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The Thief Taker

(The Thief Taker #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  5,789 ratings  ·  406 reviews
The year is 1665. Black Death ravages London. A killer stalks the streets in a plague doctor's hood and mask...

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death. The killer's mad appetites are part of a master plan that could destroy London and reveal the dark
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Kate Brown
Oct 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Well, that's a few hours of my life I shall never get back. An unbelievable farrago, so badly researched that I found myself actually looking up things I knew were wrong just in case I was mistaken after all. The story itself is trivial - one potentially interesting idea, the debasement of the currency, is very lightly touched on at the end, and all the witchery seems to be abandoned without us ever knowing any more about it. This may well be because there are more books to come. The 'secret sce ...more
Heidi The Reader
In the 1660s, thief takers solved the cases that were beneath the dignity of the typical London watchmen. The poorer sort of people, who had experienced a crime or theft, would come to men like the title character in this story for justice. He would attempt to track down the perpetrator by finding the property that they took and fenced.

Usually, the thief taker could either get the property back for his client or turn the thief in to the higher authorities. But, the punishments back then were so
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, Historical Fiction Fans
You should be really glad you never will have to worry (too much) about the bubonic plague, seriously!. After reading this wonderful book of exceptional storytelling I am! This for me, is storytelling at it's finest, thrown in some history and add a dash of adventure and mystery and you are on to a winner.

So what's the book about?

The year is 1665. Black Death ravages London. A killer stalks the streets in a plague doctor’s hood and mask.

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tu
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: GeeVee, Pat, Susanna, and all other disease story lovers
Recommended to Bettie by: Wanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
What a disappointment!

I don't mean to sound like an ass, but I simply cannot believe this author writes for her day job. The syntax is abrupt and choppy and...painful. She evidently has no idea how to work a comma. The dialogue between lower-class characters that doesn't contain contractions is enough to rip you right out of the story.

This is appallingly amateurish. I've read better fan fiction written by high school students!

I read more than I probably should have; the blurb made the book sound
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
This book was awarded to me by NetGalley.

I enjoyed this historical fiction very much.

The Plague doctor was totally frightening! Descriptions were spot on. Just the time period in London during the plague and what people would do had me on the edge of my seat and add the mystery involved here, it was a great suspense telling!

A girl goes to a thief-taker to help solve the murder of her sister, the interaction between Charlie and Anne-Marie was superb. All of the characters were well defined in t
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, real-books
9 SEP 2014 -- Squee! I won! I CANNOT wait for this book to arrive. Thank you!Thank you!Thank you!

Book has arrived. Will start reading tomorrow, Saturday, 20 SEP 2014. I leafed through and found where the author thanks Philipa Gregory, an author I do not care for. I presented this question to my Dear Friend, Bettie:

Bettie, will you please tell me something? This young lady thanks Philipa Gregory. Please tell me this book is nothing like Gregory's books; is it? As much as I want to read The Thief
I'm always looking for good historical fiction and especially historical crime - something which is unfortunately very rare. The Thief Taker immediately caught my eye: it seemed to be intelligent historical fiction and there seemed to be no love story involved (or at least wasn't the main focus). The novel is set in London during the great plague. People are dying by the dozens, hundreds, thousands. But with all these deaths there is one which is different: a young girl is dreadfully murdered - ...more
Ellen Gail
Two sad, plague infested stars.

The Thief Taker tells the story of 1665 plague infested London, and thief taker (aka dude who will chase down thieves and stolen items for a fee) Charlie Tuesday as he tracks down a vile murderer dressed like a plague doctor, mixing with witchcraft and political upheaval along the way.

First, the positives. I'm hardly an expert on 17th century British history, but the novel certainly seems well researched. There's a great amount of attention and care given to histor
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an ARC courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

When it comes to knowing whether you liked a book or not, some are really hard to place. This novel is one of those.

I really liked its atmosphere: London in 1665, the way its streets and buildings were depicted, how travelling from one place to another was so much different from what we know today, the many people we get to see, all both divided and united in a common fear. The plague is raging, and everyone wants out... or t
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
This is a hard book to rate and I almost (ALMOST) feel bad about giving this 2 stars. Overall I did enjoy it. Enough, at least, that I'd probably read the next one. On the other hand, I did put it down for months at a time and only finished it when I didn't have more interesting things to read.

There were two issues, really, that I had. The second and lesser one was something I could've probably lived with (joke not really intended) but the first was a deal breaker.

The First: THE ENDING.

WTF? I r
Jason Parent
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure if this book was technically sound (some head jumps that only editors, not readers, care about). I would have to go back and re-read to see if the twist really worked. But despite any shortcomings (again, if any) in those departments, I thoroughly enjoyed this book about a man who is essentially a 1600s, plague-ridden-London version of a PI who unwittingly becomes the prime murder suspect in a heinous murder. Loved the characters, both bad and good, and particularly the dynamics bet ...more
2 1/2 stars

*I received a free copy of this book through a GoodReads contest. My thanks to the author.

I think the stars were lined up against this book from the get-go.

On October 2, 2014 I received notice that I was a Goodreads winner of this book – YAY!... but the book never arrived. Next, I notified Amazon Publishing that I never received the book… and it still didn’t come. At last, on November 20th the book FINALLY showed up… but the holidays were fast approaching and I didn’t have time to rea
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Things I learned while reading this book: 1.) If you are reading about any kind of disease outbreak, it is best to avoid reading while eating. Seriously, I made that mistake twice. 2.) If I see a plague doctor walking toward me on the street, I'm running the other direction. 3.) Always carry a little cream blush.

This novel was a dark and gritty look at plague invested London. I definetly did not get the impression this novel was for the faint of heart. See the above notice about eating and read
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-audio, quest
I'm almost tempted to give this one a third store for absolutely absurdity of it. I'd recommend this book for a rowdy book club that wants to play a drinking game that involves taking a shot each time the main character stumbles, jumps, hugs, or walks across a bloated plague corpse. *NOTE* At least one member of your book club will end up the hospital due to alcohol poisoning.

There is literally a point in the story where the two main characters use year old floating corpses as a CORPSE BRIDGE, a
Feb 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF at 31%, not written well enough, not very engaging. Plot pretty implausible and characters not well developed. It seems that the research done wasn't good enough, either. ...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
I'd call this a low level pick, but still a pick. It introduces Charlie Tuesday, and London in 1665. The Black Plague is rampant, and Charlie gets involved in a murder case. For a guy who usually finds missing people and things, it's a big stretch. And, of course, there's a beautiful woman involved. There are gruesome details, nefarious villains, and more.

Full review at my book blog,
Aug 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very exciting romp through plague infested London. Definitely on a par with the Hangman's Daughter series. I really enjoy the pace of this book. There isn't a single page of wasted storytelling. Several plot lines weaving and converging in a finely crafted and well researched tale. I like how this book relies on your imagination to fill in some of the worst details without laying them out. I felt like I needed a bath and to check for plague sores after reading this. ...more
Set in London in 1665, the first book in this series introduces readers to Charlie Tuesday, a thief taker - which basically means that he finds lost items for a fee. That's his usual gig anyway but the plague is hitting London hard and that means that a whole lot of people are either dying or leaving town for safer pastures, the consequence of which is that Charlie is having a hard time making his rent. Enter Maria, whose sister was brutally murdered in the prologue, who is dead set on seeing th ...more
Ratings (1 to 5)
Writing: 3
Plot: 4
Characters: 3
Emotional impact: 4
Overall rating: 3.5

Favorite quote: "Best to take one day at a time in this uncertain life and be grateful for those days that treat you well."
Wart Hill
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
[I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley. This fact has no bearing on my review]

You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While Shelving

Charlie Tuesday is a thief taker - he finds stolen items for people. When he is enlisted to help find a murderer, he's a little wary - not his usual sort of job - but the money is good, even if he just looks at the crime scene, so why not? Except there's a symbol on the body that matches one on an item he's had since arriving at the foundling
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
It’s London 1665, King Charles II is on the throne and plague is sweeping the country. A murderer is taking advantage of the chaos as all who can, flee the capital. Disguised as a plague doctor, he is able to easily gain access to his victims.

Charlie Tuesday is a thief taker but, thanks to the plague, there is little call for his work. He now sells forged certificates that allow people passage from the beleaguered city. When he is asked by Maria to discover her sister’s murderer, he at first re
Overall, this was a little bit of an uneven book. I loved seeing London (my old home town) through completely different eyes. Of course, I've heard of the plague, but I've never actually envisaged what it was like to live through that and C.S. Quinn is not afraid to show that in all its gruesome detail. The terror as it spread, the breakdown of society as people fled London, and the sheer magnitude of the impact all come through strongly. One line stood out about how it first struck people you d ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-ng
[I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.]

London, 1665, plague is ravaging the streets alongside a satanic serial killer.

After the brutal murder of her sister, Anna-Maria seeks the help of a local Thief-Taker, Charlie Tuesday to help bring the killer to justice. Unbeknownst to Charlie, a token left on the body happens to match the symbol on the key he wears around his neck. A key which Charlie knows very little about aside from the fact that his mother
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlie grew up in a foundling home with his brother and in this episode comes close to finding his origins. A part of them was revealed, and a part of them was whisked away for further reading~ a good clue to further episodes. Charlie's love interest Maria fits nicely into his group of significant others who are well developed characters. So stay tuned.

Historical novel reading gives me great and readable insight into periods of time I wish to learn more about. Several of my ancestors came to th
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this ARC from Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.

In the Acknowledgments section of this book, C.S. Quinn says that she wasn't published at first, because they wanted Philippa Gregory. Nothing against Ms. Gregory, but The Thief Taker is, in my opinion, just as well-researched but much more fun than any novelization on the War of the Roses. It is a thrilling historical mystery, set in London while afflicted by the plague. I hate it when I can see all the twists coming a mile
I was given this by netgalley for a honest review
enjoyed this book but felt the overall plot could been stronger but seems have been researched in detail in the period just after the restoration and the mishaps of the latter part of the 1660's. will look forward in interest how the second in the series goes as feel there is promise in historical fiction in an area which has recently been ignored.
Hayley Noble
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I feel a little bit on the fence with this book. As a 'fantasy' book I did enjoy the basics of the plot. We follow Charlie a thief taker in London in the height of the plague, as a thief taker he helps solve the petty thefts that are below the guardsmen, however when he encounters Maria - a pretty young woman whose sister has been brutally murdered, he can't help but get involved, especially with the amount of money she is offering. This leads them on a murder mystery trail through the plague ri ...more
C. A. Powell
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book way more than I was expecting too. I'm always lured by historical thrillers. Especially if it is set in Britain's past. This story was most unusual. It is about a Thief-Taker who must take on a task way out of his normal perimeters of work. He must investigate a serial murderer stalking plague-ridden London of 1665 during the Restoration era of King Charles II.

The story is unashamedly farfetched, but that is what makes it. There are all sorts of boundaries that the writer pre
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C.S. Quinn is a travel and lifestyle journalist for The Times, The Guardian and The Mirror, alongside many magazines. Prior to this, Quinn's background in historic research won prestigious postgraduate funding from the British Art Council. Quinn pooled these resources, combining historical research with first-hand experiences in far-flung places to create The Thief Taker's London. ...more

Other books in the series

The Thief Taker (4 books)
  • Fire Catcher (The Thief Taker #2)
  • Dark Stars (The Thief Taker #3)
  • The Changeling Murders (The Thief Taker, #4)

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
35 likes · 10 comments
“Best to take one day at a time in this uncertain life and be grateful for those days that treat you well.” 2 likes
“It was typical, he thought, that it had come to this. One minute he was happily selling forged certificates and making good money and the next he was forced to choose between torture, amputation or leaping into a pile of corpses. It was the kind of thing which always seemed to be happening to him.” 1 likes
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