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London Bridges

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  80 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
SEVERAL DECEPTIONS, Jane Stevenson's brilliant and highly acclaimed novella collection, was an outstanding literary debut. Now, with her first novel, she again offers readers a work of dazzling intelligence, elegant wit, and keen social observation. An affectionate homage to the classic English detective story, LONDON BRIDGES is set in 1990s London and crafted with a very ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 7th 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2000)
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karen
Jan 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
eh. this book proves that we must always read the back of books before buying them, and not just be transfixed by reflective silver surfaces. i bought this years and years ago and decided to finally read it. and for some reason, even after a casual remembering-glance at the back cover copy, stubbornly mentally insisted it was victorian. a nice victorian suspense-y thing, thought i. it actually takes place in the 90's. the 1990's. so it was jarring at first, and then there's an exhausting amount ...more
Alethea
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I don't generally have any patience with contemporary fiction, and although this is something of a mystery, it's only lightly so. I was surpriesed by how very much I enjoyed it. Part of that was, of course, the evocation of London--I have met or seen most of these characters, and the sense of place is considerable. Nevertheless, it was sufficiently well written that I finished with great enjoyment. I doubt that I'll read it again, but that's not a requirement for a high rating. It did suffer fro ...more
Elizabeth
Such an interesting and funny novel. Why isn't it better known?
Rosemary Byrne
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Intelligently written, well researched, nice prose, good characterizations, although somehow the prose didn't sparkle and I wasn't sure until 100 or so pages in that I was really interested in the story. One of those "serendipity" tales where a number of different characters come to be acquainted with one another and in the end--although their lives are told almost entirely within a narrow area of London--jointly have a brief and very unlikely "adventure" in the Cotswolds that ends in them thwar ...more
Simon Mcleish
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on my blog here in May 2005.

Margery Allingham's classic novels are generally set in the most rural parts of Essex and Suffolk or in London. The latter had a particular atmosphere which is more or less gone from the genre: she specialised in eccentric faded gentility. Perhaps there is less of this about than there was in the thirties, and even thoguh there is still a great deal of crime fiction being set in England's capital, it is dominated by the police procedural. In Allin
...more
Nora Branch Library
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Janine is a graduate student of European studies whose part-time job as a Mayfair pharmacy assistant leads to her to a murder. Scholar and eccentric Sebastian's accidental friendship with an elderly gentleman brings him unknowingly into the scheme involving a devious Greek business woman, a corrupt young lawyer and an ancient and stupendously valuable plot of land south of the Thames. Various colorful friends and colleagues add spice to the intricate plot, but the star of this thrilling and quir ...more
Pr
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-fiction
I thought this book was going to be a mystery, and it borders on being one, however as someone else pointed out it crosses genres and was much more. The story is very engaging, and the plot moves quickly, much as a thriller does. But this is no thriller. It is witty and funny in places -- I laughed out loud several times while reading it. It is intelligent, which is a refreshing change from so many authors today. Plus the characters are well-developed so you start caring about them. And it has a ...more
Cork Tarplee
London Bridges has been on my bookshelf, unread, for more than five years. I discovered it there during a move and in moving hell read it while I was too distracted to visit the library. It has been one of the unexpected benefits of the move. Neither a thriller nor a detective novel, it is a gentle story of an inept intrigue and its unintentional exposure with just enough suspense to keep one reading. But the real delight is in its charming and quirky characters who seem to delight in getting to ...more
Sara
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, fiction
This book was just the sort of thing I like: set in the UK, includes some academic types, lively goings on. It gets off to a bit of a slow start as a number of key characters must be introduced, but once things are underway and the disparate strands are beginning to tie together, I found it very exciting. The ending was maybe a tad abrupt, but part of the reason I say that is because I love Sebastian, Dil, Janeane and Hattie and would eagerly follow them indefinitely.
Clare
May 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was too simplistic, and the action and characters a bit formulaic. The book's "bad guys" were lacking in definition. Its social commentary (as pertains to gay men and people of ethnicity in the UK) seems outdated but perhaps it wasn't at the time it was written.
All things considered, I did read it all the way through.
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The Best Ever Novel About London 1 3 Aug 22, 2012 01:36PM  
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Dr. Jane Stevenson (born 1959) is a UK author who was born in London and brought up in London, Beijing and Bonn. She has lectured in history at Sheffield University, and teaches literature and history at the University of Aberdeen. Her fiction books include Several Deceptions, a collection of four novellas; a novel, London Bridges; and the historical trilogy made up of the novels The Winter Queen, ...more
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