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Hangman's Corner (Five Star First Edition Mystery) Hardcover – April 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 1870 London, King's lively first in a new series introduces hansom cab driver Ned Parker, who hides out with such colorful cohorts as Smiling Sid, Paddy Reilly and Benny the Brain at Hangman's Corner, a former gallows site in Battersea Park. When one of Ned's fares, a possible suspect in the theft of church valuables, turns up in the Thames dead of stab wounds, Ned agrees to assist Det. Rollo "Jacko" Jackson, much as the cabbie's late father used to aid undercover police investigations. After the arrest of fellow driver Herbert Summers for the murder on dubious evidence, Ned vows "to get every cabby in London to help," all 6,000 of them. Ned's quest for justice takes him to the British Museum, where he encounters Karl Marx writing his opus; the blood-soaked Smithfield meat market; and eventually a tunnel under the site of a Spanish treasure galleon's sinking centuries earlier. King (The Jewel of the North) ends his busy, at times improbable tale with a stock chase scene across London. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

King gives readers a wonderfully diverse roundup of characters and classes from Victorian London by having a hansom cab driver as his hero. Ned Parker is kind of a poor man’s Sherlock Holmes: his job matches his passion for observation and carries him into all corners of the city, making him a perfect amateur sleuth. One of Parker’s fares is dressed as a clergyman, but there’s something about his appearance that doesn’t ring right. Parker lets him off, glances away for a moment, and his fare has vanished—until Parker is called to the morgue the next day to identify the fare, a stabbing victim. Parker is drawn into the mystery further when a fellow cabby is arrested for murder. His investigation careens through the British Museum, the Admiralty, and the music halls where his girlfriend, Millie, performs. A wonderfully fun, atmospheric, action-packed historical mystery. --Connie Fletcher


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Product Details

  • Series: Five Star First Edition Mystery
  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (ME) (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594146454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594146459
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,368,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter King (b. 1922) is an English author of mystery fiction, a Cordon Bleu-trained chef, and a retired metallurgist. He has operated a tungsten mine, overseen the establishment of South America's first steel processing plant, and prospected for minerals around the globe. His work carried him from continent to continent before he finally settled in Florida, where he led the design team for the rocket engines that carried the Apollo astronauts to the moon.

In his spare time, King wrote one-act plays and short mystery stories. When he retired, in 1991, he wrote his first novel, The Gourmet Detective, a cozy mystery about a chef turned sleuth who solves mysteries in the kitchen. King followed it with seven more books starring the character, including Dying on the Vine (1998) and Roux the Day (2002). In 2001 he published Jewel of the North, the first of three historical mysteries starring Jack London. King lives in Sarasota, Florida.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on June 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Hangman's Corner by Peter King is the first book in the Ned Parker, Hansom Cab Driver, mystery series. Ned is known by friends and colleagues alike as being unable to keep his nose out of everyone else's business. And being a hansom cab driver in Victorian England, he has a finger on the pulse of the city and a rare talent for observation. After picking up a strangely dressed passenger, Ned is brought in for questioning: the passenger has turned up dead. Another cabbie is fingered for the crime, so Ned alerts the 6000 cab drivers in London and starts the investigation himself. Ned is an extremely likable narrator: he doesn't fuss at lying or withholding evidence from the police (or cheating on his girlfriend), but he has a deep instinctual sense of right and wrong that forces him to keep searching for answers, even after his life is threatened, and then threatened again, and then again... With a girlfriend who is a wannabe actress on the fringes of society, Ned finds himself with an entrance into higher society, including brushing shoulders with the Prince of Wales. This jumping from the gritty slums of London to hobnobbing with royalty gives the book an extra charm. I certainly hope this first in the series won't be the last!
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