The Butcher of Smithfield (Thomas Chaloner, #3)
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The Butcher of Smithfield (Thomas Chaloner #3)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  211 ratings  ·  18 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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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
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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
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
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!
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...more
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...more
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
Stevie Carroll

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.
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.
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 3 of 5 stars
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
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.
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
Always enjoy a good mystery.
Vivienne marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Ani marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Cath Holdsworth
Cath Holdsworth marked it as to-read
Aug 01, 2014
Jill Snyder
Jill Snyder marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
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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
More about Susanna Gregory...
A Plague on Both Your Houses (Matthew Bartholomew, #1) An Unholy Alliance (Matthew Bartholomew, #2) A Conspiracy of Violence (Thomas Chaloner, #1) A Deadly Brew (Matthew Bartholomew, #4) A Bone of Contention (Matthew Bartholomew, #3)

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