Plague Pits & River Bones

The Detective Lavender Mysteries, Book 4
Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (595 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

London, 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist.

And when Lavender's trusted deputy, Constable Ned Woods, finds a mysterious severed foot washed up on Greenwich Beach, they soon realise that these ancient bones are more sinister than they first appeared.

With Bow Street Police Office undermanned and in disarray, it will take all of Lavender and Woods's wit and skill - and some help from Lavender's spirited wife, Magdalena - to unmask the fiend behind the mayhem, restore peace and justice to the beleaguered city and solve the tragic mystery of the severed foot.

But will they do so in time to foil a plot that threatens to plunge the country into chaos?

©2018 Karen Charlton (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Plague Pits & River Bones

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No One Is Smiling on Bowstreet Station

Magistrate Reed's world has become infested with skeletons, highwaymen, and other interruptions to his plans to renovate Bowstreet Station.

Constable Woods has a boot with a severed foot in it.

Inspector Lavendar keeps finding reasons not to go to Ireland to help pay for the renovations.

Then, of course, there are the local murders.

How is Reed to cope?

You'll have to listen to this story to find out.

Great writing and narration add to the excitement and enjoyment.

5 people found this helpful

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Eagerly anticipated and was not disappointed!

Solid writing. Good detective story. Good series. I have genuinely enjoyed the first three in this series. I got the first one on a whim and was hooked. Books 1.2.3 are excellent as a series, but you can read any of them as a stand-alone, which I appreciate. Story flows well and moves along. There are some personal portions so the characters have actual lives other than just being detectives. Good and well rounded people with depth, ie not flat or stereotypical. Interesting and well written. Written for intelligent adults who understand that a life contains many facets, and it does have a touch of romance. It's a police procedurals/detective/mystery story. I found the bits of historical facts enlightening but it does not read like a historical novel. It's just a darn good novel set in an earlier time but it doesn't feel like a historical novel if that makes any sense (there are no cotillions, heaving bosoms, or rich damaged dukes reluctantly looking for a wife, haha, and life goes on after marriage). The people seemed real and I became interested in what happened to their personal lives along the way of solving the mystery. Darned good detective story and series. Recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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Severed Feet, Headless Ted, & a Boy Grows Up

The fourth in the Detective Lavender Series finds Lavender and Constable Woods investigating a severed foot that has washed up on the river bank. It is 1812 in London and crime is rampant. Using the actual assassination of England’s Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, that happened that same year, the author creates an atmosphere of unrest and chaos in a city of street urchins, immigrants and citizens all trying their best to survive. Lavender and Woods capture a naked man on the streets, carting him off to jail. The case load for the Bow Street Runners is overwhelming, the pay is low and Magistrate Read keeps sending Detective Lavender to far off places on cases, leaving his wife, Magdalena alone for long stretches. The “coppers” aren’t well liked, and when Constable Woods, oldest son, Eddie comes home after taking a beating because his Pa is a Bow Street Runner, well, things take a turn ugly. And Eddie has some decisions to make. I love the advice that Ned Woods gives Lavender about his and Magdalena’s relationship, telling him to give his wife back rubs. 😊 And how one thing leads to another . . . This is an excellent series, and the conclusion of the mystery of the severed foot, Headless Ted, and the career that Constable Woods son, Eddie decides upon makes for a GREAT BOOK all round.

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Out of the Five

I found the story and history very exciting and the best I’ve heard of these cases. It really kept me on the edge of my seat as the saying goes. I like how Ms. Charlton incorporates real events or more appropriately, facts into her story. I’m not a good review writer, I just know I enjoyed this case the most.

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Blend of history and fiction is great!

I always admire an author who can take real incidents and people from history and weave a fictional story around them using characters you know and love from earlier books. Karen Charlton has worked some real magic here. Since the historical incident I’m speaking of doesn’t occur until later in the book, I won’t specify it. As I was reading it, I wondered what was true. The inclusion of it in the fictional tale was flawless.

I enjoy these stories of Detective Lavender and Constable Woods. I hadn’t read one in a while, so as I began listening to this one, I was wondering if I would remember the characters and settings. It took no time at all to relax back into their story during Regency England and the Bow Street Runners.

One of the things I like about this series is that it isn’t just another series that takes place in the Victorian era. It takes place before Scotland Yard, at a time when policing was done completely differently (this was 1812). The Bow Street procedures remind me of books I have read about policing in New York City in the late 1800s, when the public was frequently expected to pay bribes to the police to ensure they would work on your case.

This one works as a stand-alone, although I have enjoyed reading them from the beginning (the first in the series is called The Heiress of Linn Hagh).

Michael Page, as always, does a great job narrating!

3 people found this helpful

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Love the detective lavender series

Love woods and lavender. Great stories with wonderful narration. I recommend them all. Thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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Bones

So far the most intricate mystery in the series. With more than one plot intertwined into one story.

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Wow!

Brilliant writing and fantastic narration! Love this author's books.....and narrator Michael page is absolutely the best!

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Great! But do NOT read while eating.

This is a great addition to the series, but don’t read it while eating. Not good for the squeamish.

Narrator is perfection, as usual.

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Simply Wonderful ❤️

I am in love with Lavender and Woods and their families 💙 they feel like friends. The story had had a good pacing and the narrator was good also.

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  • Kevin
  • 02-21-18

Love how

Karen takes real events and weaves them into her own story and this one doesn’t disappoint! It gathered pace to the point where I could not put it down ! Like the other Lavender mysteries before first class and looking forward to more of the same

14 people found this helpful

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  • Salter
  • 10-19-18

Plague pits & river bones....

London, 1812. Bones have been found washed up on the Thames, gentleman highway robbers have been reported and Constable Woods finds a severed foot washed up on Greenwich beach.
Detective Lavender and Woods have their work cut out in getting to the bottom of what is going on, and who the mysterious perpetrator is.

A very enjoyable crime story, based around a time when police really had to do things the hard way.
Superbly narrated by Michael Page. His narration very much suited the style and setting of the book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 06-14-18

Another Brilliant Novel from Karen Charlton

I have really enjoyed all the Detective Lavender books, and this one does not disappoint. Michael Page is a great narrator for the stories.

7 people found this helpful

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  • April
  • 04-26-18

Excellent

Never fails to please, love catching up with the characters. Well written and like the narrator

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-18-18

Fascinating

This is a super story. I listened right through in 2 sittings. More please Karen.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 09-02-18

Enjoyable old-fashioned policing

I enjoyed this book as a change from the plethora of modern detective novels. Set in the Georgian period at the start of the 19th century, in the early years of there being a police force in London, inspector Lavender aided by his loyal Constable Ned Woods has many cases to solve. The story never flagged and the characters are well-drawn. I'll certainly be down-loading the earlier books in the series.

The narrator is very good

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dr Caterpillar
  • 11-03-18

The Smiling Detective

I'm not normally one for "drinking game" jokes, but if you take a sip every time you hear the words, "Lavender smiled," you won't have any liver left by the end of this book.
I found this book moderately entertaining in places, but quite unfocused. It's a problem with books based on actual history: things happen in the story because they really did happen. For example, the opening chapter has Lavender's sidekick having to deal with an escapee from a mental institution who thinks he's an Old Testament prophet, and who likes to go naked. This is nowhere near as amusing as Karen Charlton seems to think (at least not the way it plays out), and it has very little bearing on the rest of the book, but yeah, it happened, so it goes in. Compare with Raymond Chandler, who will often have Marlowe sum up a recent case in three or four sentences.
The main characters are fairly likeable, and I quite enjoyed Ms Charlton's 1812 England, but I don't think I'll be choosing any of the other books in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terri
  • 09-25-18

Brilliant

One of the most fascinating books I have heard in a long time. The narrator is brilliant and I cannot wait to hear the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-23-18

Another intriguing web of plot and sub plots

Set again in Georgian London, partly based on true stories. Easy listening, really enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hipcity
  • 09-16-18

enjoyable read

different in a good way, set in 1810. you get to see a different side to the characters, warm family life.

1 person found this helpful