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The Color of Death

(Sir John Fielding #7)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  632 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Suspicion and fear are running high in London, as a gang of expert criminals terrorizes the town in a spree of robbery and murder. And in a time when slavery is still practiced in the colonies, there is but one peculiar clue to the identity of this group: The robbers are all black men.

The blind judge Sir John Fielding is on the case to ensure that the guilty are punished
...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Berkley Prime Crime (first published November 1st 2000)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  632 ratings  ·  43 reviews


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Stacie  Haden
I have yet to read anyone who wrote like Bruce Alexander. It's no wonder that a prestigious award is named in his honor. He writes as if it was indeed written in the 18th century, without the confusion which often accompanies a novel actually written in that time. I can't wait to see find where Jeremy Proctor's life takes him in the remaining four novels.
Matt B.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sir John, and in particular young Jeremy in this Fielding series, confront the issue of racial prejudice in this fine mystery but there is no pontificating or slowing of the plot as the book rushes along. Historical detail, as usual, spot-on.
Paul Weiss
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Modern police would call it "home invasion"

THE COLOR OF DEATH
, Bruce Alexander's seventh novel in the highly acclaimed Sir John Fielding series, is neither the cozy, lightweight mystery (à la Agatha Christie or Susan Wittig-Albert) nor the historical thriller that many readers might expect. It might more accurately be categorized as an atmospheric and compelling investigation set within a graphic description of 18th century Georgian England.

When London's well-to-do neighbourhoods are faced with
...more
Carl
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bruce Alexander's "The Color of Death" is certainly a cryptic title which quickly becomes clear in this the seventh entry in the Sir John Fielding series. The protagonist is a blind 18th century London magistrate Sir John Fielding, who is based on a real historical character. "The Color of Death" focuses on a series of burglaries apparently committed by a gang of ruthless black men. Consequently, any black man on the streets is immediately suspect simply due to his color/ race - hence, the ...more
Virginia Tican
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A series of robberies in the more affluent houses in London reported to be perpetrated by a black gang of thieves resulted in murders... and for the first time, a bullet hole through the Black Beak's shoulder. There are some mis~directs here, but for me, it is not so much as trying to find out who the dastards are, but just the thrill of following Jeremy's adventures and life's lessons in the midst of all the capers. Plus Annie, the Fieldings' cook, has finally found her true vocation following ...more
Sandy Shin
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
The question of slavery in the British colonies was being heavily argued in London in 1772 and Jeremy and Sir Joh Fielding had a series of cases which touched on the problem. The very real characters and their ambitions, problems and interactions kept me reading and involved tight to the very last, and satisfied that all issues were explained, yet unsatisfied with the historical truth that the American colonies *with the exception of Canada) were still slave holders.
You'll enjoy the story, the
...more
pearl_seeker
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful addition to the Sir John Fielding series! It is interesting to see the growth in the younger characters - Jeremy, Annie & Clarissa. This book had a lot of action, the usual wonderfully vibrant treatment of London, and a great mystery. I highly recommend this book and the entire series!
C. Mills
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it

Sir John is a London Magistrate, as his brother Henry was, but John (a real person) is blind, which makes everything about his job harder. My sister really likes the series of which this is #7. I couldn't get into it, which is not the author's fault.
William
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book three and a half stars if that was possible. It had a good plot and held my interest, but was a little too "preachy".
Marcia DeCruz
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good.
Paula Dembeck
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the seventh novel in the Sir John Fielding Series and Jeremy Proctor is now seventeen, continuing his apprenticeship and his studies in law with the blind magistrate.

A series of well- planned robberies have occurred in London. Some of the great houses on St James Street are robbed in broad daylight and stripped of their valuables including paintings and jewels. The robbers gain entrance to the homes by tricking the butlers to open the door and then crash through, round up the household
...more
Ann
Another good John Fielding mystery - although I didn't like it as much as the last couple. I generally find stories involving robberies less interesting, so oh well. In this installment, Sir John and Jeremy investigate a series of robberies occurring in the wealthiest part of London by a gang of African men. However, Sir John doubts that they are actually black, and believes that the African population of London is being framed. The author brings up a lot of interesting issues regarding the ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Color of Death, by Bruce Alexander, B-plus, borrowed from National Library Service for the Blind.

This is part of the blind Justice Sir John Fielding series, set in the 1700’s. In this one, the justice is shot, and therefore his main assistant, Jeremy, has to do the investigating of the murders, which begin as robberies. The burglars appear to be a bunch of African men, at least Black men. Sir John believes that is curious, though, as there are not many free Africans in England at that time.
...more
edifanob
May 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
I like crime mysteries set in 18th-century London.
Main characters:
Sir John Fielding, the blind magistrate of Bow Street
and
Jeremy Proctor, his protégé

Well developed characters, a well done depiction of of the culture and thought of the period.

I remembered the book when I found it during my search through my book chests.

Some books have been edited in German. Now I take a fancy to add all the missing volumes to my to-buy to-read list.
Since 2003 my English has improved and I think I'm able to
...more
Amy
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I've read Sir John Fielding book. I'm glad I picked this series back up. The plot was very good and I enjoyed the writing. I like watching Jeremy Proctor progress into a young man and learned skills from Sir John. As always, this book also addresses social issues of the day and include settle parallels to today's societal issues. I won't say anything about the plot as it was very complicated and at times I was quite confused as to what was going on, but it all worked out ...more
Niffer
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed with this book when compared to the other Sir John Fielding mysteries. I felt as though the new characters were not quite as well defined as normal and that some of the returning characters were acting out of character. I also feel as though Jeremy is not maturing as much as he maybe should be.

Overall, though, it was a sound storyline, with enough humor to keep it fun, and a decent mystery to keep me guessing.
LJ
COLOR OF DEATH – VG
Bruce Alexander – 7th in series
After Sir John Fielding is wounded, Jeremy Procter must take the lead in investigating a spree of robberies and murder of noble families in their own parlors. Their one particular clue is that the robbers are all black men – or are they?

Beside the usual excellent writing and 1800’s police procedural, this book looks at the subject of race in Victorian times. This is a consistently good series.
Meggie
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This, the seventh book in Sir John Fielding series, was as always witty, full of humor and had a great developed storyline. Jeremy was mostly on its own in this book, which was a nice change in his plotted course. Sir John was shot at the beggining of their investigation and as such couldn't participate actively in the investigation. I loved one, specific humorous scene in this book. So, I'm going on to the next part!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Lynne Dean
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed this entire series enough to read all 13 books twice! I love the time period, and I like the insertion of historical persons, besides Sir John Fielding, but Ben Franklin, and Samuel Johnson and James Boswell.
If you like a break from the modern murder mysteries replete with graphic violence, sex, and foul language, these Bruce Alexander short novels are a treat, along with the 21 books in the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, along with Ann Perry.
Rhonda
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
another good entry in the series. sir john is injured early in the story and jeremy takes a more active role in the investigation, initially. annie's story progresses and i anticipate a new character or two in the next book. there is a hint at a possible romance between clarissa and jeremy - he's now 17 and noticing his grown up feelings. it'll be interesting to see how that plays out. looking forward to number 8.
Sharon
Jul 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-mystery
An interesting component of this mystery involves the appearance of Belle of the movie by the same name. The Uncle of the real Belle, Lord Mansfield, was truly the Lord Chief Justice of Britain and Sir John's boss. He appears in all the Sir John Fielding mysteries. Lord Mansfield was deciding the Somerset case during the story. Although it had to do with slavery, it was not the issue Lord Mansfield was deciding during the movie, Belle.
Judy Seeley
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I just finished the 7th in the series, 4 more to go. I continue to enjoy the time period, the 1770s, and the London setting, the blind magistrate, Sir John Fielding, and Jeremy Proctor, the young man he adopted as a boy. Jeremy is now his assistant and of course, helps Sir John to solve the crimes.
Dawn
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I find this series constantly surprises me with its subject matter. I am very familiar with race issues within North America but never particularly think about how the Victorians thought about the matter. I thought this book did a great job of laying out some of the prejudices and reactions of the period.
Fred Krapf
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't feel like there was much of a mystery here. I sort of figured it out before I was halfway through. Despite that, I like the setting and characters a lot. The interplay between the two main characters is very cute.
Rogue Reader
I think this is the last Sir John Fielding mystery that I'd left to read and I'm sorry Bruce Alexander is dead and there will be no more. Will re-read the series in chronological order. Just yesterday found Boswell's London Journal and looking forward to fitting in the pieces.
Dorothy
Aug 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Sir John Fielding and his assistant Jeremy continue their fight for truth, justice, and the English way of being in this the seventh of the series. It is just as well-written and engaging as all the others.
Regine
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, uk-england
Sturdy.
Tracy
Aug 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Here I thought I'd read all of these -- I thought there were only four or five in the series -- and I discover about half a dozen more at the library! I'm on a Bruce Alexander kick now.
Janice
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Love it! Alexander seems to get better as the series goes on. I really enjoy the detail that he puts into his books.
JB
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I've liked all of the Sir John Fielding books so far (this was #8 in the series). This one seemed a little less engaging that the previous 7; it may have just been me though.
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Pseudonym of American journalist and author Bruce Cook.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Bruce Alexander Cook (1932–2003) was an American journalist and author who wrote under the pseudonym Bruce Alexander, creating historical novels about a blind 18th century Englishman and also a 20th century Mexican-American detective.

Other books in the series

Sir John Fielding (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Blind Justice (Sir John Fielding, #1)
  • Murder in Grub Street (Sir John Fielding, #2)
  • Watery Grave (Sir John Fielding, #3)
  • Person or Persons Unknown (Sir John Fielding, #4)
  • Jack, Knave and Fool (Sir John Fielding, #5)
  • Death of a Colonial (Sir John Fielding, #6)
  • Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding, #8)
  • An Experiment In Treason (Sir John Fielding, #9)
  • The Price of Murder (Sir John Fielding, Book 10)
  • Rules of Engagement (Sir John Fielding, #11)