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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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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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 5 people found this review helpful

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Love this Series!

I am a big fan of The John Pickett mysteries and short stories. John is such a humble, forthright individual, committed to doing what’s right and just, even if no one else would ever know. I was so glad to see he and Julia come together. It’s great to see a good guy “everyman” make good. This is another fantastic story. It follows the further domestic developments between John and Julia, while also presenting another mystery for John to solve. The story unrolls at a leisurely pace giving the listener ample time to get to know the various primary and secondary characters. Sheri’s characters are always colorful, whether heroes, villains, or something in between, and the stories are often humorous as well as engaging and entertaining. I always enjoy going along with John as he teases out the clues to reach his conclusion. I highly recommend these stories.

The narration is fantastic. Joel does an excellent job voicing both male and female characters, his pacing is fantastic, and he does a great job of matching his delivery to the emotions and attitudes of his characters.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Love John and Julia Pickett

John and Julia Pickett are married and settling into married life. In this story, they had off on their wedding trip to visit Julia's parents. A decade-old mystery - the disappearance of Julie's sister Claudia - resurfaces when John sees a ghost in the house.

This is another solid John and Julia story. They work together to solve a mystery. John finds his world colliding as he interacts with Julia's country gentry parents. In addition, they deal with the growing pains of married life. Neither is perfect, but I love how they come to understand each other. Sherri Cobb South's characters are real and relatable and are always growing/developing.

I highly recommend Ms. Cobb South's stories for people who love historical romantic mysteries.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

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Honeymoon and... murder:)

I've had two of the books in the John Pickett Mysteries series waiting on my Kindle for some time now, but somehow I haven't yet got to read them - a big mistake, judging from what I have just finished listening to...:)

"For Deader or Worse" turned out to be one of those books I listened to almost in one sitting (as usual, I started too late at night and had to finish it the next day)... It has an intriguing plot with some really good twists - just when you think you have already worked everything out Ms South has yet another surprise for you... And the book is so well written that even when you think you know how the situation is going to be solved, you still listen on just to see how John and his sidekicks will manage with all this...

All the characters in the book are very well drawn and evoke strong emotions; some of them we like from the start, some we don't know what to think about, and some are just downright awful people - like in real life. There is also quite a lot of humor there, and social observations of the way of life in the 19th century England only add some flavour to the whole.

Narration by Mr Froomkin is very good. You definitely hear differences between aristocrats and those from the lower classes, and each "voice" perfectly mirrors the personality of a given character. Also, Mr Froomkin doesn't try to sound very feminine, which is good as it makes the female characters sound quite natural, too. All in all, this interpretation is perfect for the book.


DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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A perfect British cozy!

Who can resist a British cozy? Although this is volume 6, this was actually the first book of the series I listened to. I had no trouble understanding the plot & all the characters even though I dove in late! The narration was impeccable, I felt like I was send back in time to Britain (I’m from the USA), and it was so easy to get engrossed into the story! If you love cozies, especially period piece cozies, you will love this!
I received this complimentary copy & gave an honest review.

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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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  • Norma Miles
  • 06-14-18

Not a gentleman born but he had his own code.

When John Pickett, Bow Street runner and son of a deported convict, first travels with Julia to the West Country to be introduced to her parents as her new husband, Lord and Lady Runyan are less than overjoyed. He had been there before in his official capacity and had saved Lady Julia from the accusation of murdering her first husband. .But the audaciy of so lowly a man without wealth or lineage marrying into their aristocratic family was shaming to the couple until John not only solves the mystery of the ghostly footfalls in the house, but also unravels the murder of their groom and the disappearance, presumed death, of Julia's older sister Claudia thirteen years before.

This engaging and well crafted tale set in early nineteenth century England, highlights even more than the earlier stories the disparity between the societal levels of the time and the ease with which crime can be perpetrated without consequence by men in higher ranking circles. Easy to read and always gently humerous and charming, if somewhat predictable.
Joel Froomkin again narrated, his clear English accented voice well intoned and delivered, each character given distinctive and appropriate voicing to enhance their personalities. It was a pleasure to listen.

My thanks to the rights holder who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy of For Deader or Worse, via Audiobook Boom. Although part six of a series, this book can be read as a stand alone although, obviously, the reader's familiarity with the two main protagonists, Lady Julia and John Pickett himself, deepens with each successive story. An enjoyable, undemanding historical detective story. Recommended.

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  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 06-02-18

Great series

In this instalment John gets embroiled in the mystery of Julia's sister's disappearance thirteen years earlier as well as the murder of a stable hand who worked for Julia's father.
I enjoy Julia and John very much. John Pickett is such a likeable character. He still can't believe that he is married to the woman he loves and he is very sweet in his interactions with her.
I found some of the story surrounding Claudia to be somewhat predictable but it was nevertheless a very good story. The murder mystery was more complicated and I was convinced of the guilt of one particular person before finding out I was completely wrong. It kept me guessing and listening. The narration was once again superbly done by Joel Froomkin.
I can't recommend this series enough. I am going to be very sad once it ends.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy provided by the author at my own request..

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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!