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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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A Spider in the Cup (Joe Sandilands Investigation) Hardcover


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A Spider in the Cup (Joe Sandilands Investigation) + A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford) + How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Sandilands Investigation
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime (August 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616952881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616952884
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The title (chosen with a nod to Shakespeare) is particularly apt as multiple villains hide beneath the surface of this eleventh adventure starring Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Joe Sandilands. Sandilands isn’t happy when he’s tapped to provide security for American senator Cornelius Kingstone, in London to attend an important economic conference at the behest of Franklin Roosevelt. After all, the senator has his own FBI shadow, an expatriate Sandilands knows from past encounters to be skilled in matters of security—though of questionable loyalties. Sandilands soon realizes his own skills are needed despite the FBI: Kingstone’s girlfriend has disappeared, and the senator is being threatened. It doesn’t take long for Sandilands to figure out that the visiting dignitary is keeping something important to himself. Why isn’t it easier to tell enemies from friends? Secret societies, economic and political power plays, and assassins on the lose share space in a convoluted but involving tale, marked by historical, cultural, and literary references, stiff-upper-lip dialogue, and occasionally surprising wittiness. --Stephanie Zvirin

Review

Praise for A Spider in the Cup

"Intricate and intimate, Cleverly’s series melds the whodunit with the political thriller. “A Spider in the Cup” burnishes her bona fides as she once again pulls off a chilling and charming story with an engaging hero, a dose of leavening wit and a keen sense of history."
Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Secret societies, economic and political power plays, and assassins on the loose share space in...[an] involving tale, marked by historical, cultural, and literary references, stiff-upper-lip dialogue, and occasionally surprising wittiness." 
—Booklist

"A dangerous game set against a roiling historical backdrop."
—Bookpage

"Cleverly writes extremely well of the era that she is evoking.... [A Spider in the Cup] explores economic and political tensions of the times."
—Deadly Pleasures

"[A] suspenseful and intricate tale of honor and betrayal." 
—Suspense Magazine

A Spider in the Cup is an intriguing mix of history and murder mystery.... Another solid entry in this series, one definitely worth seeking out.”
—Mysterious Reviews

“Cleverly's strength is in her ability to pick readers up and place them in a different time and place through vivid descriptions of everything from the scenery to the sounds and aromas of the place.... The author pulls in readers [with] her marvelously colorful characters.”
—Reviewing the Evidence

Praise for Barbara Cleverly

"Spellbinding."
New York Times Book Review

"Cleverly's crisp prose and solid cast of supporting characters ... make the book a delight to read."
Denver Post

"Stylish and intricate.... Cleverly has perfect pitch for period and place, whether her hero is unearthing evil in India, England or France."
Richmond Times-Dispatch

"A great blood and guts blockbuster."
Guardian

"The appearance of a Joe Sandilands book is always welcomed by fans of this intelligent and gripping series."
—San Jose Mercury

More About the Author

Barbara Cleverly is a former teacher and a graduate of Durham University who now lives in Cambridge. Her debut, The Last Kashmiri Rose, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2002.

Customer Reviews

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See all 31 customer reviews
Great story & interesting characters.
V. Buckler
I have enjoyed Cleverly's whole series of Sandiland's books and look forward eagerly to the next one.
Judith Lawson
It's like the plot made leaps that the reader was not led up to.
Rachel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: On a neglected reach of the Thames, a woman stood counting the chimes ringing out from Chelsea Old Church behind her.

The body of a young woman buried in the banks of the Thames is discovered. What attracted the dowsing rods this amateur group member's attention, was the priceless gold coin in her mouth. That she is also missing a toe sends the case to the desk of Assistant Commissioner Joe Sandilands. Sandilands, however, is also task with protecting an important US Senator who is in London for an historic global economic conference. Senator Cornelius Kingstone's own bodyguard from the F.B.I., used to report to Sandilands in the British Army. Protecting Kingstone, Joe learns there is much, much more at risk than one Senator's life.

It is always painful to write a negative review for a book by an author whose previous works one has loved. Sadly, there is just no way around it, in this case.

Ms. Cleverly has such a wonderful ability to paint verbal pictures. "The amber glow of the gas mantles was beginning to fade to lemon as a brightening sky quenched them, offering her sensitive eyes a symphony in grey and gold worthy of Whistler." I did, however, have a problem remembering when, exactly, the book is set. Although there is substantial, and interesting, historic information included, if your knowledge of the pre-WWII era isn't strong, it's not easy to grasp.

The characters are interesting and introduced very well although I was sorry to see those at the beginning of the story disappear so quickly, particularly Hermione Herbert, the head of the dowsers. She was smart, self-assured, quick-witted and observant. Another delightful character was Joe's sister, Lydia, who was bright, capable and definitely not a wimp.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EmmaZ on September 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I like most of the Joe Sandiland's series, this one I found hard to get into and too convoluted overall.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shy guy G on August 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I know other reviewers loved this book, but I just couldn't warm to it. Too much speech making passing for conversation--no one actually talks that way. The plot twists were sudden and unbelievable and too numerous to keep track of. Some of it was fun, but much was not. I don't want to give away spoilers, so I will merely say there was a lot of cliches masquerading as a novel and I really am considering not continuing with this series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mike b on October 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
poorly written dialoge by someone with a tin ear for nuances. americans dont say "hots up", nor would any american ever say "themes lighterman". dont think i can bear to keep reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WallKrawler on October 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read all the Joe Sandilands mysteries, as well as the Leatitia Talbot ones, and have found them to be generally entertaining, with a few that were wonderful (The Last Kashmiri Rose, Tug of War). But this must be the first book I have ever given up on within 20 pages from the end. I know that heroes of light suspense books are allowed to have an infinite cast of clever/stalwart/ingenious connections, and I can overlook the fluctuating personalities and sudden new abilities of the characters (I even got past the last novel's awkward culmination of a predictable, but still somewhat disturbing, "romance"). But the endless tedious dialogue towards some vague political plot just finally became too much to wade through. I kept hoping my interest would be sparked by more insight into that volatile period leading up to World War II, but all the intrigue and possible leads and double-crossing just didn't add up to a interesting story. Here's hoping her next book gives us the well-plotted twists and compelling stories she's offered in the past.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PhilCave on February 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can't resist it. The books are well and cleverly written. Great character, great story lines, Good period pieces. Keep writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There's usually nothing I like more than curling up with a new Joe Sandilands mystery, but in recent years, Barbara Cleverly's detective has been on something of a decline. Of the last four books, Strange Images of Death and Not My Blood have been good, Folly du Jour and The Blood Royal have been disappointments, and nothing has yet measured up to her first novels (generally the ones set in India and the Middle East).

Still, a mediocre Sandilands mystery is better than none, and "A Spider in the Cup" opens with a team of amateur dowsers combing the banks of the Thames in search of metals. What they find is the body of a beautiful young woman with what appears to be a priceless gold coin in her mouth. The case is brought to the attention of the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, our protagonist Joe Sandilands, but he's currently trying to deal with another high-profile assignment.

As Hitler rises to power in Germany, London hosts a historical economic conference to try and solve the global Depression, knowing that political tensions are running high. Sandilands' job is to protect the visiting American senator Cornelius Kingstone, who has the ear of the American President Roosevelt and is therefore a target of blackmail and assassination by various other factions.
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