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Blind Justice (Sir John Fielding #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,765 Ratings  ·  199 Reviews
Now in trade paperback, the very first John Fielding historical mystery.

Falsely charged of theft in 1768 London, thirteen-year-old orphaned printer's apprentice Jeremy Proctor finds his only hope in the legendary Sir John Fielding. Fielding, founder of the Bow Street Runners police force, then recruits young Jeremy in his mission to fight London's most wicked crimes.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Berkley (first published September 15th 1994)
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Mar 21, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised at this one--usually an era I'm not interested in. This was the first volume in an enjoyable mystery series, with Sir John Fielding, 18th century blind magistrate and founder of the Bow Street Runners, and his "helper", 13-year-old Jeremy Proctor, who narrates the cases. This is a classic "locked room" mystery, with the revelation of the villain revealed in Sir John's gathering all the suspects together in the same room.

Lord Goodhope commits suicide, but Jeremy's noti
Mar 02, 2010 kaoyler rated it liked it
I would really give this book 3.5 stars. It was an intriguing mystery told from the viewpoint of a character recounting his experience with a blind magistrate, Sir John Fielding. Historically, Fielding is one of the men who started the Bow Street Runners and was the half-brother of Henry Fielding, novelist. At the start Jeremy Proctor, the narrator, is 13 and just come to London after the loss of both parents. He is brought before Sir John on false charges of theft, which Sir John recognizes and ...more
Blind Justice(Hist-Jeremy/John Fielding-London-Georgian) - VG
Alexander, Bruce - 1st in series
Putnam, 2005, US Hardcover

I am fascinated by books about the Bow Street Runners and early police procedures in England. Alexander has clearly done his research as his book is rich with detail of life in Georgian England. His characters are wonderful and Jeremy very well drawn. I shall definitely be reading more of this series.
Brandy Painter
Oct 21, 2010 Brandy Painter rated it really liked it
Sir John Fielding was the half brother of British novelist, Henry Fielding. Together they started the first London police force known as the Bow Street Runners. After Henry's death, John took over as the Bow Street Magistrate. His ability to discern truth and learn the facts of crimes was extraordinary given that he was blinded in an accident in the Navy when he was 19. Bruce Alexander wrote 11 fiction novels in which the historical figure of Sir John is the protagonist. Blind Justice is the fir ...more
May 24, 2013 Carl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I missed Bruce Alexander's mystery series first time around, a friend of mine highly recommended it (Thanks Mary!). I was not disappointed; it is certainly one of the better historical mystery series I have read in the past 20 years. The series depicts London of the 1700s in a descriptive manner reminiscent of Dickens; the strong descriptive writing giving us the sights and sounds of 1700 London: the thieves, pickpockets, outdoor markets, the street walkers, people from various classes, ...more
Dec 02, 2014 Keri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I breezed through this book - in the good way. The characters were that compelling and that life-like that I thought I was reading a true story, rather than a novel based on a historical figure.

Jeremy Proctor finds himself in the care of Sir John Fielding, a blind magistrate who started the Bow Street Runners with his half-brother. During his stay, he becomes involved in the investigation of Lord Goodhope's murder, and his contributions prove to shine a whole new light on the case.

As a narrator
Aug 20, 2012 Sherry rated it really liked it
This was a great read. Set in the 1700s based around John Fielding, blind magistrate, who makes up for his handicap with his keen other senses and brilliant deduction. The narrator is 13 year old Jeremy Proctor recently orphaned when his father dies in the stocks. Jeremy comes before the magistrate accused of a crime he does not commit. Fielding "sees through" the con of Jeremy's accusers. Fielding sets him free and sets out to find him an apprenticeship in the printing trade, a trade taught to ...more
The first book in a historical crime series set in 1768 London featuring Sir John Fielding, a blind magistrate and founder of the Bow Street Runners police force. The narrator is Jeremy Proctor, 13 years old when the story starts and recent orphaned. Jeremy runs to London, where he is quickly tricked and accused of theft by a con artist. He ends up in front of Sir John, who easily figures the truth of the matter and then takes Jeremy under his wing. Jeremy ends up assisting him when Sir John inv ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing
My daughter and I have read all of the Sir John Fielding novels and were heartbroken when we heard that Bruce Alexander had died. Read all of them, in order, and you will be so happy.
Another series of books that are somewhat similar are the Sebastian St. Cyr novels by C.S. Harris. Again, a series that needs to be read in order.
Still yet another series that you will enjoy of this type are the Lady Julia Grey books (Silent as the Grave) etc. by Deanna Raybourn are fabulous.
Whew! all of these won
Now this book, which is the first one in "Sir John Fielding" series, was worth my time, truly! I enjoyed the main mysterious murder, immensely! I liked the writing style, and how the main mystery developed. Great work by Bruce Alexander.
Jun 01, 2016 Bonnieb rated it really liked it
Interesting, engaging historical fiction set in 1768 in London that makes a fun summer read. In this first of a series of Sir John Fielding mysteries, Alexander deftly handles the situating of a locked room mystery in London of the 1760s. When Lord Goodhope is found dead in his study, Sir John Fielding, Magistrate, is called to investigate. Jeremy Proctor, a young 13 year old, new to London and scammed into a situation that brings him before Fielding’s court, joins the blind justice as the story ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Trina rated it it was amazing
Wow, this whole series of historical mysteries is just fantastic. I have a soft spot for the first one, in which 13-year-old Jeremy is brought before the bench for alleged theft to be tried by magistrate, Sir John Fielding (brother of Henry Fielding, the novelist). Known as the Blind Beak, the judge takes in young Jeremy as his eyes as they solve the first of many hard cases in 1700s London. Outstanding, a cut above the usual genre.
Blaine DeSantis
Aug 12, 2015 Blaine DeSantis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good first entry in the Sir John Fielding Mystery Series. Based on the Historical figure who began the forerunner of the London police department, this series alleges to follow some of the trials of this blind London Magistrate. It is a very interesting premise, and this first book sets up Sir John as a kindly, beloved and yet authoritative figure, one who takes the narrator of the series into his home after he was falsely accused of theft. Set in the mid-1700's this is a fascinating peri ...more
Pamela B
Feb 09, 2013 Pamela B rated it liked it
This is the first book in a charming historical mystery series of a young man's adventures in helping the blind magistrate Sir John Fielding solve murder mysteries. Sir John Fielding was the brother of the writer Henry Fielding, and London is indeed a colorful character in the books. There's a gentleness in the relationship between Sir John and his charge that is quite appealing.
Mar 20, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
It's been awhile since I started a new mystery series and was so impressed with it that as soon as I put the book down I ordered the next from the library. Great characters. Great story. Surprising mystery. Justice served.
Jul 11, 2015 Chrisl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite enjoyed setting and cast. Couldn't sustain interest with series after first few.
Feb 15, 2016 pearl_seeker rated it really liked it
It's definitely been years since I've enjoyed a book so much! Set in 18th Century London, the book has a decidedly Dickensian feel (orphan boy arrives in London from the countryside), but without the grimness of a Dickensian tale. This orphan has the good fortune to meet with Sir John Fielding, magistrate and founder (along with his half-brother, author Henry Fielding of 'Tom Jones' fame) of the FIRST London police force, the Bow Street Runners.

The mystery is predictable, but the sights, the so
This story falls more on the Agatha Christie side than Jack the Ripper dark Victorian of other stories. The story centers on John Fielding, a court magistrate in London during the 1750's. What makes this story the most fascinating is that John Fielding was a real person. He and his brother, Henry Fielding founded the Bow Street Runners, London's first organized police force. Perhaps the most notable feature of the Judge, beside being honest, is the fact that he is blind. While the storyline itse ...more
Diana Sandberg
Jun 21, 2009 Diana Sandberg rated it really liked it
Well, really quite good, though there were a very few peculiarities. Alexander (this is a pen name, but I can't remember his real one) writes of the later 18th century in the style of the period. At the very beginning I felt it sounded a bit forced, but either he got better or I got used to it. He did drop a few clinkers, I thought, though it's always possible he knows the period better than I - he once used "I" where "me" is correct (something along the lines of "for [Someone] and I"), which *m ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The main character is a 13-yr-old boy, who by a combination of bad luck and then good luck finds himself in the care of Sir John Fielding, one of the founders of London's famed Bow Street Runners. The story is "narrated" by the main character as an adult, purportedly describing his memories of his time with Fielding, and I thought the author did a really skillful job at balancing the boy's somewhat naive understanding of the events unfolding around him with the older ...more
Mar 13, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
This is the first of a series of mysteries, and the first one I’ve read by this pseudonymous writer, “a well-known author of fiction and non-fiction.” Blind Sir John Fielding is a magistrate in the London courts, half-brother to the writer Henry Fielding, and evidently a real person. Jeremy Proctor, a 13-year-old boy orphan, newly arrived in London, is falsely accused of stealing, brought to Fielding’s court and acquitted of the charge against him. When Fielding discovers that Jeremy has no plac ...more
Deborah Palmer
Apr 29, 2012 Deborah Palmer rated it it was amazing
I find relaxation and pleasure in the book Blind Justice (The First Sir John Fielding Mystery). I had read this series many years ago and am once again finding enjoyment enjoying the adventures of blind magistrate Sir John Fielding, the founder of the Bow Street Runners, and his young charge Jeremy Proctor.

The book is written as a memoir to Sir John Fielding by the adult Jeremy Proctor. The author Bruce Alexander takes the reader on a fascinating journey of this true historical character and 18t
Dec 19, 2011 Wilf rated it really liked it
The foundation of this book is a traditional whodunit, incorporating two cliches beloved of the genre - a murder victim found in a room with all the doors locked, and a Poirot style denouement with all the suspects gathered together in the library. Like most whodunits, the plot doesn't stand up to much scrutiny in the cold light of day; nor in fact does the exposure of the main culprit come as too much of a surprise. So, with a tired and over-worked formula you might think this book hasn't much ...more
Monique Bos
Mar 30, 2010 Monique Bos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a delightful opening to a series that I hope will come back into print in its entirety.

Orphan Jeremy Proctor no sooner finds himself in London than he is brought before blind magistrate Sir John Fielding--brother of the late novelist Henry--on trumped-up theft charges. Fortunately, Fielding is a particularly astute reader of character, and he sees through the farce. He takes Jeremy under his wing, planning to find him an apprenticeship, but before that can happen he is pulled into a cas
John Lee
Jan 06, 2012 John Lee rated it really liked it
My introduction to historical mystery novels came several years ago through the novels of Deryn Lake. Her central character was someone who came before The Blind Beak, was acqitted, and then became one of his collegues. When I stumbled across this series by Bruce Alexander featuring Sir John Fielding, I just had to try it and it was as if I already knew the stars of the story.
This is a most enjoyable read with a decent main plot, well drawn characters and an interesting sub story about the life
Denise Kettering
Oct 20, 2011 Denise Kettering rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This first book in the Sir John Fielding mystery series introduces a variety of interesting characters. I look forward to reading more books in this series. In "Blind Justice" the reader meets Jeremy Proctor, a 13-year-old boy who finds himself alone after his father is pelted to death for printing some potentially questionable material. Jeremy finds himself in London and almost immediately is accused of stealing. He appears before Sir John Fielding at the Bow Street Court, who although blind is ...more
Barbara Gordon
Jun 11, 2012 Barbara Gordon rated it liked it
Good fun and a quick read. The period setting was nicely handled, and young Jeremy isn't terribly irritating. There's some sententiousness, as his older self--the narrator--points out his younger self's failings, but that does fit with the time and tone. Two usages made me blink a bit. Lady Goodhope speaks of a footman who "turned up missing", a jokey phrasing I'd place at not earlier than the 1920s, just off the top of my head. Sir John Fielding warns Jeremy of becoming "disorientated" in the c ...more
Mark Bruce
Jul 02, 2007 Mark Bruce rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers
The first in a series of excellent mysteries set in late 18th Century London, featuring Sir John Fielding, the brother of Tom Fielding (who wrote "Tom Jones.") Sir John is a magistrate in Uxbridge court, which at that time meant that he ruled the streets in matters of crime and debt. He was also blind, which he remedied by a keen mind.

In the first book we meet the narrator, Jeremy, who is brought before the Magistrate on false charges. Evidently, back then, if one brought in a criminal, one was
Jerry Landis
Apr 23, 2016 Jerry Landis rated it it was amazing
I love when a historical fiction is based enough in reality that it inspires me to look up the characters and situations of that time. This book does exactly that. Sir John Fielding, although I never heard of him before reading this book, is truly one of the most fascinating characters in English history. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end, and immediately ordered the rest in the series.
Jun 16, 2014 Betsy rated it really liked it
Fun mystery set in the late 1700s in London. I thought the author did a great job really setting the scene and the mystery was intriguing without being too predictable. Some felt the turn of the century London language was wordy and cumbersome but I felt it just added to the feel of the book. This one is the first in a series and it would be fun to read more.
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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)
  • 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)
  • Rules of Engagement (Sir John Fielding, #11)

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