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Publisher's Summary

After a modest wedding ceremony, Bow Street Runner John Pickett and his bride, Julia, the former Lady Fieldhurst, set out for a wedding trip to Somersetshire, where Pickett must face his greatest challenge yet: meeting his in-laws.

Sir Thaddeus and Lady Runyon are shocked at their daughter’s hasty remarriage - and appalled by her choice of a second husband. Pickett, for his part, is surprised to learn that Julia once had an elder sister: Claudia, Lady Buckleigh, disappeared 13 years earlier, leaving no trace beyond a blood-soaked shawl.

When Sir Thaddeus confides that his wife is convinced Claudia’s spirit now haunts her childhood home, Pickett sees a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of Julia’s family. He agrees to investigate and, hopefully, lay the Runyon "ghost", whoever - or whatever - it is. Matters take a grisly turn when Sir Thaddeus' groom is discovered with his throat slit.

The timing could hardly be worse, for the whole village is aflutter with the news that Lord Buckleigh has brought home a new bride just when Major James Pennington, the vicar’s son who was Claudia’s childhood sweetheart, has returned on leave from war in the Peninsula. The major was apparently the last person to see Claudia alive, and Pickett is convinced he knows more about her disappearance than he’s telling. Suddenly, it seems the distant past is not so distant, after all. It may not even be past....

©2017 Sheri Cobb South (P)2018 Sheri Cobb South

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Average Customer Ratings

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This series just gets better and better!

I really enjoyed this installment in the series. The characters I love continue to grow and change and new characters are added that I hope will continue to show up in the next books. All the books are delightful -- enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, but also a few turns that you expect.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Better and Better!

I so enjoy listening to this series featuring John Pickett and his wife the former Lady Fieldhurst. Each adventure is a standalone book with the same endearing characters and some new ones added in. This particular book features Julia's sister, whom has been missing for 13 years. I love how Sheri Cobb South weaves the mystery and brings to light some issues that plagued the time frame of the book. Julia's mother in the story was more concerned with being a paragon of society instead of nurturing her family. I wanted to strangle the lady. Joel Froomkin did such a wonderful performance with his variety of characters and their distinguishable voices. His British accent adds to the vivid imagery and authenticity of the story. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. The bonus short story at the end of this book was a fun addition. Kudos to the author for including it. I love the additional insights into John Pickett's character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A VERY ENJOYABLE PRESENTATION AND STORY

The entire series is a delightful British Romantic Detective tale of a Bowstreet Runner who is afflicted with love for a woman in his first investigation. I can only hope Ms. South allows further novels to be enacted.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Wedding Trip

I am thoroughly enamored of John Pickett, erstwhile pickpocket and now Bow Street Runner, and his lady-love, Julia. Like May-December weddings in which it is perfectly proper for an aging lothario to wed a nubile young thing (an example or two of which can be found within these virtual covers, randy puns left entirely to your imagination and certainly not due to suggestive . . . language . . . herein--and, in fact, this Regency novel is utterly proper and circumspect) and a blind eye is turned, but should tables be reversed, the woman is reviled as a "cougar"; so with Prince and Pauper weddings where marriage requires appropriate mating of Rank, unless the family estates teeter on bankruptcy, and the bride rises--or falls! to her husband's rank but his does not commensurately drop nor improve. And yet in his own realm of acquired learning and inborn abilities to ferret out evil and solve crime, Mr. Pickett, lowest of low, is equal to any man and ultimately accorded due respect by all who know him.

Remember your high school literature classes and being told what was motivating the author and what themes and parallels we are to draw from the classics? Meanwhile, when asked, the author proclaims he or she just wanted to tell a good yarn. So although the fine points of the social niceties of the early 19th century become ideal targets to be skewered on modern sensibilities, what we have here is a rip-roaring good detective story with an accompanying romance or two framed exquisitely in its time and with a delicate touch allowing for humor and extreme enjoyment.

Adding to that enjoyment was the excellent narration [AUDIO] by Joel Froomkin who created extremely believable voices for each of the characters including especially pleasing female renderings. And BONUS! (at least in the audio version) there is a short story added to the end which provides an additional insight into our hero and his innate understanding of character and human nature.

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  • Suzan
  • SF Bay Area
  • 05-24-18

Amazing didn't want it to end

Book 6 in this wonderful series and this maybe my favorite one yet. We find John and Julia off to meet Julia's parents. Of course a murder has to take place and no it's not one of the family. This series is fun, sweet, romantic and a mystery too. Joel Froomkin once again does an outstanding job of narrating the book. I found myself not wanting to stop listening. Joel has a way of reading this series that just gets you hooked. Sheri Cobb South is amazing in her writing of the story is placed in the past but it seems so today. Also the book has a little extra at the end "Finders Weepers" book 6.5 in the series.
"I was given this free audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

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Cobb South is the Master of Mystery and Wit

I have thoroughly enjoyed the John Pickett mysteries. Ms. Cobb South's writing is strong. The various storylines are masterfully woven looking back in time, then continuing with the present several times. I cannot say anymore for fear of ruining various plots. Let's just say, I didn't see it coming!

Cobb South's main characters John Pickett and his new wife, Julia are so wonderful together. Cobb South does not disappoint with the romantic and witty dialogue. I simply adore her writing.

Joel Froomkin's performance is spot on. He handles the various characters without flaw. Once I start listening to Mr. Froomkin, I don't want to stop. I even run out of household chores! LOL I will gladly listen to anything Mr. Froomkin narrates. I am guaranteed listening pleasure. Bravo!

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Enjoyable read

After listening to several John Pickett mysteries I came expecting great fun this time again. I was not disappointed. In this book, poor Pickett needs to handle a mystery AND his new in-laws steeped in propriety. Julia's mother was particularly fun to read. The mystery here was a tad predictable, but I don't mind that at all, because what I come to Sheri Cobb South for is the regency setting and banter - and by this time, many of my favorite characters. Joel Froomkin totally gives them life with his performance and accents. He's becoming one of my favorite narrators :)


I thank the author for providing me with a free review copy of this audiobook via Audiobook Boom. It was a pleasure!

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I think the series is great

every book from the series is an enjoyment I loved this book as well as the others it's a very well original series and this book in particular doesn't disappoint as well I couldn't stop listening to this book and enjoyed every single second of it
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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The honeymoon is over

It's been ages since I've really read historical romances, well I did read one a couple of weeks back, but before that it's been years and years. This book tells me I should pick them up more often because I have been missing out.

John Pickett and Julia are on their honeymoon and travelling to her parents to let them in on the good news. *cough* And introduce John into the family. Tensions are high and Julia's parents are far from happy with the union. Things get even tenser when a body is found and the evidence starts to point to events taking place 13 years in the past when Julia's sister Claudia disappeared...

For Deader or Worse was my first book by this author. I've never read any of her other books before. I dare say my reason for picking up this book was because I love the narrator of it. And I have no regrets. While it is at the end of the John Picket series it book can be read as a standalone without feeling lost in any way. Of course there were references to past events in the lives of John and Julia, but in a good way. They made me want to go back to the beginning and get to know their whole story.

Joel Froomkin is an amazing narrator. I love listening to books he's narrated. Though he narrating a historical romance was new to me I will say it worked out splendidly. Froomkin always gives his all to his books, the feelings he adds to the books he narrates truly makes you a part of ig. He has such a wide range of voices and accents that it makes following along the story effortless.

For Deader or Worse was a light hearted historical romance with a mystery twist. I had a great time meeting John and Julia and dare say I might just need to go back to the beginning and find out more of their story - it seems to be an interesting one!

A copy of this audiobook was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Great historical cozy mystery!

This is 6th in the John Pickett mysteries but it stands alone. John Pickett, a Bow Street Runner (Early British policeman) marries Lady Fieldhurst, lowering her status to Mrs. Pickett. They marry for love to the shock of society and her parents. John Pickett feels he must prove himself worthy to his new family. He ends up solving the mysterious disappearance of their other daughter Claudia.

I am only sorry that I’m discovering this book up at this point in the series. This is a great story and mystery, now I need to hear the rest of the series! The narration sounds like a full cast production. I had to look up the book while listening to insure all the male and female characters were played by only one man since I couldn’t believe it. I was gifted a copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Layla
  • 03-12-18

LOVE this series!!!

Any additional comments?

We meet the parents in this series and a few other characters. This book made me laugh especially where John Pickett is concerned and how he deals with the upper class. I kind of felt sorry for him but cheered him when he didn't change his personality to fit into what people wanted him to be like.
I also like this book because John Pickett in previous books always thought black and white when it came to murders but not so in this case. I think this is to do with it being more closer to home. So it was interesting to see another side of him.
I would highly recommend it!!!!
A clean read suitable for all!