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Rules of Engagement (Sir John Fielding) Mass Market Paperback – February 7, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Sir John Fielding (Book 11)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425208532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425208533
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Alexander's many fans will find the final, posthumous Sir John Fielding mystery (after 2003's The Price of Murder) a bittersweet experience. It marks a triumphant return to the series' strengths, with the blind magistrate Fielding, the real-life founder of London's fledgling police force, the Bow Street Runners, once again playing a prominent role in unraveling a baffling crime. When Lord Lammermoor, who's involved in drafting emergency legislation to combat the American rebels on the eve of the Revolutionary War, falls to his death from Westminster Bridge, the insightful sleuth and his loyal legman, Jeremy Proctor, uncover clues suggesting that the lord was murdered, possibly through a form of hypnotism. While the guilty party's identity is obvious fairly early on, the author's gifts for vivid characterizations, colorful period details and fast pacing are very much in evidence. His two collaborators deserve acclaim for making it impossible to tell where Alexander's words end and theirs begin, and for enabling one of the worthier recent historical series to go out on a well-deserved high note.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Alexander's many fans will find the final, posthumous Sir John Fielding mystery a bittersweet experience. It marks a triumphant return to the series' strengths . . ."
-- Publishers Weekly (Publisher's Weekly ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

His characters were wonderful, and the period detail and atmosphere that he put into each book was remarkable.
S. Schwartz
Because of these recurring characters I'd suggest reading the earlier books - or at the very least the first in the series, Blind Justice, before picking this one up.
JoeV
The book starts off well enough despite being quite predictable, most readers could probably guess how the murder was committed within the first 30 pages or so.
Max Funkhammer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In 1775 a saddened Lord Chief Justice William Murray asks a favor of Sir John Fielding, the magistrate of the Bow St. Court. William explains to John and his clerk Jeremy Proctor how Lord Francis Talley died. The aristocrat was completing work on a bill to blockade the four biggest American ports so the economic consequences will put an end to the Adams' nonsense when he left his office to take a walk. Halfway across the Westminster Bridge he suddenly leaped into the Thames; several witnesses willingly testified to that account of the suicide. William wonders why. John agrees to make discrete inquiries to learn what motivated Francis to kill himself.

John and Jeremy soon learn that Dr. Goldsworthy, is a newcomer in town whose patron is the widow of William's clerk. This leads the sleuths to wonder who would gain most by Lord Francis dying and soon realize that no member of the dysfunctional Lammermoor family grieves and some act euphoric celebrating the death of its patriarch Lord Francis.

Though the great mystery author Bruce Alexander passed away, his fans (including this reviewer) still have a treat as his wife and John Shannon completed his last Sir John novel and no one will know who wrote which part. The story line is fabulous as Jeremy is a sort of Watson looking back from near the end of the century writing about his salad days as a clerk sleuthing for his employer and mentor. Sir John and Jeremy remain true to their personalities from previous tales and the mystery of Lord Francis' death is cleverly designed. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is a wonderful homage to a notable writer.

Harriet Klausner
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on May 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sadly, Bruce Alexander passed on before the final edit of this book, but his wife aided in its completion. Alexander's writing had an intellect and elegance I have so enjoyed. This is not fast paced suspense and I knew who was behind the death, but that did not diminish my enjoyment. It is a clever puzzle I enjoyed watching unfold, the sense of time and place is exceptional, and I appreciated that there was a resolution of the main characters. I very much enjoyed this book and series, and shall miss Mr. Alexander's lovely writing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MaryJ44319 on October 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading this book felt a little like watching the last episode of Cheers. I tried to savor every last word, knowing that there would be no more. I'm sorry we'll never learn what happens to Sir John and his court, or find out how Jeremy Proctor's life will turn out, or how Annie's acting career plays, or what happens to the Donnellys when they return to Ireland. It's hard to believe their lives won't go on somewhere. This series was such a delight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on March 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Reading Bruce Alexander's "Rules of Engagement" truly was a very bittersweet experience for me: I was sad that this was, definitely, the very last Sir John Fielding/Jeremy Proctor mystery novelthat I would ever read, but I was pleased that I had at least this last enjoyable and absorbing installment in this series to enjoy. And on the whole, I had a very pleasurable experience.

The Lord Chief Justice, William Murray, the Earl of Mansfield, does not always turn to Sir John Fielding, the blind justice of Bow Street for help. But when Mansfield's old school friend, Lord Lammermoor, throws himself off Westminister Bridge in front of a host of witnesses (including his current mistress and Sir John's ex-cook, actress Annie Oakum) and plunges to his death, Mansfield's perturbed. Nothing about Lammermoor's private or public life gives a hint as to why Lammermoor would seek to end his life. And fearful that his friend will be condemned as a suicide and suspecting that there was something dark about his friend's death, Mansfield begs Sir John to investigate. And even though the coroner has ruled Lammermoor's death as 'death by misadventure,' several strange instances about what happened on the bridge gives Sir John pause -- like who was the mysterious, heavily cloaked man who briefly spoke to Lammermoor as he passed him? what did he say? and why did Lammermoor climb onto the railing and flap his arms before he threw himself off the bridge? Sir John suspects something dark and sinister is at the root of Lammermoor's death, but it is only when he goes to a demonstration of animal magnetism give by Dr. Goldsworthy, a student of Dr. Anton Mesmer, that he begins to get a notion as to what may have happened.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By boswell on April 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was one of the great series of historical detective fiction. The author's writing style perfectly depicted late 18th Century England, and the mysteries themselves were always suspenseful, fun and perfectly plotted. While this one was not quite up to the earlier ones, and it really was evident that others were involved in the writing, it still merits 5 stars because it was truly a great end for characters who really began to seem like old friends. Even though the author wrote many other types of work, he will clearly live on in the readers' minds for this wonderful series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary loves Murder on March 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The good news is that 85% of the book is high quality Bruce Alexander. It's a great story, superbly told. The bad news is that the last 15% is obviously the inferior product of a couple of stumbling amateur authors. But as bad as the last part is, a Bruce Alexander fan will still relish this book since most of it is so good - plotting, atmosphere, character development, writing technique. Don't pass it by!
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