Monday, December 17, 2007

Book Review: "The Thief Taker"

Janet Gleeson's The Thief Taker offers a bit of a twist on the typical 18th-century London historical mystery, as Gleeson chooses as her protagonist/detective Agnes Meadowes, a middle-aged cook. At the behest of her employer, silvermaker Theodore Blanchard, Agnes undertakes an investigation into the theft of a silver wine cooler, stolen the night before it was scheduled for delivery to its buyer.

To get the wine cooler back, Agnes must consort with Marcus Pitt, the titular thief taker. These guys make good characters for books like this, and Pitt's no exception. Naturally, the usual twists and turns occur as the investigation proceeds; suspects come, go (and occasionally die) as Agnes goes about her search (while still returning home in time to cook all the meals).

Well researched and nicely written, this is a worthwhile book if you like the type. While the use of Agnes as detective does seem a little unlikely, just settle in and enjoy the ride.