London, Cyrus Barker Is Brought Into A Game Of International Espionage By The Prime Minister Himself In The Newest Mystery In Will Thomas S Beloved Series Private Enquiry Agents Cyrus Barker And Thomas Llewelyn Receive In The Mail An Unexplained Key Stamped With The Letter Q Barker, Recognizing It For What It Is, Uses The Key To Unlock An Anonymous Door In The Alleyway, Which Opens To An Underground Tunnel Leading To Downing Street The Prime Minister Has A Small Task For Cyrus Barker A Foreign Office Agent Stole A Satchel In Eastern Europe, But Was Then Himself Murdered At Charing Cross The Satchel Contains A Document Desperately Wanted By The German Government, But While The Agent Was Killed, The Satchel Remains In English Hands With A Cold War Brewing Between England And Germany, It S In England S Interest To Return The Document Contained In The Satchel To Its Original Owners And Keep It Out Of German Hands The Document Is An Unnamed First Century Gospel The Original Owner Is The Vatican And The German Government Isn T The Only Group Trying To Get Possession Of It With Secret Societies, Government Assassins, Political Groups, And Shadowy Figures Of All Sorts Doing Everything They Can Attacks, Murders, Counter Attacks, And Even Massive Street Battles To Acquire The Satchel And Its Contents, This Small Task Might Be Beyond Even The Prodigious Talents Of Cyrus Barker This is my first read of what is the 11th in the Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn series by Will Thomas set in the Victorian era in 1892 and it works reasonably fine as a standalone Cyrus and the much younger Thomas are enquiry agents, detectives that handle a wide range of cases, much to the displeasure of the London Police Commissioner, James Munro A high ranking Foreign Office agent operating in Eastern Europe, Hillary Drummond, arrives in London having stolen a religious relic in a satchel, apparently the ancient remnants of a gospel, belonging to the German Government Drummond is murdered but the satchel ends up in the hands of the British government Cyrus and Thomas are summoned by Salisbury, the Prime Minister, keen to avoid further exacerbating fraught relations with a Germany wanting to expand their influence and power He wants the enquiry agents to travel to Calais and deliver the satchel to a Monsignor Bello, a Vatican representative, which Cyrus agrees to do for no payment, considering it his patriotic duty.Thomas is now a fully fledged partner in the business, but his and the irascible Cyrus s relationship is an unequal affair, he has been an assistant for so long, it is clear that it is Cyrus that is in charge His relationship has similar echoes to that of Watson with Sherlock Holmes, with a narrative that is delivered from Thomas s perspective Thomas is now married to Rebecca, a Jewish woman, who is being shunned by her family and community for getting wed to a non Jew This is a story of government intrigue, including the likes of Hesketh Pierce from the Home Office, the Foreign Office and Scotland Yard To complicate matters further, there are a diverse range of characters, all desperate to get their hands on the gospel and they are willing to do whatever it takes, including murder The enquiry agents find themselved surrounded by danger from numerous quarters, such as a group of blue uniformed young men from Europe, an Austrian antiquities broker, Count Valentine von Arnstein, related to the Kaiser, American evangelist, Daniel Cochran, and the extreme collector, Peter Naughton, Lord Grayle, and others.The author evokes an atmospheric picture of the Victorian period and the city of London, with rich descriptions that highlight the class distinctions, attitudes to women, and the proliferation of extreme poverty There is, as there is today, widespread anti immigrant and refugee feelings, and with the character of Daniel Cochran, the pushing of the offensive ideology of eugenics and racial superiority of this time This is an entertaining historical mystery, with a great range of characters that grabbed my interest This is likely to appeal to those who love their historical fiction, particularly that set in the Victorian period Many thanks to St Martin s Press for an ARC. The Vatican desires it, the Germans need it, secret societies will kill for it the British PM..well, he just wants it gone What are they squabbling over A little scrap of paper covered with faded words Hardly impressive until it s identified as a previously unknown first century gospel The year is 1892 there are whispers of growing xenophobia in Germany The new government craves international respect owning the new gospel will get the world s attention But before they can put it on display, it s stolen by a British spook who hightails it for London Unfortunately he barely has time to set foot on English soil before he s murdered quite um thoroughly But he did have time to stash away a satchel which will soon become the hottest item in the country The PM is well aware of his country s cooling relationship with Germany To him, the gospel is little than a political hot potato he decides to hand it over to the Vatican let them deal with it The problem is different factions are keeping an eye on his agents, just waiting for their chance What he needs is someone unknown to them who can deliver the gospel into the right hands Hmmm who ya gonna call Private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker takes a summons from the PM s office in stride but partner Thomas Llewelyn is less sanguine So he s relieved when they re told it s a simple job Deliver one satchel to waiting Vatican officials What could possibly go wrong Ah me, where to begin.Mysterious men in blue uniforms, snake oil preachers, masked assassins, a Hapsburg heir.it seems everyone their Aunt Martha comes out of the woodwork to foil their plans But if you re a fan of the series, you know Barker always has a few dozen aces up his sleeve Luckily we get to go along for the ride as he Thomas risk their hides in another clever, twisty adventure.As usual Thomas is our narrator he tells the story in a pacy, descriptive style injected with dry humour Victorian London provides an atmospheric backdrop I enjoyed catching up with the regular cast Thomas finally married Rebecca she has a larger role in this outing Unfortunately not everyone in the Jewish community is happy with her choice She s basically been shunned there s a certain irony in how she Thomas are treated in light of Germany s emerging persecution of Jews.Real life events are mixed into the story people are blissfully unaware that it s the beginning of tensions that will lead to the Great War Barker is recovering from injuries he incurred in the last book but is otherwise on top of his game He s as devious enigmatic as ever, much to Thomas frustration Just wait til you find out how he delivered the gospel Genius.It s a smart, well plotted mystery full of colourful characters that add so much to the narrative Their personal relationships situations have evolved over the series there are changes in store These books are on my annual read list I ll be waiting on the next one Kudos to those responsible for another gorgeous cover. In this book, Cyrus Barker and his newly minted partner Thomas Llewelyn are tasked by the Prime Minister with the delivery of a religious relic One courier has already been murdered and the enquiry agents find themselves followed, and sometimes attacked by CID men, Home Office Gents, members of a German fencing club, a German Agent and at least one suspect This was a relatively entertaining entry in the series It will work as a standalone, but the first few books in the series were better so I would suggest starting there I preferred Barker in the beginning of the series when he was dispatching villains with the sharpened coins that he keeps in his pockets I enjoy the relationship between the protagonists and the period details in the books, so I will continue to read the series I ve rounded my rating of 3.5 stars up to 4 I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 60 Second Words on Words video review at A work of historical fiction can fall on many points in a spectrum When it encompasses many aspects of the chosen era, readers are in for a treat Lethal Pursuit by Will Thomas certainly succeeded in wrapping me in the sights and sounds of late nineteenth century London.This book was my introduction to private enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn, and my only dismay was that I had missed the first eleven books While Lethal Pursuit may refer to events or characters from previous books, the references are slight and the story can definitely stand on its own.THE PLOT is interesting although similar to others a religious item is found which may have great impact on the world thus, many people from different factions want to take possession of it It is the mystery that drives the story, and as facts are revealed the reader is confronted with multiple solutions While there are no incredible twists, the solutions presented are clever and satisfying.THE CHARACTERS demonstrate distinct personalities Barker has many similarities to Sherlock Holmes though not enough to cause alarm, and Llewelyn is a total opposite to Dr Watson In fact, I enjoyed his sassy and in your face nature that emerges whenever necessary Minor characters, depending upon their importance to the story, receive what I thought to be the proper amount of attention Descriptions of bit players like Soho Vic are definitely entertaining.THE DIALOGUE AND PROSE help to set the scenes, and I have to confess that I made use of Wikipedia to look up some of the terms that are no longer in use or were only employed in England Mr Thomas never slipped, and the atmosphere of 1892 was always consistent.PACING in the first two thirds of the book seemed to bog down at times, mostly when some of the description appeared to be unnecessary and only served to slow the plot However, the last third of the book flew by as the author brought all the strings together and raced to an exciting climax Overall, the book is so well written that it is easy to forgive a few slow passages Highly recommended for those who like their mysteries wrapped in historical fiction Five stars.My thanks to NetGalley and St Martin s Press for an advance electronic copy of this book. After injuries to Barker in the last book, we find him still in the healing stages with a leg brace By the end of this book he is ready to remove it Llewelyn and his bride have happily adjusted to living in Barker s house after the renovations allowing them their own space on the fist floor.A new set of problems brought to these inquiry agents result from a manuscript thought to be another gospel that has been stolen and is in high demand The interested parties include the German government, a Count from Austria and the Vatican The Prime Minister asks Barker Llewelyn to act as couriers to deliver the treasure to a representative from the Vatican There is nothing straightforward about this assignment, of course Most of the time Llewelyn is kept in the dark as to what is really going on as Barker keeps his plans to himself.We are treated to secret societies, a revival meeting, sword fights with young German followers and political bickering between agencies and individuals This is yet again a very satisfying episode in the Barker Llewelyn Victorian London series Net Galley advanced copy Thank you Enthralling fast paced read London 1892, a man is stabbed to death just near Whitehall Various packs of mysterious young men dressed uniformly in blue coats and caps with swords have been seen Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn are led via a convoluted route to visit the Prime Minister As part of that journey involves tunnels, Thomas is not enad Down the rabbit hole, he jokes, but it appears he has a fear of enclosed spaces and is not so sanguine about this part of things.The mysterious man was a Foreign Office Agent Barker and Llewelyn are not to look into his death but are to deliver a package and it s mysterious contents to France And even here Barker is very careful about the phrasing of his agreement In the words of a well loved Bard and a famous sleuth, The game is afoot Barker s nemesis, Commissioner James Munro of the London Metropolitan Police, comes into play with a large amount of acrimony and petty antics on Munro s part Of course in the end that particular bird comes home to roost, but not after some high jinks and awkward moments for the government.But Munro s just one of many interested in Barker and Llewelyn s movements The list includes the German government, various branches of the British government talk about loose lips sink ships , powerful and wealthy pundits, the Vatican and various other political and religious groups Oh, and to cap it all off, the Knight Templars I was fascinated by the dissertation on fencing and sword play, including Mensurites, apparently, a style of fencing in Eastern Europe, taught mostly in universities and schools Also known as academic fencing And yes, this becomes another important tidbit This was my first Barker and Llewelyn encounter, and although a reading of previous novels would be an asset, I didn t find my lack of knowledge of their history in any deterred from my reading enjoyment, which I d first put at a four star rating but on reflection have decided to five star it Although I must say this later novel has spurred me on to investigate their past.A St Martins Press ARC via NetGalley 3.5 I received a copy of Lethal Pursuit from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review The Barker Llewelyn series, set in Victorian London, has been on my radar for some time but I ve never gotten around to reading it Lethal Pursuit is the eleventh entry in the series and, when I saw it on Netgalley, I decided it was as good a time as any to dive in Starting so late didn t affect my understanding of the main characters or their relationship, but I think starting at the beginning would give depth to these characters and reveal how they have evolved Cyrus Barker and, his young partner, Thomas Llewelyn, are private enquiry agents Llewelyn has progressed from lowly assistant to partner since he was first hired by Barker, though sometimes you wouldn t know it by the way Barker treats him In Lethal Pursuit, Barker and Llewelyn are hired by the Prime Minister to deliver a satchel containing an unnamed first century gospel to its rightful owners the Vatican There are several players interested in getting their hands on the gospel, including the German government, and the chase for the satchel has already resulted in the murder of a Foreign Office agent Tensions between Germany and England are growing and the PM wants the satchel and its contents out of England and into the hands of the Vatican Barker and Llewelyn s new case will throw a lot in their path, from danger to secret societies, that will aim to keep them from fulfilling their mission Lethal Pursuit is well written and loaded with historical details I really like Thomas Llewelyn and am glad the book is told from his first person point of view He is amusing and relatable with a dash of charm Two things keep me from rating this higher One, in places, it is very slow and rather dull I found myself doing a bit of skimming The other reason is Barker and the way he constantly keeps Llewelyn in the dark It happens throughout the book I don t know if this is always the case in this series but it is irritating Barker obviously cares about Llewelyn, yet he tends to treat him like a child and keep things from him Some of this is most likely plot device to keep readers in the dark as Llewelyn is a first person narrator and is our eyes and ears but it is annoying nonetheless.Even with those faults, I d like to go back and start this series from the beginning to find out how these two main characters have developed personally and in their relationship with each other. Series Barker Llewelyn 11Publication Date 11 12 19Number of Pages 320Enigmatic Cyrus Barker and novice Thomas Llewelyn are partners in the most loved, hated, respected, disreputable enquiry agency in London The description all depends on who you ask Cyrus Barker doesn t suffer fools gladly and those who try to manipulate him soon come to understand that when it comes to wily, smooth and sly manipulators, Barker is king Barker is always three steps ahead in any situation it is too bad that he doesn t always share those steps with poor Llewelyn who always seems to be trying to catch up with his mentor.It seems that Barker and Llewelyn are on everybody s bad list in this fast paced tale of spies, theft, and murder They are called to the Prime Minister s office and given a simple task to deliver a package to Calais However, as they talk, Barker quickly realizes that it isn t the simple task the Prime Minister would have him believe it to be Being Barker, and not appreciating being dictated to, he manipulates the Prime Minister into saying that Barker could use his own judgment in the delivery Prior to Barker and Llewelyn getting the package to deliver, an agent of the Home Office was murdered on his way to deliver the package to the English government Barker decides to also solve that murder since he s working for nothing anyway, why not give the government their money s worth.There are many plots and villains afoot in this story and you ll have to pay attention to figure out who is who With all of the murder attempts and the shenanigans of the leader of Scotland Yard and a successful murder, you ll be in a whirl parsing out the facts and clues.I always love it when the bad buys get their just desserts and this one surely did but not before poor Llewelyn was AGAIN injured Seems the poor man stays injured from one book to the next.This was an enjoyable read and I hope you enjoy it as well I do have to say that Barker has never really won my favor I keep trying to like him and I don t hate him I just tire of his arrogance and how he treats Llewelyn Barker has Sherlock Holmes like brilliance and deductive abilities that I have to admire but I m just not fond of his treatment of poor often hapless Llewelyn.I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book All thoughts and opinions are my own. Always a five star read for me, I have read and enjoyed every book in this delightful series Thomas never lets me down humor, action, great characters, satisfying mysteries sometimes I find myself asking, Why did they or What about , but I always end up having an enjoyable reading experience, like when I first read the Amelia Peabody mysteries years ago, which is about the highest praise I can give This one starts off with a bang in 1892 London, as a Foreign Office agent carrying a precious unnamed first century gospel is murdered soon after getting off the train at Charing Cross A Cold War is heating up between Britain and Germany, and the Germans want the manuscript the Prime Minister himself, in a scene worthy of a James Bond movie, brings Barker Llewelyn to Downing Street and asks them to get the manuscript safely to the Vatican.Full of intrigue and geopolitical machinations, this one also gives longtime fans a glimpse of Thomas and Rebecca as newlyweds, now living at Barker s house with Cyrus, Mac and Harm I wasn t sure how Thomas would pull it off, a longtime series sometimes loses something with major life events like marriages This was handled very well, though, and I think Rebecca will add a delightful touch and helpful point of view to the Barker household and future cases not just be pushed into the background, fixing meals and waiting for her husband to come home she s already befriended temperamental French chef Etienne and Harm, the tough and persnickety Pekingese Barker brought back from China every inch a royal dog and he knows it AND earned Barker s respect, no easy taskGreat fun, I can t wait for the next adventure I received a free electronic copy of this British PI novel from Netgalley, Will Thomas, and Minotaur Books Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work I am than pleased to recommend Lethal Pursuit to friends and family It is a historical British spy and PI tale to keep you guessing Will Thomas is a spymaster to keep you coming back for Lethal Pursuit is the 11th novel written by Thomas that showcases curmudgeon Cyrus Barker newlywedded Thomas Llewelyn Our story begins on the tenth of January, 1892, in the London high streets Within ten or fifteen pages and 50 feet of the offices of Barker Llewelyn, we have experienced the death of 34 year old British spy Hillary Drummond, though he had cached the secret artifact in his keeping at the Charing Cross Station , and another ten or twelve pages bring our protagonists B L into the picture, they discover a hidden passage leading directly to the office of the Prime Minister, and they are assigned a case for the government to transfer said unnamed artifact into the hands of the Catholic Church in Calais The historical picture of London, the travel experiences, the clothing, the politics are all true to history, and the energy level stays high The Back and forth between Barker and Llewelyn reminds me fondly of that between Nero Wolfe and Archie pub date Nov 12, 2019rec Sept 22, 2019St Martin s PressReviewed on Nov 15, 2019 on Goodreads, Netgalley, , BarnesNoble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay.