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The Butcher of Smithfield (Thomas Chaloner #3)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  298 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Thomas Chaloner, just returned from a clandestine excursion to Spain and Portugal on behalf of the Queen, finds London dank and grey under leaden skies. Although he has only been away for a short while, he finds many things changed, including the government slapping a tax on printed newspapers. Handwritten news reports escape the duty, and the rivalry between the producers ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published April 28th 2008 by Little, Brown Book Group
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This was another superbly crafted Restoration thriller with Thomas Chaloner again embroiled in solving a mystery linked to his patron. This one had a great many strands to it, which all came together by the final pages. Again the supporting cast is populated by minor historical figures (and a few major ones).

I remain deeply impressed by the depth of research Gregory has undertaken in this series. The streets of 17th century London come alive under her pen. I also had no idea that cucumbers were
Jun 28, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
I really have enjoyed the Chaloner series by Susanna Gregory. It's darker than the Matthew Bartholomew series set in Cambridge but just as good, if not better. A real spy novel with no gadgets and the lead character must survive on his wits. Good historical accuracy and well worth a read.
Stuart Douglas
Nov 05, 2009 Stuart Douglas rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
Another Thomas Chaloner story, I think I've read them all now and I have to say I liked this one the least. The problem I find with the Susanna Gregory books is that they are always about 100 pages too long. I've figured out the twist in each book about mid-way through and this one was no exception. Basically just find the person/people who are least likely to have done the crime and they're usually your suspects. The fact that I can figure it out makes me think that the protagonist, Chaloner, i ...more
Brenda Mengeling
Mar 19, 2012 Brenda Mengeling rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, ebook, 48
Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew series, set in medieval Cambridge, is my favorite historical mystery series to read. So, I've really wanted to like her Thomas Chaloner mysteries, set in Restoration London, as much. However, Thomas Chaloner just doesn't capture my fancy. He was a spy in Cromwell's government, and he has managed to successfully turn monarchist and become the spy for Charles II's Lord Chancellor even though he isn't entirely trusted. Emotionally and socially he is rather a co ...more
Nicola Hall
Oct 01, 2014 Nicola Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Chaloner, a spy in Charles' court always seems to have his work cut out for him yet he always prevails :) and he does so with such action packed flair you will always go back for more
This is not an easy read. Set in Restoration London, 1663, Thomas Chaloner returns from Portugal to discover that he is out of favour with his patron/spymaster the Earl of Clarendon. A close friend has died (of a surfeit of cucumbers) and an inspector of printing establishments has been killed. At the same time the rains are heavy and London is flooded.

The plot is complicated and the characters are stereotypes. As a result I found it difficult to keep engaged. The attempts by the government to k
Alison Connolly
Oct 19, 2014 Alison Connolly rated it it was amazing
As always, a consumate murder mystery. Both the Matthew Bartholomew and Thomas Chaloner series are well worth reading
Mar 12, 2009 Jamey rated it it was ok
I didn't think this book would every end. Have never read any of Susanna Gregory's mysteries before.

Chaloner is a spy and is told to receive his pay for his past duties he must solve a murder mystery. It appears cucumbers are killing people. Or are they. Along the way, Chaloner uncovers several other mysteries which all intertwine with the murder. Strange music is being written. It sounds awful to a musician's ear. Friends are not whom they seem to be and others are bewitched by "love".

I'm glad
Jul 26, 2011 Claire added it
Having very much enjoyed Gregory's 'Matthew Bartholomew' series of medieval mysteries, I was looking forward to reading this. Thomas Chaloner is an engaging and likeable character, and his adventures are well written and interesting. Like the Bartholomew books, this series is based on real historical characters and real historical events, and is a fun read, albeit somewhat slight, compared to the wonderful historical depth of the Bartholomew books. Particularly recommended if you are interested ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Michelle rated it liked it
didn't finish; stopped reading due to slow movement of plot and all the other books awaiting my attention!
4.5 stars. What stops me rating this five stars is that having read the previous two books in the series, the events of those books led me to almost accurately guess far too early who the bad guys really are. Also, I hope further into the series that home explosions as a game-changing and fatal plot device shan't be used quite so often!
Stevie Carroll
Dec 15, 2012 Stevie Carroll rated it really liked it

Chaloner is as snarky as ever, and he hasn't been paid in months. Not to mention that his living accomodation isn't up to standard and he can't complain until he's paid the rent. Plus his latest investigation, while potentially solving his money problems looks likely to land him in even more trouble than usual.

A fun romp as ever.
Marguerite Kaye
I tried, but I couldn't finish this. With only 100 or so pages to go, I was so lost in the plot twists and turns that I just couldn't work up the energy to care who did what. It's a shame, becuase I've read another by this author and quite liked it, and I love the Shardlake series, so I thought this would be right up my street.
Jul 12, 2014 Roshni rated it really liked it
Fantastic book! Chaloner weaves through the highly complex political intrigue of Restoration London with ease. His ready wit and superior deductive skills make the book an entertaining read. The many twists and turns of this book make the reader gasp at new developments.
Oct 28, 2009 Linda rated it liked it
An interesting series set in Restoration London for the patient reader. This book kept my head spinning with all the characters and plot twists ---- possibly not the best choice for bedtime reading as it was slow-moving and took a lot of concentration.
Sep 15, 2013 Simon rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
Was ok, not in the same league as other period crime thrillers like C J sansom, thought Susanna G was a tad over long, like take off 100 pages to make it more zippy. Not usre if i would read another even tho have two more in my shelf to read.
Steve Bentley
Sep 28, 2013 Steve Bentley rated it liked it
Enjoyed - some irritating repetition of the plot, as if I needed reminding every other chapter.
Certainly brought out the dirty rat infested london of the time.
Jul 07, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
I loved the story and the characters, but felt it was too wordy, the book could easily have been half it's length.
Chris Treanor
A good story but too many characters which became confusing
May 19, 2009 Kristi rated it liked it
Always enjoy a good mystery.
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Susanna Gregory is the pseudonym of Elizabeth Cruwys, a Cambridge academic who was previously a coroner's officer. She writes detective fiction, and is noted for her series of mediaeval mysteries featuring Matthew Bartholomew, a teacher of medicine and investigator of murders in 14th-century Cambridge.

AKA Simon Beaufort

She writes detective fiction, and is noted for her series of mediaeval mysterie
More about Susanna Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

Thomas Chaloner (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • A Conspiracy of Violence (Thomas Chaloner, #1)
  • Blood on the Strand (Thomas Chaloner, #2)
  • The Westminster Poisoner (Thomas Chaloner, #4)
  • A Murder on London Bridge (Thomas Chaloner, #5)
  • The Body in the Thames (Thomas Chaloner, #6)
  • The Piccadilly Plot (Thomas Chaloner, #7)
  • Death in St James's Park (Thomas Chaloner, #8)
  • Murder on High Holborn (Thomas Chaloner, #9)
  • The Cheapside Corpse (Thomas Chaloner, #10)
  • The Chelsea Strangler

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