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Plague Pits & River Bones

(Detective Lavender Mysteries #4)

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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  2,865 ratings  ·  210 reviews
London 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist.

And when Lavender’s trusted deputy, Constable Ned Woods, finds a mysterious severed foot washed up on Greenwich
...more
Kindle Edition, 343 pages
Published January 11th 2018 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  2,865 ratings  ·  210 reviews


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Clemens Schoonderwoert
This fascinating mystery is the 4th volume of the fantastic "Detective Lavender" series from the English author, Karen Charlton.

At the end of the book you'll find the historical details concerning this tale, and these are superbly implemented once again within this great mystery.

Story-telling from this author is once more of a superb quality, all characters, whether real historical or great fictional, come vividly to life within this thrilling mystery, and the atmosphere of Regency London comes
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Helen
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, tbc
Despite not having read any of the earlier books in this series and this being a change from my usual twisted thrillers or contemporary reads, I absolutely loved reading my first Detective Lavender book !

Well written, well researched, informative and thoroughly enjoyable. I loved how the story was based around real events and I totally relaxed and was soon transported into the seemingly effortless telling of the story. That the author manages to bring together many plot-lines, vivid settings, th
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Joyce
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

Constable Ned Woods and Constable Barnaby respond to a disturbance where a naked and deranged man is spouting biblical phrases. On their way to take him back to Bedlam Asylum, Woods notices a detached foot rotting in an old boot.

This is only the first in a series of crimes both petty and major to occur in London in 1812. There are too few police officers for the population and they are being “lent out” to other districts all the time. This is how the Bow Street contingent supplements the
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Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
Another winner for Lavender and Woods. I admit, it initially started off a little slow but that was to lay the ground work for what was to come. Another great mystery and my love for Woods continues to grow. I highly recommend this series. Bravo!

A+ narration too.
Bettie
Thomas and Mercer

Description: London, 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist. And when Lavender’s trusted deputy, Constable Ned Woods, finds a mysterious severed foot washed up on Greenwich Beach, they soon realise that these ancient bones are more sinister than they first appeared
...more
Diane Challenor
I’ve read the first four books of this series, and I enjoyed them a lot. I bought them all with the matching audiobook. I read Plague Pits and River Bones first, (It’s book four in the Detective Stephen Lavender Series - I’ve forgotten why I didn’t start at the beginning - possibly I bought the book in a sale) and because I enjoyed the pace and the storyline so much, I went back and read the first three. They give new meaning to a cozy British mystery. I liked the lead characters, their geograph ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of Plague Pits and River Bones, the fourth novel to feature Detective Stephen Lavender of the Bow Street Runners.

It's 1812 and times are tough. Magistrate Reid doesn't have enough money to keep the office running and build the much needed extension so he uses his detectives as PIs and hires them and their skills out to anyone in the country prepared to pay the fees. Lavender has returned to London from one of these cases to
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Rachel England-Brassy
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I stepped into this series at book four and via audiobook, so fair warning. However, I found it to be compelling, atmospheric and eminently enjoyable. Also, I was pleasantly surprised when listening to the author’s notes at the end to find out that the mysteries of the story were inspired by real events and people, even our Detective Lavender is based on a detective of the time. I shall certainly be looking out for more of these audiobooks in the future.
Recommended.
Viv JM
3.5 stars

I recently cancelled my Audible membership to spur me into listening to some of the (over 100 - ahem) audiobooks I have accumulated over the last 4 years. This one was a totally random impulse-purchased Daily Deal from back in 2018 and I clearly didn't notice that it was book 4 :-). Having said that, I soon enough got to know and like Detecter Lavender and his most excellent wife, Magdalena.

Plague Pits & River Bones is an entertaining historical mystery with an assortment of colourful v
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Lorraine
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of British history of detectives & police work!
Wow! What a week Detective Lavender is having in Karen Charlton’s Plague Pits & River Bones! This book is truly quite fascinating! I loved it when the author ‘spotlights’ a woman character who takes part in the 1812 mystery set in London. (More about that later.) Detective Lavender, an officer of Magistrate Read’s Bow Street, is stretched fairly thin as he is the only principal officer available as the others are ‘out of town.’ He has 5 possible crimes to investigate at the same time, and he has ...more
Sue Wallace
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Plague pits and river bones by karen Charlton.
London 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist.
A very enjoyable read. I liked the characters and the plot.
Lavender and woods were my favorite characters. Loved how they helped each other out. Even woods son. I do hope there is .more to
...more
Gail Atkins
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book had a great mixture of fact and fiction. The book was cleverly written to include true crimes in 1812.
Once again Stephen Lancaster showed good policing skills, in the early days of law and order.
The story has a good pace and the various stories interlink really well.
Highway robbers, illegal slaves ships and mysterious skeletons are all part of Bow Street's crime fighting team.
OLT
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This isn't a favorite for me in the series, but it is entertaining. What I particularly appreciate about Charlton's Dectective Lavender Mysteries is the fact that Lavender was an actual policeman of 1800s England and that Charlton does lots of research for her stories and interweaves actual historical events into them. Here we have, for example, those plague pit bones of the title and the actual assassination of the Prime Minister interwoven, while at the same time Charlton enlarges upon these h ...more
Barbara Rogers
Series: Detective Lavender #4
Publication Date: 1/11/18

Holy shades of Sherlock! I believe Lavender has met his Moriarty. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know, but can’t wait to find out as the series continues. I certainly don’t want him to become a focus in the series, but popping up every now and again to create havoc could be a very interesting thing indeed!

One of my favorite things about this series is the interweaving of actual people, facts and events with the fiction. Detectiv
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Vanessa Wild
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The fourth in the Detective Stephen Lavender mystery series set in the early 19thC. Murder, highway robbery, political intrigue and the slave trade combine to make a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable tale. A wonderful blend of historical fact and fiction, this story is well researched and well written. It kept me on my toes with plenty of twists and turns and hurtled along to an almost cliffhanger ending!

I’ve already read book one, The Heiress of Linn Hagh. I will be returning to read books
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Annette
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get into the story but I'm glad I persevered because it turned out to be a brilliant read. I didn't realise it was part of a series but it can definitely be read as a stand alone. Great insight into the events that took place in the murky depths of 19th century London. I will certainly read the next in the series to see if Lavender is made Chief Constable.
D
African American slave trade. Offensive African American name calling. Religious and race discrimination. Low rating because of this. Turmoil, bullies, death, betrayal, it's all there.
Ange
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first of the Detective Lavender books I have read, but what an introduction to the series!
This book is so well written; atmospheric and extremely descriptive, conjuring up life in early 19th Century London. The characterisation is brilliant. I love Lavender, Constable Wood, and their respective families. My only regret during my reading of this book is that I didn't know their back stories. I need to read books 1-3 to learn more about them! All the players are so well drawn, and the
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Lindsay
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the 4th instalment of Lavender and Woods and it was an enjoyable read. I got drawn out from it at first then once I’d picked up a certain point I was back in the story.
I’m guessing the culprit before our detective does and wait for it to come through but I love how crime was back then and how they worked it out. I also enjoy learning about the era and how certain people were treated which wasn’t great.
I’ll continue reading as I enjoy learning of this time and knowing that the crimes are
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Sue Wallace
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Plague pits and river bones by karen Charlton.
London 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist.
A very enjoyable read. I liked the characters and the plot.
Lavender and woods were my favorite characters. Loved how they helped each other out. Even woods son. I do hope there is .more to
...more
Linda Baker
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's 1812 and Principal Officer of the Bow Street Station, Stephen Lavender, and his fiery Spanish wife, Magdalena, are two years married and happily living in London. They would be happier, however, if Stephen were not called away on cases so often. Government funding is always scarce for Bow Street, so they supplement their income by sending Runners out on private investigations. As a Principal Officer, Lavender is much in demand.

Upon returning to London, Lavender is back to work immediately.
...more
JayeL
Apr 18, 2018 added it
Shelves: series, audio, own, 2018
This installment of the Inspector Lavender mysteries is just as interesting as the others. The author introduces a Moriarty-like nemesis to the story, who, of course, gets away in the end. This means he will be back. Sigh.

This book takes place two years after The Sculthorpe Murder. I was really surprised at that.

The structure of the story is the same as the others. Lavender is struggling with a hectic business travel schedule demanded by Magistrate Reed who is over budget on a building project.
...more
Louise
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in a series.
I had read the first one and so knew that I was in for a treat but chose to cut my losses and read this edition without two and three.
The first thing that was great was that it didn't matter that I had missed out some of the books or indeed not read the first, the story flowed and we were filled in with 'back story' in a deft way without repeating previous stories.
Stephen Lavender is based on a real Bow Street Runner and this story concerns the discovery of a
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Jillian
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook - a great way to experience this story. The characters are well drawn and developed. The historical detail of the time ( especially the Bow Street Runners) is not only thoroughly researched but convincingly crafted into an engaging narrative. I love the emergence of detection techniques as well as the creation of London at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

I’m a fan!
SUSAN PUTNEY
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read several of the Detective Lavender mysteries.
I enjoyed them tremendously. The author's use of actual historic persons and detailed period development make them exceptional in my opinion ion.
Jessica
Mar 02, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: mystery
The writing is not engaging me. Did not finish pretty early on, so no rating.
Arkgirl
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The fourth in the series but a book that can be read as a stand alone ... you may, like me, decide to go back and catch up or wait to read them in order.
This is set around the Bow Street runners and there are factual references mixed into the fiction which adds an extra dimension. The characters are credible and those who have read the earlier books will have seen them gradually develop but we hear enough about their back stories to feel we are getting to know the lead characters.
There is myster
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Nadishka Aloysius
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Detective Lavender gets his own Moriarty!
Greta Halliday
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this well written and informative book, a true story entwined with fiction not knowing which was which until I read the glossary at the end.. I will certainly be looking at other books written by this author. 5*
Clare
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. It’s Sherlock-esque, but not in a bad way. The character has become quite likeable, I enjoy his give-and-take with Woods, his constable. The author does well to start with a complex issue and end it with a plausible and believable conclusion.

Sad to have reached the end of the series so far and can’t wait for the next in the series.
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Karen Charlton writes historical mystery and is also the author of a nonfiction genealogy book, 'Seeking Our Eagle,' and the joint author of the cosy chicklit series, 'The Silver Sex Kittens'. She has published short stories and numerous articles and reviews in newspapers and magazines. An English graduate and ex-teacher,
Karen has led writing workshops and has spoken at a series of literary events
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Other books in the series

Detective Lavender Mysteries (6 books)
  • The Heiress of Linn Hagh (Detective Lavender Mysteries, #1)
  • The Sans Pareil Mystery (Detective Lavender Mysteries #2)
  • The Sculthorpe Murder (Detective Lavender Mysteries #3)
  • Murder in Park Lane (Detective Lavender Mysteries #5)
  • The Willow Marsh Murder (The Detective Lavender Mysteries #6)

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“I was fascinated to learn that the real-life Stephen Lavender, on whom my fictional hero is based, was involved in the aftermath of the shocking murder. He, along with fellow Principal Officers John Vickery and Harry Adkins, gathered the evidence required to convict Bellingham. The connection Vickery made between the pistol ball used to kill Bellingham and the small machine used to make it which he found in Bellingham’s lodgings, is often cited as the first example in a UK courtroom of ballistic forensic analysis” 0 likes
“Lavender deserved his own Moriarty,” 0 likes
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