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Rules of Engagement (Sir John Fielding #11)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  448 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
The suicide of a lord happens at the same time a hypnotism specialist arrives in London--a man patronized by the lord's beautiful wife. It's a coincidence the blind Sir John Fielding can't fail to notice.
ebook, 288 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published March 3rd 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lana Glover
Jul 25, 2013 Lana Glover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so sad this series is over. I'm going to miss all of the characters.
Brett Thomasson
Sir John Fielding was a real person, the man who created the first London police force in 1750 with his brother Henry. Although blind, he served as magistrate in London after his brother's death and continued to develop some of the methods modern police forces still use, such as keeping files of criminal records.

Journalist Bruce Alexander Cook, writing as Bruce Alexander, began a series of mysteries featuring the "Blind Beak of Bow Street" and the young orphan he begins to train as an investigat
Feb 23, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the 11th and final installment in the Sir John Fielding series, the author sadly passed away in 2005. Sir John Fielding was a real-life historical figure in late 18th Century London, a blind magistrate who founded the Bow Street Runners, London’s first organized police force, and makes for an extraordinary protagonist in this author’s hands.

The books are “written” by the fictional character, Jeremy Proctor, a young man who was adopted by Fielding as a boy and an orphan - and among other
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (Amateur Sleuth-London-1700s) – VG
Alexander, Bruce – 11th, and final, book
Putnam, 2005- Hardcover
Sir John Fielding and Jeremy Procter look into the sudden death of Lord Lammermoor, a member of the House of Lords. Lammermoor was walking across Westminster Bridge when he suddenly goes to the edge, and throws himself over in an apparent suicide. Or is it? Questions arise and the pair is interested to learn that Lady Lammermoor is a patron of Dr. Goldworthy, a practitioner of ani
Michael Mallory
Bruce Alexander (aka Bruce Cook)'s Sir John Fielding mystery series was marvelous while it lasted. "Rules of Engagement" is the final entry in the series, completed from notes after Alexander's death. That shows, too. It's not bad, by any means, but the point of demarcation when a new author takes over is pretty clear. The plot has a British lord dying in mysterious fashion--leaping off a bridge into the Thames after a display of bizarre gesticulations, and dying because he can't swim--and the s ...more
Sep 26, 2007 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the final Sir John Fielding historical mystery in which the subject of hypnotism and "Mesmerism" is investigated as a means to murder, when a member of Parliament jumps from Westminster Bridge into the Thames in front of a dozen witnesses, one of them being Annie Oakum, former cook of the Fielding household. It was obvious that the man jumped himself--no one pushed him--and it was known that he could not swim, but why would he jump?

The mystery itself wasn't much of a mystery in this one
Sherrill Watson
Jul 31, 2015 Sherrill Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering this was written after the author's death, by his widow and John Shannon, I could have given it five stars but for the predictability.

Sir John, the Blind Beak of Bow Street, in 1775, is visited by the Lord Chief Justice, with an unexplained suicide -- or death. Jeremy, Sir John's young, somewhat rash amanuensis, is a privy to all the information. And he is in love with Clarissa -- that's sweet but inconsequential.

It was NOT clear to me that Sir John was blind until about halfway thru
May 04, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so sad that this was the last book in the series, but it was a fitting conclusion to a terrific set of books. Alexander had such a fine way of incorporating research seamlessly into his novels. They have a strong 18th century flavor, meshing accurate period detail with a terrific story. A rare gift.

This one centers on a crackling mystery, with Jeremy & Clarissa's engagement and adulthood as "background." Throughout this series, it's been fascinating to watch these two characters grow up.
Jan 05, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the final installment in the Sir John Fielding novel series. Though the author, Bruce Alexander, had passed away prior to its publication, I was pleased that his wife took it upon herself to flush out the novel so that it could be published. I have to say that this is one of the best in the series and I appreciated that we could wind up the story of Jeremy Proctor and Clarissa Roundtree as well as their time with the Fieldings. I almost wish that we could have more time with these charac ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Tiger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad to realize this is the eleventh and final book in the series. In his final case, blind London judge Sir John Fielding, and his trusted sidekick Jeremy Proctor, investigate the supposed suicide of the Fielding's old friend, Lord Francis Lammermoor.
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 previo
After Bruce Alexander's untimely death, his wife and author John Shannon finished getting this book, which was virtually complete, ready for publication. Their additions to the text are generally in parentheses. It is a worthy successor to all the other books in the series, but, very sadly, it is the last. We will never know more of the adventures of the humane blind magistrate and his young assistant Jeremy, now grown to manhood at least by 18th century standards.
Aug 10, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful finish! Sorry to see the tale end. "Filled with Alexander's richly textured depictions of eighteenth-century London, and with a vibrant cast of characters as vivid and sharp-witted as a Hogarth sketch, Rules of Engagement is a brilliant conclusion to a splendid series!" Alexander died in 2003, he had completed most of this book. His wife Judith, and author John Shannon completed the novel.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
I never loved this historical mystery series, but I did like it. In this, the final volume due to the author's death, the book was completed by other hands--and it shows. The ending becomes quite slap dash with trying to crowd in everyone of importance who's shown up in the series and, of all things, a "wagon" chase. It's the 1760s so we can't have a car chase.

Some people seem to think this was a satisfying conclusion to the series, but I just found it sad and second-rate.
Nov 10, 2008 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really liked this one - unfortunately the last one, but ended the series on a good note. i would have loved to see what happened after jeremy was married and how he continued to mature and grow in his learning of the law. it was also 1775 at the end and it would have been interesting to see how things changed after 1776 - a big year, politically.
In what has been a very consistent 4 star series for me I think this last book was the least successful of them all.

I felt that it tried too hard to be dramatic and it ended up coming across as over the top.

The characters are still wonderful, the setting stellar and the writing great but I think the story suffered a little.
Jun 17, 2008 Jacqueline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, own, 2007
extra 1/2 star.

Last in the series. Probably not as good as the rest of the series due to the fact that the author died before finishing and left notes for another author to complete the novel. You can sort of tell where things start to feel different.

I started to read this book and then I misplaced it for about half a year. Turns out that it fell in between the sofa cushions.
The suicide of a lord happens at the same time a hypnotism specialist arrives in London--a man patronized by the lord's beautiful wife. It's a coincidence the blind Sir John Fielding can't fail to notice. Older language might put some off, and some of the plot was pretty predictable, but a good clean listen nonetheless.
Dennis Fischman
I know I have read something else in this series, and enjoyed it more. The characters are lightly sketched in, depending on the reader to be familiar with them already. The narrator is like Watson to the detective's Holmes, only not as consistent a voice. The series is probably worthwhile for fans of Sherlock Holmes-style mysteries, but start at the beginning.
Oct 13, 2015 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly, the author passed away before this book was finished. Another author finished it and you can tell where the new author takes over. I am so sorry to say goodbye to these wonderful characters. A must read if you've read the earlier books.
Jun 26, 2009 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe a 3.5. This is the last of the series, and I am sad to see it end. This last one was completed and published after Alexander died--thus the 3.5. But still worth reading to finish out the series.
Linda Puente
Sep 08, 2013 Linda Puente rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great series. Not only were the mysteries entertaining, but they were historically
accurate and made that period of British history come alive. I'm saddened that through Alexander's death the series has ended.
S Dizzy
Oct 06, 2013 S Dizzy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story started out ok, but got worse as it went along. Like many of the other reviews, it shows that Mr. Alexander did NOT finish this story. I threw this book in the garbage...shows how disappointing it was.
Nov 28, 2011 Guna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Another Sir John Fielding mystery - Jeremy is older now, and is confronted with a series of bizarre deaths in London. Mesmer's new theory of 'animal magnetism' and hypnotism are discussed here, and have something to do with the mystery.
May 02, 2013 Serena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
While this book did have a few redeeming qualities, due to a lack of editorial contribution I would not recommend.

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Beth Britnell
No where near as good as the others in the series.
RS Fuster
Apr 06, 2010 RS Fuster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed every book of the Sir John Fielding series". There an other book about Sir Fielding and the The Bank Street Runners that I've been seeking but haven't found yet.
Jul 27, 2012 Eldra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this to all my AP students because it would give them practice in 18-19th century prose. It's an interesting story and the details are interesting.
Unfortunately the story wasn't very engaging.
Feb 22, 2010 Lu marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: london, mystery
London Mystery; Westminster bridge
Jul 29, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See my review of the initial novel in the series, Blind Justice.
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Pseudonym of American journalist and author Bruce Cook.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Bruce Alexander Cook (1932–2003) was an American journalist and author who wrote under the pseudonym Bruce Alexander, creating historical novels about a blind 18th century Englishman and also a 20th century Mexican-American detective.
More about Bruce Alexander...

Other Books in the Series

Sir John Fielding (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Blind Justice (Sir John Fielding, #1)
  • Murder in Grub Street (Sir John Fielding, #2)
  • Watery Grave (Sir John Fielding, #3)
  • Person or Persons Unknown (Sir John Fielding, #4)
  • Jack, Knave and Fool (Sir John Fielding, #5)
  • Death of a Colonial (Sir John Fielding, #6)
  • The Color of Death (Sir John Fielding, #7)
  • Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding, #8)
  • An Experiment In Treason (Sir John Fielding, #9)
  • The Price of Murder (Sir John Fielding, Book 10)

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