Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Watery Grave (Sir John Fielding, #3)” as Want to Read:
Watery Grave (Sir John Fielding, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Watery Grave (Sir John Fielding #3)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  776 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
'Blind Justice', the first novel featuring legendary eighteenth-century London judge Sir John Fielding, was one of the most highly acclaimed mystery debuts of 1994. 'Murder in Grub Street', the second novel, was named by The New York Times Book Review as one of the Notable Books of 1995 in crime fiction. Now Fielding returns in his most baffling case yet.

John Fielding was
Mass Market Paperback, 378 pages
Published August 6th 1998 by Time Warner Paperbacks (first published September 24th 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Watery Grave, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Watery Grave

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryBlood on the Snow by David        CookThe White Queen by Philippa GregoryThe Red Queen by Philippa GregoryThe Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
Amazing Historical Fiction
271st out of 277 books — 92 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenInSight by Polly IyerPeter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan AuxierThe Escort by Maryn SinclairGirl, Stolen by April Henry
Awesome Blind Characters
93rd out of 176 books — 140 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,182)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 17, 2013 Gerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 26, 2013 Tara rated it did not like it
Beware of uber-spoilers about the ending:

(view spoiler)
Feb 23, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Although I didn't think much of this book at the beginning, it really grew on me. The author I think struggled in his last book with creating dialogue that was appropriate to the period but didn't sound twee; he struggled also with having a young protagonist who was observant but not too precious. In this book, he appears to have resolved those issues, and it's fun to see his narrator grow in maturity. That said, were 90% of women in 1760s London really prostitutes? In the author's view, this se ...more
Sep 14, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 21, 2014 Carl rated it really liked it
“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
Jan 23, 2011 Bob rated it really liked it
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
Jan 29, 2011 Linda rated it it was ok
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
Jan 23, 2012 John Lee rated it liked it
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
Oct 20, 2011 Denise Kettering rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Jul 11, 2009 Starfish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, victorian
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
May 10, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it
Well that ending just sucked. After that I don't know if I will read anymore of these books.
Apr 22, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it
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
Apr 11, 2014 Kristy Maitz rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Great story plot.

Murder happens on a ship where captain of the ship dies.
Dec 28, 2008 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 03, 2014 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The strength of this series is its strong sense of time and place.
May 10, 2013 Holly rated it liked it
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
This was the third in the Sir John Fielding series. I really enjoy the way these are written - the vocabulary and atmosphere is very realistic. I definitely recommend!
Jan 12, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
I guess Sir John doesn't save all innocents, but he makes sure the villains are punished! Proper! Historical mystery :)
Dec 31, 2014 Tonya rated it it was amazing
Great series!
Michell Karnes
Jul 21, 2014 Michell Karnes rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 01, 2013 Pamela B rated it liked it
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.
The third John Fielding novel. This one focuses on the navy. One officer claims another threw the captain overboard during a storm. That officer says he was trying to pull him back in. Anyone who disagrees with the claim of murder winds up dead. The admiral is an old friend and brings in Sir John and yet when the true motive comes out tries to silence him. Sad tale, but Jeremy is always fun as a narrator.
Jul 15, 2011 Janice rated it really liked it
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!
Feb 14, 2013 Kellyann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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.
Jan 05, 2014 Kirk rated it really liked it
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 39 40 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
watery gray 1 9 Nov 05, 2011 03:05AM  
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • The Black Hand (Barker & Llewelyn, #5)
  • Last Respects (Inspector Sloan #10)
  • Why Mermaids Sing (Sebastian St. Cyr, #3)
  • Good Morning, Irene (Irene Adler, #2)
  • Beneath a Silent Moon (Rannoch/Fraser Chronological Order, #7)
  • Death in the Dark Walk (John Rawlings, #1)
  • Death of a Squire (Templar Knight Mystery #2)
  • The Gap in the Curtain (Sir Edward Leithen #4)
  • Gone to Her Death (Lloyd & Hill, #3)
  • The Chatter of the Maidens (Hawkenlye Mysteries, #4)
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)
  • 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)

Share This Book