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Fatal Enquiry (Barker & Llewelyn #6)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  783 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Brimming with wit, atmosphere, and unforgettable characters, FATAL ENQUIRY reintroduces private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn, and their unforgettable world of Victorian London.

Some years ago, Cyrus Barker matched wits with Sebastian Nightwine, an aristocrat and sociopath, and in exposing his evil, sent Nightwine fleeing to hide from justic
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

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Dan Schwent
Feb 16, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
When his arch-nemesis Sebastian Nightwine returns to town, detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewellyn are on guard. But why does Nightwine have diplomatic immunity and protection from Scotland Yard? Can Barker and Llewellyn find out what Nightwine is up to without winding up in jail?

I got this from Netgalley and the fine folks at St. Martin's.

This is the sixth Barker and Llewellyn book but, as the blurb on Netgalley promised, serves to reintroduce the pair to new readers and does
May 20, 2014 Ed rated it it was amazing
Will Thomas is back with my favorite 1880's London detectives(Enquiry Agents),Cyrus Barker and his partner and narrator, Welshman Thomas Llewellyn after a 6 year absence. The first 5 books in this exceptionally entertaining crime fiction series were very good, especially "Some Danger Involved", the first book in the series that introduces these wonderfully complex characters with imaginatively captivating back stories. "Fatal Enquiry" is absolutely the best book in the series and well worth the ...more
May 16, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barker's life-long enemy has arrived in London and has plans to destroy Barker while enriching himself unless Barker and Llewelyn can stop him.

I have enjoyed every book in this series to date. The novels are well written and display a tremendous amount of research on the author's part to maintain a certain level of historical accuracy. Thomas has created a interesting enquiry agent and surrounded him with an equally interesting cast of support characters.


A. Lieberson
Jul 21, 2014 A. Lieberson rated it it was amazing
Will Thomas has written another great Barker and Llewelyn novel. This time we learn more about Barker's life in China but as Barker is forced into hiding, Llewelyn carries the plot. As usual excellent writing, great characters and well thought out plot.
Laura Lee
Jun 07, 2014 Laura Lee rated it liked it
Closer to 31/2 stars. Another good book in the series.
First Sentence: It is a truth universally acknowledged, at least among private enquiry agents, that the most momentous of cases, the real corkers, begin on the blandest, most ordinary of days.

Cyrus Barker has a long history with Sebastian Nightwine going all the way back to their years in China. Was Nightwine responsible for the death of Barker’s brother? Yet now, years later, not only is Nightwine coming to London, he has received immunity from the British government and is about to do a major
Susan in NC
Sep 27, 2014 Susan in NC rated it really liked it
Master criminal and aristocratic sociopath Sebastian Nightwine, returning to London in a blaze of glory as a guest of the British government, has convinced the powers that be to bankroll an invasion of Tibet with him in charge - and plans to destroy his nemesis Cyrus Barker while he's in town. This exciting adventure also gives us longtime fans of this wonderful series a great deal of long-anticipated background and insight into mysterious enquiry agent Barker; Thomas Llewelyn, his young ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, victorian, mystery
A detective story set in Victorian London, Fatal Enquiry takes it's readers on an adventure through the underbelly of London's streets. Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewellyn, run an enquiry service to help people who Scotland Yard has been unable to help. Barker finds out that his arch nemesis Sebastian Nightwine is back in London. Nightwine could only have devious intentions in mind. Barker and Llewellyn must use all of their talents to stop Nightwine from completing his plans. I ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Viccy rated it really liked it
The best part of a Barker and Llewelyn novel is the sense of time and place. These books are firmly set in Victorian London and these men are products of their time. Thomas Llewelyn is a failed scholar, once imprisoned for stealing and Cyrus Barker is a private enquiry agent with a mysterious past in the exotic Far East. Sebastian Nightwine, Barker's mortal enemy, appears in London, under the protection of the Crown. Barker is frustrated by Nightwine's ability to pull the wool over everyone's ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Laura rated it liked it
There is definite humor here, with Llewelyn acting like an early version of Archie Goodwin. Barker is no Nero Wolf, on the other hand, nor is he particularly Holmesian. It may be this particular book, but there's little detection and more running around, more fighting and more talking about Barker's past interactions with Nightwine than I'd hoped for. It didn't really feel like a historical mystery (a la Anne Perry's Pitt mysteries) but more like a modern one shoehorned into the Victorian era.
Jun 21, 2014 Quillracer rated it it was amazing
Thomas delivers another stellar entry in this terrific series.

This time Barker and Llewellyn face off against a nemesis from Barker’s past in Asia – a man who has vowed to destroy all Barker holds dear before killing him.

The moment I brought this book into the house, my wife, who is not a mystery lover, was drooling for a chance to read it and urged me to finish it so she could have it. That says all that needs to be said about this series.
Will Thomas delivers again in this ripping good adventure set in turn-of-the-century London. The story is told through the eyes of the young Welshman Thomas Llewelyn, assistant to enquiry agent Cyrus Barker. The story, set in 1880's London, rings with action and atmosphere all the way through. I'm told that the historical details are very well researched.
Feb 11, 2016 Simona rated it liked it
While it was nice to know more about Barker's past, I found this one a bit too farfetched . Less well built and plausible. That's why it's the first 3 stars book in this series, for me.
Dec 01, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-or-borrowed
I had lost track of this series after reading the first five, not knowing that there were more, until Goodreads invited me to enter a contest for book #8 (which I won!), so I have to catch up. I borrowed this from my wonderful mother-in-law who introduced me to the series. I love, love, love these books. The characters are so colorful and descriptive and wonderfully flawed and imperfect. The historical backdrop with the author works so hard to weave his stories into (even going so far as to ...more
Roger Taylor
Nov 16, 2016 Roger Taylor rated it really liked it
Mysteries set in Victorian England are very enjoyable and this is one of the best. Well written, it involves several very interesting characters that will keep you interested until the last page.
Nov 13, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
Another excellent selection in this series.
Feb 13, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
This is the long awaited follow up to 2008's "The Black Hand" featuring enquiry agent Cyrus Barker & his trusty sidekick Thomas Llewelyn. All the books are set in victorian London, a bustling progressive city where the class system is being slowly eroded by the rise of industry & a growing presence of labour unions.
Like the others, this story is told by Thomas who has been with Barker for about two years now. He's a Welshman whose past is riddled with poverty & tragedy, making him ap
Christina Sampson
*** This review, which does not re-tell the story or have spoilers, can be found on my blog "The Body on the Floor" at . If you enjoy historical mystery series, than it's the blog for you. ***

A Fatal Enquiry, Will Thomas' first entry into the Barker and Llewelyn series after a multi-year hiatus, is at once a relief and a disappointment.

First, the good: Llewleyn returns in fine form, his narrative voice as clear as ever and, though a bit wizened from several years of working
Jun 14, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: blog-review, arc
Will Thomas’ FATAL ENQUIRY is the sixth book in his Baker and Llewlyn series. If you haven’t read any of the books in the series, it’s not necessary to do so in order to enjoy FATAL ENQUIRY. Thomas does a good job minimizing history from other books and at no point do you feel lost reading a book in an already established series.

We have good character development. Cyrus Baker is a gentleman enquiry agent and he’s a bit quirky. We don’t get to fully know him, but it’s easy to see that he’s not an
Andrew Rogers
Oct 08, 2014 Andrew Rogers rated it really liked it
Although I've been a fan of Will Thomas' from the first time I picked up the initial Barker and Llewelyn novel in 2006 (shortly after I met Thomas and his family, entirely by coincidence, in a London pub; in the interests of disclosure I'll say I haven't been in contact with him since), I hadn't realized quite how much I'd missed the pair until the second or third chapter of "Fatal Enquiry." After that, I pretty much read straight through to the end with minimal interruptions. Readers who've ...more
Sep 27, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful story by Will Thomas! This time it's the story involving Jack the Ripper, although I don't know how historically accurate it is, since I'm not very knowledgeable about the story. But the book is very interesting and enjoyable, nevertheless.
The Bookend Family
Jun 20, 2014 The Bookend Family rated it really liked it
I imagine that somewhere out there is a reader who is thinking that if I say one more thing about Sherlock Homes he (or she) is going to stuff a sock down my throat...but...

Fatal Inquiry by Will Thomas begs to be compared to the work of Arthur Conan Doyle. It is the story of an Inquiry Agent, much like a private detective with some important differences, named Cyrus Barker, and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, a young Welshman. It is set in Victorian London. Barker is idiosyncratic character, if
Judy Lesley
Feb 23, 2014 Judy Lesley rated it really liked it
This sixth entry in the Victorian historical mystery series featuring Thomas Llewelyn and Cyrus Barker brings an adversary back from a previous novel, namely Sebastian Nightwine, a villain in every sense of the word. There is a lot of history between Barker and Nightwine and a visit from Scotland Yard’s Inspector Terence Poole provides a warning that Barker is to stay away from the docks when the steamer bringing Nightwine back to England arrives. Surely Poole must have known that information ...more
Linda Baker
Some years ago I read the first Barker and Llewellyn mystery, Some Danger Involved, and had every intention of following the series but somehow lost track of it. I guess that is the result of having a TBR pile of monumental proportions! When Fatal Enquiry popped up on netgalley I remembered how much I enjoyed it and jumped right in.

Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn, are descendants of the the original sleuthing duo, Holmes and Watson. It is the difference between the pairs that m
Jennifer Boyce
May 08, 2014 Jennifer Boyce rated it really liked it

A novel reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, but with much more flavor, Fatal Enquiry is sure to give any mystery reader a thrill.

Set in Victorian London, Fatal Enquiry follows enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn as they set out to thwart arch nemesis Sebastian Nightwine before he can complete his evil scheme. The only problem is, Barker and Llewelyn are wanted men, framed for dastardly deeds by Nightwine himself, in his attempt to stop them from st
Sally Schmidt
May 03, 2014 Sally Schmidt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-books
I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley.

I loved this book - I literally couldn't help chuckling to myself on the metro while reading this on my morning commute (I'm sure I got a few stares, but it was totally worth it.)

I will happily buy books 1-5 of this series so I'm caught up for the next one, but I don't think it's necessary to read the prior books to really enjoy this one. Sometimes in a series it seems like the author takes it for granted that the reader has read the prior books,
Cathy Cole
Sep 11, 2016 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it
It's been a very long six years since the last book in this marvelous historical mystery series, and I was thrilled when I learned of Fatal Enquiry. Barker and Llewelyn are two of my favorite characters, a sort of Victorian Era John Ceepak and Danny Boyle (wonderful characters created by Chris Grabenstein). More of Cyrus Barker's mysterious past is unveiled in this book, and although young Thomas Llewelyn is still a bit naive-- and still has an eye for the pretty girls-- he gets the chance to ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Fatal Enquiry is the 6th book in the Barker/Llewellyn series of mysteries set in Victorian London. I was not familiar with the series, but the book works perfectly as a stand-alone even though the villain was introduced in a previous book.

Cyrus Barker, a respected private enquiry agent, is man with a complicated and colorful past and a deep appreciation of all things Asian. Intelligent and intuitive, Barker is also a physical person, known for his skill with both fists and weapons.

Narrated by
Dec 08, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
Well that's it. Now I must begin the long wait for the next installment in Will Thomas' brilliant Barker & Llywellyn series.

The latest, "Fatal Inquiry", finds our favorite enquiry agents once more facing Barker's bete noir, Sebastian Nightwine, a cold and calculating sociopath who we've met previously and who has returned to London seeking a final showdown with Barker, with whom he shares a violent past. Barker has good reason to hate this man but there is also another killer in their midst
Tex Reader
4.0/5 – Enjoyable Mystery Thriller about a Pair of Agents in Victorian London
(I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks!)

I love history, historical fiction, and mystery for the very reasons that this novel works so well – it takes me back in time and place as if I’m walking and living in 1886 Victorian London, the characters are well drawn, and the plot of mystery and cat-and-mouse provides a fast-paced thrill ride through not just historic but also the seedier side of t
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Will Thomas, born 1958 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is a novelist who writes a Victorian mystery series featuring Cyrus Barker, a Scottish detective or "private enquiry agent," and his Welsh assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. The Barker/Llewelyn novels are set in the 1880s and o
More about Will Thomas...

Other Books in the Series

Barker & Llewelyn (8 books)
  • Some Danger Involved (Barker & Llewelyn, #1)
  • To Kingdom Come (Barker & Llewelyn, #2)
  • The Limehouse Text (Barker & Llewelyn, #3)
  • The Hellfire Conspiracy (Barker & Llewelyn, #4)
  • The Black Hand (Barker & Llewelyn, #5)
  • Anatomy of Evil (Barker & Llewelyn, #7)
  • Hell Bay (Barker & Llewelyn, #8)

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