Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Thief Taker

I'm currently reading THE THIEF TAKER by Janet Gleeson and, man, does it fit the theme of this blog!

The POV character is Agnes, the cook in a rich and respected silversmith family household in the 1700s. One of the apprentices is found dead and the valuable commission he was guarding is gone. The same night, the kitchen maid disappears. We're with the thief, so we know the boy was dead when he got there. We're with the kitchen maid as she leaves the house, so we know she didn't kill the boy and that she's being followed.

Agnes is sent to commission The Thief Taker, a sort of private detective before there was a police force--before there were The Bow Street Runners--to find the stolen silver. If he catches the apprentice's murderer, as well, that's okay, but the commission is to recover the silver.

The Thief Taker has the reputation of being no better than the criminals he catches; indeed, he's rumored to engineer crimes in order to drum up business for himself.

That's as far as I've read, and you better believe this is one book I'm not going to put down in the middle of a sentence, as I do more often than I care to tell you. "You know what? I don't really care if anybody in this book lives or dies," I say, and that's the end for that book. But I cared about these characters from the first paragraph, and my little brain is working all the time I'm reading it, trying to get all Mentalist with the characters and try to figure out what they're thinking, what they know, what they did, what they're lying about, what they'll do next.

Plus, Gleeson never forgets that Agnes is a cook. You could probably cook from the descriptions Gleeson gives of Agnes' activities, though boiled calf head or soup made from pounded crawfish shells are probably not going to be on my menu any time soon.

MA

1 comment:

Dana Fredsti said...

This sounds like lots of fun!