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Fatal Enquiry

(Barker & Llewelyn #6)

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,375 ratings  ·  198 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
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,375 ratings  ·  198 reviews


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Dan Schwent
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Ed
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Joe Santoro
I was a little worried while I was waiting or this book to come in from the library... I noticed the large gap in time between the previous book coming out, and saw the object of the story, Barker's nemesis, Sebastian Nightwine, was the main villain. Had Thomas given up making his story unique, and decided it was time for Barker to plunge into the falls?

Happily, Nightwine is nothing like Moriarty... in fact, Thomas doubles down on my previous opinion that Barker and Llewelyn are more 'Batman and
...more
Ken
Apr 30, 2014 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.


4 STARS

A. Lieberson
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Geri
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Geri by: ggnorman@aol.com
I enjoyed this book. Liked the time period that
it takes place.
It seemed to me to be very much like reading
a Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin.
This book had some twists that surprised me.
Christina Sampson
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it
*** This review, which does not re-tell the story or have spoilers, can be found on my blog "The Body on the Floor" at http://goo.gl/LFlv9s . 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
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LJ
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
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☕Laura
I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as the earlier books in the Barker and Llewelyn series. One thing I have always loved about this series is the way the author stages his mysteries within a larger historical context, whether it be the Irish independence movement, the rise of Italian organized crime, or a supposed secret society of satanists. I have always come away with a greater understanding of the political and social climate of Victorian London. That element was sadly missing from this ...more
Laura Lee
Closer to 31/2 stars. Another good book in the series.
Susan in NC
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 assista ...more
Brittany
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime, victorian
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 real ...more
Viccy
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 ey ...more
Kelly
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 feat ...more
Laura
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.
Quillracer
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elaine
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.
Simona
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ken Hohman
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first dip into the adventures of the Victorian London detecting duo, Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn. Barker and Llewellyn fancy themselves a step above your average detectives, and thus they refer to themselves as “Enquiry Agents.” But the arrival of Barker’s arch nemesis, Sebastian Nightwine, quickly forces them to lower their lofty standards and get mud on their boots as they are plunged into the dark corners of London, fighting for their lives. Fatal Enquiry bene ...more
Lynn
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Enjoyable read, less of a mystery than a crime story. Action moved apace, no thriller here. But, this is 19th century England so the story, the characters, the setting, the dialog are all evocative of that time. Even when the servant is waking him up he says “what o’clock is it?” – not ‘what time?’.

I especially liked his weaving actual historical figures into the story. (see “historical note” at the end) It made the tale very authentic, as did the different nationalities – Welsh, Scottish, Iris
...more
Alan Sanie
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epub

Winner of the Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction


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 justice somewhere in the far corners of the earth. The last thing Barker ever ex

...more
Melissa
The more I read of this series the more I like it.

Barker & Thomas are quite the pair and their adventures and cases are always interesting. This book brings Barker's oldest nemesis to town and finds him framed for murder and on the lam. Poor Thomas gets put through the ringer in this story, which isn't unusual, but I really felt bad for him.

These two get compared to Holmes and Watson a lot but they do have their own personalities and traits that set them apart from the other famous duo.

I
...more
Kathleen
The Cyrus Baker series is always dependable. I am a fan of Victorian fiction and I love that Will Thomas' characters grow and develop in each new book. This story gives us more background on Barker's time in China and a greater bond is forged between Llewellyn and Barker. This was a solid entry with a slightly contrived ending but I am going to give that a pass because I was grateful that the subplot did not devolve into a cheesy romance.
Meggie
What should I say about private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn, other than they both rock! Each one is special on its own, but together they can solve any case they set their eyes on. With each book Thomas grows as Cyrus assistant, his loyalty to Cyrus is special too. I love it! This part was one of the best book in this series. I won't spoil the ending, but wow it was epic for Cyrus Barker!
Hpstrangelove
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: calibre, audiobook
Audiobook review. Narrator: Antony Ferguson

I think this is my favorite book of the series, mostly because of Sebastian Nightwine. He's a smooth sociopath with a dark fixation on Barker.

My only complaint about the book is the surprise at the ending - I keep waiting for it to develop into more of a story of it's own in a later book, and maybe it will. I've read on Facebook that Antony Ferguson is going to start recording Book 10, Blood Is Blood, on October 5.
Miss Lemon
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When this series is done I am going to sit in my pajamas for a week and weep into hankies and feel sorry for myself - major mourning will occur. But until then I am grabbing up on each mystery as fast as I can find them and immerse myself in the London of Barker & Llewelyn and their abSOlutely full-up eccentric, unique, surprising circle of friends and associates. Each on of these mysteries is a gem in all respects - plot, characterization, backstory, twists, pacing.
Ashley
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Barker had not intimated in the two years I had known him that he had a brother" - except for that time in book 3 when Barker specifically mentioned going to Shanghai to look for his brother after their parents died. And how his brother fought with the Americans in the Taiping Rebellion. So...yeah, he did. Come on, Will Thomas!

Maybe Llewelyn just forgets shit...

Still no Mac/Llewelyn. I've got my fingers crossed. On to the next book!

Roderick
One of my personal favorites, the Holmes-like Barker & Llewleyn series by Will Thomas, set in Victorian England, same time period. Two fun & intriguing main characters, as enquiry agents, solving problems. Easy & fun to read, literate and interesting, six really good books, each story with it's own particular cultural slant.
Charlene Plowman
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this book off the library’s “staff recommendation” stand and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed that some of the characters were modeled after real life characters, the Victorian era, the setting in London and the complexity of the characters, Thomas Llewellyn and Cyrus Barker. I look forward to reading more books with these characters.
Peggy
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading about Barker and Llewelyn inquire service, this one is a good one, I learned about things I didn't know, I started with a newer book, the story lines follow each book. Thomas is a good writer and keeps me wanting to read the story to see how it ends, they seem to end with a twist so you are ready to read the next story.
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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
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Other books in the series

Barker & Llewelyn (1 - 10 of 11 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)
  • An Awkward Way to Die (Barker & Llewelyn, #8.5)
  • Old Scores (Barker & Llewelyn, #9)
  • Blood Is Blood (Barker & Llewelyn #10)
“Barker believes that all poets should have the decency to be dead at least a century or two. I feel the same way about politicians.” 1 likes
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