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Death of a Colonial (Sir John Fielding, #6)
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Death of a Colonial

(Sir John Fielding #6)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  740 ratings  ·  50 reviews
"A rich rewarding trip for everyone." --The New York Times

"Alexander's eye for period detail is sharp and subtle; he brings his historic England back to life in layers." --Chicago Tribune

When a nobleman is executed, his possessions are expected to go to the Crown, as he is the last of his line. Then a man appears, claiming to be the nobleman's younger brother who d
Paperback, 294 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Berkley (first published 1999)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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I'm coming to realize that I don't read these books for the plots, which are OK but not great. It's the voice of the young narrator, the setting in 1770s London, and the insights into the beginnings of modern English criminal justice that keep me coming back. In this book, an inquiry into a claimant to a title and fortune links up with both a previous Fielding story and a case from 1763, and both deal with "The Colonies" as they then were. A good but not great entry in this series. ...more
Another Sir John Fielding mystery - I always enjoy them, and this one was especially good because it was a pretty pure mystery (sometimes they are more in the suspense genre). A man comes back from the colonies claiming to be the long lost son of a recently deceased lord, so Sir John and Jeremy must determine whether he is entitled to the fortune he seeks. It's funny that I initially joined GoodReads to try to keep better track of the plots of mysteries I read, and one of my first reviews was fo ...more
Paul Weiss
Another winner in a winning series!

Death of a Colonial
, Bruce Alexander's sixth 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.

Fans of Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding series will recall t
Maria Rose
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another story involving the magistrate and his ward in solving both a past crime and settling a present claim. The last book I read was concerning a man who inherited his uncle's estate because he was the eldest male relative and he was in the process of gaining the title of Lord when he was convicted of murder. This book involves that case plus another unsolved case of Lord John from a few years ago concerning the murder of a man named Mudge. What I enjoy about reading these books is the deduct ...more
Marsha Valance
This book is 5th in Alexander's series that featuring Sir John Fielding, the blind judge who founded the Bow Street Runners (forerunners of London's Police ). "Death of a Colonial" shows the reader how contemporary Britain viewed the American colonies 50 years before the Revolution: a wild, savage land that converts even civilized men to barbarians. King George I desires the country home of an executed criminal of noble family, but an heir has arrived from America to claim it. Sir John is appoin ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Not my favorite Sir John Fielding book. I thought it ran rather long and the criminal was pretty obvious from early on. I did like the character growth in Jeremy Proctor and the way the 'family' lives with camaraderie, bickering, hurt feelings, love, assistance - like a real family instead of a collection of saints. Jeremy and Clarissa are quite equals - intellectually and in personality - will they end up together, or will they be brother/sister in adulthood? And will Annie's attempts to improv ...more
Virginia Tican
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wealthy earldom sans an heir... a treasure?... and greed, entitlement and ambition... then there is murder. There are also officious pompous intractable asses added to the mix. This one had our major characters journeying to Bath and then Oxford to debunk a false claim. I think this is the best so far of all the six I have read chronologically. A brilliant ending.
Pat Pfeiffer
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Like this series occasionally due to time and place. Very easy to read and simple
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I had a hard time getting interested in the plot and it wasn't until the second half of the book that I got hooked and enjoyed the rest. ...more
Stacie  Haden
A thoroughly excellent historical mystery series. This one started out slower than the others, but came solidly together for the second half.
Carolyn Rose
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent sense of time and place and the privilege of the rich and titled.
Paula Dembeck
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the sixth book in the Sir John Fielding Series.

Sir John has been called by the Lord Chief Justice to attend a secret meeting at his home. Sir John is always wary of meetings called in secret and is reluctant to go but has no choice. Sir Patrick Spenser, the King’s Solicitor General has set up a commission and asked the Chief Justice to chair it. The commission is to examine the claim of Lawrence Paltrow to the huge Lanningham Estate. The man who calls himself Lawrence Paltrow insists he
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Death of a Colonial by Bruce Alexander brings to life an interesting historical period. Sir John Fielding a blind magistrate in London helped to develop the Bow Street Runners, the first professional police organization in England . Sir John, the brother of Henry Fielding was a famed and gifted magistrate who compensated for his lack of sight by developing other skills. It is said that he never forgot a voice and could recognize a criminal by his voice alone.
Sixteen year old Jeremy Proctor assis
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
With Death of a Colonial, Jeremy is now 16 and beginning the process of studying Law. Sir John is teaching Jeremy the art of interrogation, and observation. He shows him some case files he deems as his personal failures. They are failures because theybwere ether unsolved or unresolved to his satisfaction. Sir John wants Jeremy to read and learn from those files.
In a previous novel, a nobleman with no known heirs is executed for homicide. By law, the lands and property of the deceased noble au
Christopher Taylor
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
The story of Jeremy Proctor, employee and eventually adopted son of Sir John Fielding continues. This book involves a man claiming to be a lost heir to a noble house. A commission has been founded to prove the man a fraud and fold the house and name away so the king gets all its lands and possessions.

Sir John is tasked with checking into claims, and it soon becomes likely that the man is not just false, but probably being backed by someone powerful, hoping to gain from his inheritance.

This book
Carole Moran
Sep 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I generally like this series about Sir John Fielding, the "Blind Beak of Bow Street" which are based on the actual historical figure of the same name. When I read my first Sir John Fielding book by Bruce Alexander, I thought "what an unlikely character for a mystery." It seemed ridiculous to me that the leading investigator should be a blind magistrate of Bow Street, London, England. Imagine my surprise to find this was based on fact! If one enjoys historical mysteries, these are among the most ...more
Sep 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Bruce Alexander's series of mysteries are set in 18th century England and have as protagonists blind magistrate John Fielding and his teenage assistant. "Death of a Colonial", like the five volumes before it, is a quick, fun read and no more. If you're heading to the beach, this is the right choice. If you want a complex mystery, subtly-shaded characters, or true historical detail, you'll have to look elsewhere.

May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy the humorous part in each case, we are presented in "Sir John Fielding" series. And as such love each new book, I audio listen. Both Jeremy Procter and Sir John Fielding are amazingly well developed character, I love them both. I enjoy how their working and personal relationship progresses with each new story. The main storyline in the seventh book, was awesome as suspected, and really well developed.
Alexander, Bruce – 6th of Series
Jeremy Procter and Sir John Fielding are asked to disprove the claim of a man who has returned from the Colonies to claim his family’s fortune.

This series provides a wonderful sense of history and character. It is a series I enjoy greatly.
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
another good one in this great series. jeremy is 16 now and starting to learn the law, and his relationship with sir john is strengthened further.these characters are so memorable and enjoyable that it's easy to pick up the next book in the series after being away for awhile and get right back into it. ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This one was guessable after a while, but it was nice to see Sir John continue to puzzle over a case he was unable to solve several years earlier. It's somehow comforting that even so able a person as he has some at least temporary setbacks.

As ever, the language and texture of the series is compelling.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Bruce Alexander can weave a tale that will intrigue and instruct. With this historically based series, I am taken back to the 1800's and made to appreciate our currently flawed but extensive law system. What Sir John Fielding does for me is to remind me to use all my senses while reading the story. Invariably, something is given away that leads you to what you think is the conclusion. ...more
Aug 03, 2008 rated it liked it
The character of Sir John Fielding - based on the real John Fielding who lived in 18th century London - is one of the most vivid and appealing in all of the mystery genre. He reminds me in many ways of the great Sherlock and I can bestow no higher compliment.
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fascinating book! I think that Bruce Alexander (by the way, found out last night that that is a pen name for him!) gets better with every book in the series. Sir John has such a memory for voices and facts. He solves two crimes(actually three)in this book. I enjoyed it!
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
A blind barrister takes on some of the most gruesome of murders in London with the aid of a young boy he met when the child was before the magistrate for stealing. Sir John takes the boy home and the adventures begin.

This entire series is well worth reading.
Beth Britnell
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish every contemporary author involved with serial writing could handle backstory and exposition as well as Mr. Alexander. I never felt as if I were wading through everything that came before ... Well done, and excellently written.
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Sir John Fielding historical mystery series by Bruce Alexander continues to engage and delight, this time with a story that includes historical figures (Benjamin Franklin for one) in not the most attractive light.
Oct 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Fun books once you get the hang of the old English language. Too bad Alexander died.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Love this series. I wish it weren't so hard to find. ...more
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
See my review of the initial novel in the series, Blind Justice.
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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)
  • The Color of Death (Sir John Fielding, #7)
  • 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)

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