story was actually very engaging.
Victorian crime novels with a sleuth and his side-kick have started to get a bit hackneyed recently. Presumably many authors are cashing in on the Sherlock Hoes revival. However, this offering is interesting and different enough to easily keep the reader's attention. The Scottish (at least I think he's meant to be) sleuth and his down-at-heel assistant are a nicely conceived characters and the peripheral characters are both diverse and complimentary to the tale.
There's nothing essentially new or inventive in this take on the classic detective novel but it is written slickly and engagingly enough to make it a worthwhile listen.
I must say, though, that the narrater is dreadful. He reads like an automated telephone answering machine and his accents are abominable - his Scottish is barely there but his Irish at one point is indistinguishable from Cockney and his French chef has surely migrated to London via Jamaica. It must really be a good book to keep me listening through this shocker care of narrator, Anthony Ferguson (with a name like Ferguson- you'd think he'd manage the Scottish accent okay).
"Resonant Echoes of the Past"
I think it's fair to say that the concept of an inscrutable detective, or as Mr Barker would remind us "Enquiry agent" seen through the eyes of an assistant in Victorian London is not exactly brand new. However, it has not often been done this well.
"Some Danger Involved" introduces us to the enigma that is Cyrus Barker seen through the eyes of his sometimes hapless but actually quite talented assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. The book moves mostly at a reasonably sedate pace successfully evoking a very atmospheric period London at both its best and worst. Will Thomas introduces us to an extremely rich cast of characters while demonstrating ably his knowledge of the times, the city and in particular the Jewish community who feature prominently.
Barker really does fit the bill and both he and Llewelyn are painted with depth and care. The interview scene I found particularly revealing and enjoyable. The rest of the cast also have genuine colour and the time taken to introduce them does slow the pace but they promise much more to come in future episodes.
Antony Ferguson's narration is very well suited and attuned to what the author is trying to portray. He is particularly good with Barker himself.
The story itself while set in Victorian London is incredibly relevant to today's Britain. The theme of prejudice around immigration really is as old as civilisation and it is quite stunning how these echoes from our past continue to resonate today. Thomas does not fall into the trap of polarising the effects, he recognises the multi-faceted nature of this particular beast.
I understand that this book was five years in the making and the result of all that effort is a top quality novel which appears to usher in a series with characters I could grow to love.
"Not a bad book but reader terrible at accents"
The story is okay, with the odd bit that throws you out of the plot when you can tell the author is American and/or didn't research enough. Most of his historical research is accurate, excellent even, but there's just the odd turn of phrase or situation that isn't right. The persistent idea that lots of people had telephones to hand when the book is set drives me mad, but that said it doesn't affect the plot that much so it's easy to skip over.
The biggest issue is the reader can't really do accents for anyone not English or Scottish. Everyone else sounds like they're from Caribbean.
"Didn't grab me"
I couldn't find any interest in the characters and found the Australian (?) narrator rather jarring.
Enjoyable. Good characters. The relationship between the Detective and assistance was a little bit too bromance for me, reminded me of Top Gun for some reason. A good listen though.
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