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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,183
  • 4 Stars
    855
  • 3 Stars
    317
  • 2 Stars
    73
  • 1 Stars
    29

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,431
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    628
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    184
  • 2 Stars
    30
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    15

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    792
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  • 1 Stars
    36
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Clever writing!

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.

111 of 115 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Introduction to a great historical mystery series

Would you consider the audio edition of Some Danger Involved to be better than the print version?

Yes, though the print version was excellent, too. I have waited a long time for this to come out in an audio version. I hope more of the series will become avialable on audio.

What other book might you compare Some Danger Involved to and why?

It is pretty unique. The closest I can think of is Alex Grecian's "Murder Squad".

What about Antony Ferguson’s performance did you like?

Wonderful performance! He really had the accents and characterizations down perfectly. You really feel as if there are many different people speaking.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well, no, because I like to savor it.

Any additional comments?

This initial book, written some years ago, is actually an introduction to the variety of characters that appear again and again in the series. They are unique, mysterious, enigmatic and interesting. Though this first story may have disappointed some in its outcome, they get better and better as the series goes on. I particularly liked Will Thomas' obvious research into the details of the problems of this historical period that are not unlike what goes on in our world today with its religious and racial prejudices and its economic woes. The story is told from the point of view of a new young assistant to the enigmatic Cyrus Barker. Though he has never been a detective's assistant, he learns the business from a unique character who works his way through his cases with an intuitive thought process and an understanding of human nature and the criminal mind. Don't give up on this series based on your opinion of the first book. They just get more intriguing. I hope that Audible will be able to provide more than just the first two in the series, in the future.

57 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

NOT TERRIBLE, BUT...

This one fell sort of the mark for me. The first few chapters introducing the two main characters were the best. The writing was crisp, and both characters were unique in there own way. Also the book showed glimpses of humor that was very promising. My knowledge of the Jewish community is limited so I appreciated the insight he imparted. However, half way through, I came to feel that it occupied too much of the book. The author seemed to become preoccupied with the topic and went off on long tangents. Then there was all the diatribe about religion. I purposely avoid books with regards to religion as my views on that subject are very personal. Some content on religion is okay but there was quite a bit, and my mind began to wander.

The mystery was half-baked at best. Don't bother trying to figure this one out , because there weren't any viable clues left for us readers. However, I did very much enjoy the developing relationship between Barker and Llewelyn, and if the mystery was tighter I feel this series would have had more potential. Some reviewers said the series got better and better with each book. With that in mind, I won't be opposed to trying another book in the future.

90 of 96 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great New Series

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!

24 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

derivative but original

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 . . .

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • Apple Valley, MN, United States
  • 12-05-16

Exciting, interesting, humorous, my new favorite.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I will recommend this books to everyone I know.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Thomas Llewellyn, he was humorous, easily identified with, and very likable.

What about Antony Ferguson’s performance did you like?

He was very at Scottish accents, in fact all of the various accents, and portrayed the verbal expressions of the characters very well.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I can't think of one.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting story

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sherlock fans will love this series

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.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Didn't do it for this mystery fan.

I listen to a lot of mysteries including classics, more contemporary ones, cozy ones, etc.
This just didn't do it for me. I made it through a little more than half and ended up returning. As others have mentioned, the mystery seemed secondary to the relationship between the apprentice and the old hand. And while this works in some, it didn't here. Seemed forced.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Angela
  • Centerville, OH, United States
  • 02-02-17

REALLY overrated

Has Some Danger Involved turned you off from other books in this genre?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.



34 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 02-11-17

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).

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Chandler
  • 04-02-17

The Barker and Lewelyn Series.

A very good story well. I look forward to hearing more in this series. The main character is not unlike Holmes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and for any Holmes fans, I'm sure that you will enjoy it too.
Review by 'The book worm'.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 12-01-16

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.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rosie
  • 09-18-17

Shame about the narrator!

Not a bad book if it had not been for terrible narrator. Made it tedious.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mrs s curtis
  • 11-05-17

Great story

This is a great story and read very well except for every foreign accent sounded like a Nigerian,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kathleen C
  • 09-17-17

Pity About the Scottish Accent

Any additional comments?

An interesting book spoiled for me because the main character who was supposed to be Scottish sounded as if he attended the Dick van Dyke school of acting....

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • elly gausden
  • 02-16-17

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • The Curator
  • 01-21-17

Didn't grab me

I couldn't find any interest in the characters and found the Australian (?) narrator rather jarring.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lucky123
  • 01-18-18

Disappointing

Accents dodgy and story really dull. Characters really have so little about them, compared to others in this genre, really not worth the time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Elaine66
  • 12-23-17

So disappointed

I was so disappointed by this. The narration is so poor, it completely ruins what I think may turn out to be a good listen. I had to switch off. The attempts at various accents are so poor, it's painful to listen to.
What a shame.