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Watery Grave (Sir John Fielding #3)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  589 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In the case of a grisly murder on one of His Majesty's frigates, the blind magistrate Sir John Fielding and his aide Jeremy Proctor discover that some secrets are better left at the bottom of a Watery Grave.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Berkley (first published September 24th 1996)
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The blind Sir John Fielding has his assistant young Jeremy Protor to assist him in his investigations into various crimes and in this, the third novel in the Fielding series, he is asked to investigate the death of a ship's captain while on the high seas.

The captain was constantly ill, and regularly drinking and was therefore confined to his cabin. Another member of the crew took on the role of acting captain and it was he who made the accusation that another crew member had pushed the captain o
Beware of uber-spoilers about the ending:

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I'm a big fan of Sir John Fielding. He's a man after my own heart. I love his righteousness, integrity, keen intelligence and sense of humour. And I love Jeremy Proctor, Jimmy Bunkins and Black Jack Bilbo as well as Mr. Bailey and his colleagues, Lady Fielding or Annie. In other words, those characters are so vivid, so friendly, the stories are so enthralling and well written, I can't wait to read their following adventures. After reading the first three novels, I can't tell which one I prefer, ...more
“Watery Grave” is certainly one of the better historical mystery series I have read in the past 20 years. (Thanks Mary!) “Murder in Grub Street,” the second of the Sir John Fielding mysteries, was named by The New York Times Book Review as one of the Notable Books of 1995 in crime fiction. Now in “Watery Grave,” Sir John Fielding returns in one of his most perplexing cases yet, both for Fielding and the reader. Another intriguing aspect of Bruce Alexander’s historical series is that his main cha ...more
Brandy Painter
From a review originally posted here.

Watery Grave takes a place a little over a year after Murder ends. Jeremy is now a settled member of the Fielding home. Sir John has remarried and the new Lady Fielding is welcoming home her son, Tom, who has been aboard ship in the Navy for the past three years. The ship he crews has come into port with a scandal and an old Admiral friend of Sir John's asks him to help in the investigation. The Captain of the ship went overboard during a storm and the First
Bruce Alexander (like Elliot Roosevelt and Stephanie Barron) takes his detective from real life. This time, it is Sir John Fielding, the famous London Magistrate known as the "Blind Beak." His Watson is Jeremy Proctor, a young orphan Sir John has taken under his wing.

In Watery Grave, the third of the series, Sir John is approached by his old friend Sir Robert Redmond, currently Lord High Admiral of the British Royal Navy. His nephew, John Landon is an officer on the HMS Adventure and has been ac
Paula Dembeck
This is the third book in the Sir John Fielding series.
It is about a year since the events of the last book, Murder on Grub Street. Jeremy Proctor is now 14 years old and settled in the home of Sir John who is married to the second Lady Fielding. Tom Durham, Lady Fielding's son has arrived after spending two years at sea aboard Her Majesty’s frigate the Adventure and is heartily welcomed home. But when the crew arrives in Tower Wharf we learn there is a senior officer who has been accused of mur
Again a new author for me. Sir John Fielding is the Magistrate of the Bow Street Court in London of the 1700s and having been blinded while serving in the Navy is assisted by a young boy of 14. Jeremy is Sir Johns legs and eyes and general help around the court and living quarters which are attached. Sir John is called by an old friend in the Navy who has been put in charge of the court marshal of a Lieutenant from a Man-o-war currently at anchor of Tower Hill. When Sir Joseph hears the charges ...more
Did he fall or was he pushed? From the deck of the H. M. S. Adventure in a heavy storm in 1769, that is. Sir John Fielding’s interest in this case began when the ship returned to London carrying Sir John’s stepson, Tom Durham, a crew member. The unfortunate death was that of the captain of the ship which occurred earlier in the voyage, but Lt. Landon wasn’t charged with the crime until the ship returned to London. Fielding a blind magistrate, is asked by Admiral Robert Redmond to help with the c ...more
John Lee
The third in the series that I have read and more of Sir John's life story is revealed- his 2nd marriage which was just mentioned in the previous book and also the cause of his blindness.
The main story (pardon the pun) centres around a death on board a Navy ship and although I thoughtthat the story got a little bogged down somewhere near the middle, it finished as quite a page turner.
I have said before that I have read another series of books about Sir John Fieldings court and in Watery Grave th
This was only the third part in Sir John Fielding series and so far it was a delight, especially this part, which was truly tragic at the end, an innocent had to die, horrible. But I least John Fielding dealt with the killer appropriately, he got the same fate, death by hanging.
This is especially well written series in my humble opinion, each mysterious case is special, unique in it's own way, and really pulling.
I'm definitely looking forward for more!!
Denise Kettering
Sir John Fielding and his young helper Jeremy Proctor return in the third installment of the Sir John Fielding mystery series. The story unravels at a pace that is easy to follow, but keeps the reader on her toes as she follows the plot through its many twists and turns. The historical details are very accurate and realistic throughout this series, a trend that continues in this book. In this book, Sir John and Jeremy set out to solve a mystery that occurred on the HMS Adventure, where Sir John' ...more
Another EPIC book -- a really nice surprise! Well researched, nice Victorian setting and a great mystery to boot! Well, I say mystery. There was never any doubt as to who the culprit was, only what would happen to the accused -- and that was a surprise, although one that was believably so. The story was more about the personalities and the intricacies of Victorian law. The down side of Victorian life was painted over a bit, but it was acknowledged and there, much more than say, The Death Collect ...more
Well that ending just sucked. After that I don't know if I will read anymore of these books.
Though this is the third in the series it is the first Sir John Fielding mysteries I have read. I plan to read others. The style of writing matches the time frame and setting - eighteenth century London and takes a little getting used to. Once into it however, it flows smoothly. I don't know about the others but this one is written from the point of view of Sir John's ward, Jeremy. Apparently early tomes tell the story of how he became Sir John's ward. Sir John is a blind magistrate in London wh ...more
Kristy Maitz
Great story plot.

Murder happens on a ship where captain of the ship dies.
best in the series so far. i like the way jeremy is maturing and relationships are evolving.this was a good story. alexander is good at matching up details and not leaving things hanging. he doesn't come up with some odd thing at the end that doesn't relate to anything else.he reminds us of previous history without going into too many old details, and his characters keep unfolding . he's just good at storytelling and this time, he showed that a good story doesn't require a neat and tidy ending. ...more
The strength of this series is its strong sense of time and place.
This is a very enjoyable mystery series based on the London magistrate who established the first metropolitan police force in the City-the Bow Street Runners. The author writes in a style evocative of the period, and the main characters are interesting and likable. This wasn't my favorite in the series so far, but it did present an unusual portrait of the Navy's twisted code of ethics at the time (hopefully evolved, though I'm not convinced it has changed enough). If you are looking for somethin ...more
Michell Karnes
Another great mystery by Alexander. I love the characters, the language and the story.
Watery Grave - VG
Bruce Alexander - 3rd in series
A naval lieutenant is charged with the murder of his captain and Sir John Fielding is invited to intervene by his old friend Admiral Robert Redmond. Of course, the matter isn't anywhere near as cut and dried as the navy would have everyone believe and Sir John eventually uncovers sinister happening on board His Majesty's Ship Adventure.

An example of when preserving an image is more important than justice
Pamela B
Another worthy entry in this series starring Sir John Fielding, the blind and wise 18th century magistrate and his very young, penniless assistant. This is my third read of this series, and each time I start slow and am not sure I'm into it. But I keep reading, and about half way I'm totally enjoying it. I like London history, so that increases my interest. I think these books read better with time between each book, but each one brings enjoyment.
Brent is ahead of me in this series. He liked this one better than the first two. Guess I better get it read.

I think that Bruce Alexander's story telling gets better as his series goes along. I did like this book. And even though it was fairly obvious from the beginning who the real culprit was, it was fun to watch as "Sir John" unraveled and trapped him. Great series!
When it comes to institutions that have caused a lot of grief, the British Navy is up there with the Vatican in terms of corruption, arrogance, and placing itself above the law, and certainly above any individual. I am impressed with what Alexander does NOT say; he clearly has a lot of faith in his readers, which I appreciate in a mystery writer.

The last paragraph is devastating.
The actual murder itself wasn't that interesting. What's excellent about this series is the writing and the accurate depiction of 18th century life and speech.
I'm really fond of this series. The characters are growing and becoming even more human with each book, as if we've met (despite the difference of 2 1/2 centuries and their fictionality). The texture of the 18th century is so compelling, and the plot is believable and intriguing. On to book 4.
Highly recommended.
Not my style. Written in a period voice. (Not an English major. Not sure that's the correct term.). Also talks to "the reader" occasionally. Another technique I am not fond of. Finally, in an early chapter there was "a myriad of reasons". That's simply bad grammar and editing which I am unable to ignore.
Sandy Bell
The Sir John Fielding Mysteries are superb historical fiction. I love being transported to 1760's London. His artful writing creates lovable, colorful characters. The simplicity of his story leads me to a 4 star instead of a 5. Yet, I'm not saying that is a problem because I have fun - from start to finish.
Second in Alexander's Sir John Fielding series. In this book, young Jeremy Proctor helps Sir John investigate an accusation of shipboard murder, hindered by the Royal Navy. Justice is both done and not done in this excellent story. 18th century London is well portrayed.
Margaret Sankey
Blind judge Sir John Fielding and his Bow Street runners are called in to sort out crimes on a naval warship which has put into London, revealing all sorts of nefarious doings in His Majesty's Fleet.
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watery gray 1 9 Nov 04, 2011 07:05PM  
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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...
Blind Justice (Sir John Fielding, #1) Murder in Grub Street (Sir John Fielding, #2) Person or Persons Unknown (Sir John Fielding, #4) Jack, Knave and Fool (Sir John Fielding, #5) Death of a Colonial (Sir John Fielding, #6)

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