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Off the water that separates England from France, near the seaside town of Deal, the practice of "owling," a local term for the illegal cargo trade, thrives on the moonlit beaches. Blind judge Sir John Fielding and his young protege Jeremy Proctor have been sent to Deal to question the town magistrate, accused of complicity in the smuggling. — But just as their investigati Off the water that separates England from France, near the seaside town of Deal, the practice of "owling," a local term for the illegal cargo trade, thrives on the moonlit beaches. Blind judge Sir John Fielding and his young protege Jeremy Proctor have been sent to Deal to question the town magistrate, accused of complicity in the smuggling. — But just as their investigation begins, the smugglers turn murderous, dispatching esteemed members of the local gentry. Sir John believes that he and Jeremy are facing some very powerful enemies who not only control Smuggler's Beach, but the law as well...


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Off the water that separates England from France, near the seaside town of Deal, the practice of "owling," a local term for the illegal cargo trade, thrives on the moonlit beaches. Blind judge Sir John Fielding and his young protege Jeremy Proctor have been sent to Deal to question the town magistrate, accused of complicity in the smuggling. — But just as their investigati Off the water that separates England from France, near the seaside town of Deal, the practice of "owling," a local term for the illegal cargo trade, thrives on the moonlit beaches. Blind judge Sir John Fielding and his young protege Jeremy Proctor have been sent to Deal to question the town magistrate, accused of complicity in the smuggling. — But just as their investigation begins, the smugglers turn murderous, dispatching esteemed members of the local gentry. Sir John believes that he and Jeremy are facing some very powerful enemies who not only control Smuggler's Beach, but the law as well...

30 review for Smuggler's Moon

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stacie Haden

    Another excellent addition to the series! England 1772

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mary JL

    This is an excellent historical mystery. Sir John Fielding is shown through the eyes of his young assistant, the narrator, Jeremy. The story is exciting in it self--not a huge amount of fast action or swashbuckling sword fights. Rather, is is a suspenseful unraveling carefully clue to clue to bring murderers to justice. I particularly liked the way Sir John fielding ws portrayed. In much fiction that I have read, blind people are either superhuman with no faults--or dolts. Sir John has enought hu This is an excellent historical mystery. Sir John Fielding is shown through the eyes of his young assistant, the narrator, Jeremy. The story is exciting in it self--not a huge amount of fast action or swashbuckling sword fights. Rather, is is a suspenseful unraveling carefully clue to clue to bring murderers to justice. I particularly liked the way Sir John fielding ws portrayed. In much fiction that I have read, blind people are either superhuman with no faults--or dolts. Sir John has enought human failings to be short empered with Jeremy and display other weaknesses. Yet he has a clever mind--when Jeremy and the other constables does the physical work and bring Sir John information and clues, he sits behind the scenes like a master chessplayer, plotting his next move againts the smugglers and the murderers. Btw, if you want to check google, Sir John Fielding is based on an actual historical figure. Know as "The Blind Beak of the Magistrates court", the real Sir John could remember many witnesses by their voice alone and was a skilled interrogator. If you like a good puzzle mystery with well developed characters, an interesting plot, and good historical details, this mystery should be to your liking. Recommended for fans of mysteries; fans of straight history or historical fiction would also enjoy this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bonnieb

    While 8th in the series of Sir John Fielding mysteries, this is the 3rd I have read. I always appreciate Alexander’s story-telling even when little suspense exists...as in this one. Alexander is a good teller of tales... of the times, the city, the geography, and the mystery. This time Sir John, as magistrate, is given a special assignment in the countryside; more death and mayhem occurred in this novel than previous ones. Jeremy, his young charge, is 17 in 1772, and is now studying law under th While 8th in the series of Sir John Fielding mysteries, this is the 3rd I have read. I always appreciate Alexander’s story-telling even when little suspense exists...as in this one. Alexander is a good teller of tales... of the times, the city, the geography, and the mystery. This time Sir John, as magistrate, is given a special assignment in the countryside; more death and mayhem occurred in this novel than previous ones. Jeremy, his young charge, is 17 in 1772, and is now studying law under the magistrate while also serving as his personal attendant. Clarissa, another young charge, has joined the household and the story, adding a Nancy Drew element it seems. Good story telling; not great mystery, but always fun historical fiction.

  4. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    SMUGGLER’S MOON - VG Alexander, Bruce – 8th in series Sir John Fielding, a blind, 18th-century London judge, and his orphan accomplice, Jeremy, visit the smuggler's haven of Deal in order to check on a supposedly crooked magistrate. The pair find murder and more in this latest edition to a very good series. While the mystery was not overly complicated, I so love the characters, sense of time and place and almost gentle style of the author, I know I can always turn to this series for a reliably goo SMUGGLER’S MOON - VG Alexander, Bruce – 8th in series Sir John Fielding, a blind, 18th-century London judge, and his orphan accomplice, Jeremy, visit the smuggler's haven of Deal in order to check on a supposedly crooked magistrate. The pair find murder and more in this latest edition to a very good series. While the mystery was not overly complicated, I so love the characters, sense of time and place and almost gentle style of the author, I know I can always turn to this series for a reliably good book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    CindySlowReader#MaskItOrCasket

    Can't finish, not interesting enough, no rating.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Taylor

    This was a pleasant read, continuing the story of Jeremy Proctor's growth and education in law while serving a Sir John Fielding's assistant. The mystery its self was not particularly challenging, and the bad guy was painfully obvious, but the characters are engaging and it is rewarding to read how Jeremy and Clarissa's relationship is changing over time as they age.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul Weiss

    A somewhat predictable but thoroughly entertaining period mystery "Smuggler's Moon", Bruce Alexander's eighth novel in the highly acclaimed Sir John Fielding series, is neither the cozy, lightweight mystery (à la Agatha Christie or Susan Wittig-Albert) nor the historical thriller that many readers might expect. It might more accurately be categorized as an atmospheric and compelling investigation set within a graphic description of 18th century Georgian England. Jeremy Proctor, the 17 year old or A somewhat predictable but thoroughly entertaining period mystery "Smuggler's Moon", Bruce Alexander's eighth novel in the highly acclaimed Sir John Fielding series, is neither the cozy, lightweight mystery (à la Agatha Christie or Susan Wittig-Albert) nor the historical thriller that many readers might expect. It might more accurately be categorized as an atmospheric and compelling investigation set within a graphic description of 18th century Georgian England. Jeremy Proctor, the 17 year old orphan learning the law from Bow Street magistrate, Sir John Fielding, narrates the story of an investigation of smuggling and murder along the Kentish coast. "Smuggler's Moon", as its predecessors in the acclaimed series did before it, will treat its readers to extraordinary characterization and atmospheric embellishment that brings people, time and place to life with a sparkling vitality and a sense of realism that can hardly be rivaled. Jeremy's character is further developed as, like so many teenaged boys maturing into manhood, he is disturbed by the first stirrings of romantic interest in his housemate, Clarissa Roundtree, an orphan like himself who was welcomed into the Fielding household as Lady Fielding's assistant. I've said it before in other reviews of the series but it bears repeating. While each novel in the series can be read as a stand-alone mystery, maximum enjoyment will be the reward for the reader who takes the time to go back to the beginning and read the entire series in order. There is definitely a background story line to all of the characters, their development, their personal growth and their outlook on the world around them. Characters from previous novels pop in and out of the story and it definitely adds a layered dimension of enjoyment to each subsequent novel to know who they are and where they came from. A highly recommended novel in a terrific ongoing series. Paul Weiss

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    Packed with rich historical detail, “Smuggler's Moon” is the 8th in the series of Sir John Felding historical mysteries. Bruce Alexander has given readers on of the best historical mysteries; his research is excellent providing the reader with strong local color, well developed colorful characters, and gripping plot lines. The protagonist is a blind 18th century London magistrate Sir John Fielding, who is based on a real historical character, while the story is told through the eyes of his young Packed with rich historical detail, “Smuggler's Moon” is the 8th in the series of Sir John Felding historical mysteries. Bruce Alexander has given readers on of the best historical mysteries; his research is excellent providing the reader with strong local color, well developed colorful characters, and gripping plot lines. The protagonist is a blind 18th century London magistrate Sir John Fielding, who is based on a real historical character, while the story is told through the eyes of his young orphaned assistant, the narrator, Jeremy. These primary characters are dynamic and thus grow and change as the series continues ~ especially young Jeremy – so to fully appreciate the series, do try to read them in order. From the title “Smuggler's Moon,” the plot obviously deals with smuggling in and around the near-by seaside town of Deal. They travel there to investigate a suspect magistrate just as the smugglers turn murderous. What Sir John and Jeremy find in Deal is dangerous and alarming. I love Alexander’s story-telling even when little suspense exists. Set in the era of Johnson and Boswell, this is one of the best historical fiction series that I have read. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a well carefully crafted historical mystery, and, as mentioned before, I would recommend beginning with the first book to fully appreciate character development.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Tican

    Kent... about 35 miles across the Narrow Sea or the English Channel from France and one of the foremost landing sites for smuggling the most coveted (specially by the rich and titled) luxury items from the continent. Sir John and Jeremy were tasked by Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice, to look into the derogatory reports regarding the Magistrate of Deal in Kent whom Lord Mansfield himself appointed. Clarissa also went with her menfolk to Kent in the absence of Lady Fielding. The rivalry bet Kent... about 35 miles across the Narrow Sea or the English Channel from France and one of the foremost landing sites for smuggling the most coveted (specially by the rich and titled) luxury items from the continent. Sir John and Jeremy were tasked by Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice, to look into the derogatory reports regarding the Magistrate of Deal in Kent whom Lord Mansfield himself appointed. Clarissa also went with her menfolk to Kent in the absence of Lady Fielding. The rivalry between the smuggling gangs resulted in murder and armed confrontations between the forces of Law and the smugglers. A good and exciting adventure plus a solution to the more mundane problem of a Cook if only to avoid frequent belching, passing wind and diarrhea... Time alone will tell if Clarissa would ever turn out to be as good a cook as she was as Lady Fielding's secretary. But rhetorically, as there was already a new cook... would there be a need to learn...? Apropos was the unexpected and sudden love~after~the~firing~of~cannon~balls between Jack Bilbo (once~upon~a~time privateer) and the defeated lady captain of a French smuggling vessel married to an English peer owning maybe more than half of Deal. Lots of conundrums and complications ahead...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liz V.

    Once again, the Lord Chief Justice has asked Magistrate Sir John Fielding to look into a complaint about another magistrate, this time in the town of Deal, notorious for smuggling. Accompanied by wards Clarissa and Jeremy and a Bow Street Runner, Fielding sets out to determine whether his fellow magistrate is corrupt, incompetent or maligned. This is a series best read in order and not as I am doing--backtracking to read books I've missed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Shin

    A trip to Deal to mediate in a dispute between local landowner and the local magistrate leads to a small war, a naval encounter and discovery of the head of the smuggling operation. This series is very satisfying

  12. 4 out of 5

    JB

    Great series and this one is no exception - good story, well written.

  13. 4 out of 5

    pearl_seeker

    Another excellent addition to the Sir John Fielding series. Lots of action in this book - murder, smuggling, cannons, a sword fight - the most swashbuckling adventure yet for our heroes!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    as usual, i liked this next installment. it wasn't my favorite, but was good. it doesn't seem that anything has really progressed with jeremy, though he is starting to notice girls a bit more - maybe clarissa and he will have a relationship in the future? he is still 17. sir john's family gets another new member - at least for the time being ( who know?). it was an interesting picture of corruption in government, and the way that personal feelings are in play for even the most trusted of officia as usual, i liked this next installment. it wasn't my favorite, but was good. it doesn't seem that anything has really progressed with jeremy, though he is starting to notice girls a bit more - maybe clarissa and he will have a relationship in the future? he is still 17. sir john's family gets another new member - at least for the time being ( who know?). it was an interesting picture of corruption in government, and the way that personal feelings are in play for even the most trusted of officials.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Bruce Alexander's Sir John Series are wonderful. Smuggler's Moon richly describes London (and beyond) in 1772. Protagonist Jeremy Proctor deftly describes the atmosphere and Times. Alexander smoothly writes in Jeremy Proctor's voice in a way you would think they spoke back then. These books are a delight. I am going to be saddened when I finish the series. Bruce Alexander's Sir John Series are wonderful. Smuggler's Moon richly describes London (and beyond) in 1772. Protagonist Jeremy Proctor deftly describes the atmosphere and Times. Alexander smoothly writes in Jeremy Proctor's voice in a way you would think they spoke back then. These books are a delight. I am going to be saddened when I finish the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I love the Sir John Fielding Mystery series, and Smuggler's Moon is a particularly good one. Sir John's young assistant and protégé, Jeremy Proctor, is sent to a small sea side town that is mysteriously wealthy to find out who has been smuggling goods onto its beaches. Murder ensues and Sir John must take over the investigation, despite being blind. Delightful characters abound and eighteenth century life, for the rich and poor, comes to life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Niffer

    I felt like this John Fielding mystery started out a little slow. There were a lot of pieces that needed to be put in place before the action could really start. This also felt very much like a transitional story--the author seems to be setting things up for some big changes in the future. Overall, though, it was enjoyable with plenty of action.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    Gentle mystery featuring blind judge who solves the mystery. Even though the writing was well-composed, the story left me flat. Not a good fit for me. I can appreciate the appeal the novel may have for others, though.

  19. 5 out of 5

    KA

    My favorite of this series so far. It's full of excitement (mingled with sadness, though), and Jeremy gets a very active role, with Clarissa also playing a bigger role than previously. These books would make great television.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meggie

    The main storyline in this book was fast paced and predictable. But even so, I enjoyed listening to an audio formatted version of this story. Jeremy and Sir John gave their best, to solve the mystery, and at the end won. Anyway, good work!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Bell

    I love this series. Simple, fun, entertaining, interesting characters. Sure, not book club discussion material, but that's okay. Reading for pleasure is as much fun as reading for literary brilliance. I say, "Go for it."

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

    I've read several of Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding series and they have all been good so far. If you enjoy historical mysteries, you'll enjoy these books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elsi

    I received this book in a swap. Since I enjoyed reading it, I've now bought the first book in the series to catch up on all the characters.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    See my review of the initial novel in the series, Blind Justice.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    Sir John Fielding and his "posse" challenge smugglers operating in the waters off the coast of England in this eighth book in a fine, entertaining and educational series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Another great one in this series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    could not put this down. If you like mysteries and old england you'll love this

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Enjoyable to read, as always. The criminal was completely obvious in this one, but the writing and the sense of time and place are so strong that I really didn't care.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    Love this series! What can I say? They just get beter and better.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rusty

    Set in the 18th century; earnest; obvious plot; pretentious.

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