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The Emperor's Assassin

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For twenty years, England and France have been at war. Now the war has come home… On a sunny July day in 1815, Plymouth Sound is crowded with boats vying for a view of England’s great battleship HMS Bellerophon. For aboard the vessel is the stout little Frenchman who threw the world into chaos. In London, some people clamor for Napoleon’s execution, others for his exile, an For twenty years, England and France have been at war. Now the war has come home… On a sunny July day in 1815, Plymouth Sound is crowded with boats vying for a view of England’s great battleship HMS Bellerophon. For aboard the vessel is the stout little Frenchman who threw the world into chaos. In London, some people clamor for Napoleon’s execution, others for his exile, and still others for a civil trial on English soil. For one humble London detective, the debate has turned deadly. Bow Street Runner Henry Morton has a murder to solve--and Napoleon himself is at the heart of the matter. The victim is a Frenchwoman, the mistress of a count. Soon Morton is racing through a demimonde of French expatriates, Bonapartists, fanatical Royalists, and one very dangerous, drunken petty crook. From an exotic London brothel to a scene of carnage on a Dartmoor farm, the detective enters a covert war over Napoleon’s fate. And amid the betrayal, deception, and murder, Morton will face a waterloo of his own.


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For twenty years, England and France have been at war. Now the war has come home… On a sunny July day in 1815, Plymouth Sound is crowded with boats vying for a view of England’s great battleship HMS Bellerophon. For aboard the vessel is the stout little Frenchman who threw the world into chaos. In London, some people clamor for Napoleon’s execution, others for his exile, an For twenty years, England and France have been at war. Now the war has come home… On a sunny July day in 1815, Plymouth Sound is crowded with boats vying for a view of England’s great battleship HMS Bellerophon. For aboard the vessel is the stout little Frenchman who threw the world into chaos. In London, some people clamor for Napoleon’s execution, others for his exile, and still others for a civil trial on English soil. For one humble London detective, the debate has turned deadly. Bow Street Runner Henry Morton has a murder to solve--and Napoleon himself is at the heart of the matter. The victim is a Frenchwoman, the mistress of a count. Soon Morton is racing through a demimonde of French expatriates, Bonapartists, fanatical Royalists, and one very dangerous, drunken petty crook. From an exotic London brothel to a scene of carnage on a Dartmoor farm, the detective enters a covert war over Napoleon’s fate. And amid the betrayal, deception, and murder, Morton will face a waterloo of his own.

30 review for The Emperor's Assassin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Weiss

    A muddy, confused plot! In July 1815, having returned home from war with France, HMS Bellerophon, one of England's finest battleships, rests at anchor in Plymouth Sound transporting a very special prisoner. The water is crowded with everything from dories to schooners with passengers clamoring for a look at Napoleon who is being held on board pending the English government's decision as to whether he should be executed, exiled or held over for civil trial. In the resulting chaos, a woman apparentl A muddy, confused plot! In July 1815, having returned home from war with France, HMS Bellerophon, one of England's finest battleships, rests at anchor in Plymouth Sound transporting a very special prisoner. The water is crowded with everything from dories to schooners with passengers clamoring for a look at Napoleon who is being held on board pending the English government's decision as to whether he should be executed, exiled or held over for civil trial. In the resulting chaos, a woman apparently drowns and washes up on shore. But when her body is examined more closely, she is revealed to be Angelique Desmarches, the mistress of a high level French aristocrat, and it is clear that she has been tortured. Henry Morton, one of Bow Street's best known Runners, smells a murder and his initial thought is that she has been interrogated for her possible knowledge of the Royalist's plans for the captured Little Emperor! Skulduggery, corruption, intrigue and secret diplomacy all hide under the rocks that Morton turns over as he conducts his investigation from London to the shores of the English Channel. Unfortunately, despite the high hopes I had for this novel after my immense enjoyment of Banks' debut novel in the series, THE THIEF TAKER, this second entry in THE BOW STREET RUNNER series just didn't seem to click. Whereas THE THIEF TAKER was deeply atmospheric filled with a rich cornucopia of period detail and a puzzling, well-plotted mystery peopled by well-developed characters whose lives would mean something to a reader, THE EMPEROR'S ASSASSIN was a rather muddy, meandering mystery that seemed to plod along rather interminably and lurch from one crisis to the next without really developing into anything exciting. The lack-luster plot that left me, frankly, confused as to who was royalist, who was loyalist and who was on whose side. Nor was this weakness mitigated by colourful character development or a strong descriptive portrayal of the rich, teeming ambience of the Regency period. Only moderately enjoyable and not really recommended as a particularly good example of a Regency mystery. Paul Weiss

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Another fine historical mystery from the author tandem writing as T.F. Banks. See my review of The Thief Taker, which is the first book in this series. It's too bad there aren't more in this series. Another fine historical mystery from the author tandem writing as T.F. Banks. See my review of The Thief Taker, which is the first book in this series. It's too bad there aren't more in this series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Retroredux

    When you read a book and you're sad to see the series end. It's unfortunate that these two authors only made two of these fantastic regency adventures. When you read a book and you're sad to see the series end. It's unfortunate that these two authors only made two of these fantastic regency adventures.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Schwartz

    I loved the first book - Thief Taker. That and this book feature Henry Morton - A Bow Street Runner. This book is set in the summer of 1815 in London. I was disappointed that this writing duo haven't written another book since this one was released in 2003. I think they have portrayed this little-known era in British crime fighting history very well. This book is full of intrigue and mystery. Napoleon has been replaced by the monarchy in France, and many French ex-pats in England still want to b I loved the first book - Thief Taker. That and this book feature Henry Morton - A Bow Street Runner. This book is set in the summer of 1815 in London. I was disappointed that this writing duo haven't written another book since this one was released in 2003. I think they have portrayed this little-known era in British crime fighting history very well. This book is full of intrigue and mystery. Napoleon has been replaced by the monarchy in France, and many French ex-pats in England still want to be involved in the political turmoil that is in France. Morton and his runners are pulled into more political intrigue than they want to be involved in and there's a slew of bodies found along the way. This is an exciting time in British history, and I would like to see more of it. It would be great to see a tv series set around the Bow Street Runners. But more importantly, I would like to see more of Henry Morton. Don't let this be the end.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Durante

    I've been reading a lot on Napoleon recently, and thought this murder mystery would be interesting because it's set *after* Waterloo. While I liked the lead character (an early Bow Street Runner), the motivations of the bad guys were just too confusing, perhaps because their characters weren't developed well enough. Even with the final wrap-up, I wasn't satisfied about who did what when where why. I can't recommend this particular book, although I might try others by this author. I've been reading a lot on Napoleon recently, and thought this murder mystery would be interesting because it's set *after* Waterloo. While I liked the lead character (an early Bow Street Runner), the motivations of the bad guys were just too confusing, perhaps because their characters weren't developed well enough. Even with the final wrap-up, I wasn't satisfied about who did what when where why. I can't recommend this particular book, although I might try others by this author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Hull

    An excellent derivative of the precursor ‘Memoirs Of A Bow Street Runner: The Thief Taker’, by Author T.F.Banks [pseudonym for Sean Russell and Ian Dennis]. I only wish that there will be further ‘episodes’ in this (so far) 2 book ‘series’, however, since this 2nd book was published 18 years ago (in 2003, 2 years after ‘The Thief Taker’) the prospect of this is, I think, sadly, extremely unlikely. A marvellous read!

  7. 4 out of 5

    William

    This is not my favorite Bow Runner series. I enjoyed the Sir John Fielding series and the Matthew Hawkwood series much more. I also enjoyed the first book in this series more than this one. I wish that Goodreads allowed "half stars" - if it did, I would give this book two and a half stars. This is not my favorite Bow Runner series. I enjoyed the Sir John Fielding series and the Matthew Hawkwood series much more. I also enjoyed the first book in this series more than this one. I wish that Goodreads allowed "half stars" - if it did, I would give this book two and a half stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Well researched and well written. A solid sequel that takes us to England after the war with the French has been resolved but the matter of all the playwrs 8n that war, not so much.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    This is a very good historical mystery. Ignore the other reviews that state it is boring or not as good as the first. I almost put off reading this because of those reviews but the negative comments I found to be unwarranted. I enjoyed this.

  10. 5 out of 5

    RS Fuster

    A really good read. Just remember that in mystery stories villain are some time hero’s and hero’s are sometimes villains. Then again sometimes they’re both. If you like this you’ll like “The Thief Taker”.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Nicely paced. Authentic feel to the time and period.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    An excellent continuation of the series of novels. Well-written, with a grasping plot and finely sketched period details.

  13. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    For twenty years, England and France have been at war. Now the war has come home… On a sunny July day in 1815, Plymouth Sound is crowded with boats vying for a view of England’s great battleship HMS Bellerophon. For aboard the vessel is the stout little Frenchman who threw the world into chaos. In London, some people clamor for Napoleon’s execution, others for his exile, and still others for a civil trial on English soil. For one humble London detective, the debate has turned deadly. Bow Street R For twenty years, England and France have been at war. Now the war has come home… On a sunny July day in 1815, Plymouth Sound is crowded with boats vying for a view of England’s great battleship HMS Bellerophon. For aboard the vessel is the stout little Frenchman who threw the world into chaos. In London, some people clamor for Napoleon’s execution, others for his exile, and still others for a civil trial on English soil. For one humble London detective, the debate has turned deadly. Bow Street Runner Henry Morton has a murder to solve--and Napoleon himself is at the heart of the matter. The victim is a Frenchwoman, the mistress of a count. Soon Morton is racing through a demimonde of French expatriates, Bonapartists, fanatical Royalists, and one very dangerous, drunken petty crook. From an exotic London brothel to a scene of carnage on a Dartmoor farm, the detective enters a covert war over Napoleon’s fate. And amid the betrayal, deception, and murder, Morton will face a waterloo of his own. Released only in paperback. Set in 1815 with Napoleon being held aboard the HMS Bellerophon while his fate is being decided, Bow Street Runner Henry Morton investigates the death of a Frenchwoman. These are wonderfully written with interesting characters and an excellent sense of setting and history.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I enjoyed the second installment of 'Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner' The Emperor's Assassin, featuring our heroic and charismatic Henry Morton but this story left me feeling like I barely saw Morton... He was so busy with the tangled web of plots and spies and deceit and murder we hardly heard about his love life and his upbringing. This time the 'Runner' is investigating the murder of a beautiful Frenchwoman who also happens to be the mistress of a count. In Plymouth Sound the English Navy has Na I enjoyed the second installment of 'Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner' The Emperor's Assassin, featuring our heroic and charismatic Henry Morton but this story left me feeling like I barely saw Morton... He was so busy with the tangled web of plots and spies and deceit and murder we hardly heard about his love life and his upbringing. This time the 'Runner' is investigating the murder of a beautiful Frenchwoman who also happens to be the mistress of a count. In Plymouth Sound the English Navy has Napoleon in their custody. Some are calling for him to be exiled others for his execution, all sides are fanatical in their quest, some leaving a bloody trail in their wake. Once again, I really enjoyed the characters that "T.F. Banks" created, especially Morton and Mrs. Arabella Malibrant. But I finished the book feeling that I didn't get enough of them alone or together. I will read another 'Memoir' if the author will write another... I hope we will get to see more of Morton in the next story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ronni B. Wolfe

    2nd book in an enjoyable new Bow Street Runners/ Regency time period series Found 2nd book, then pulled up 1st to read in sequence. Interesting characters & developing connections between the classes. Lead characters include a Runner & new colleague, an older Runner, amagistrate, celebrated actress & a British lord. More hopefully regular characters to be added from those introduced in the 2nd book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vic

    T.F. Banks = Sean Russell, one of my old time favorite writers. I am sorry to say I found this story unable to hold my attention or create any sense of excitement. It is a marvelous period piece and I that alone was enough to get me interested. That and the fact I enjoyed the first Bow Street Runner novel, The Thief-Taker.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Judie

    I loved this book up until page 200 and then it became a series of coach chases - I skipped a lot of pages and did read the end - which does contain a good twist - it was simply too long. I felt the author was writing for a movie rather than for readers. I did enjoy the book, but it wasn't as good as the first in this series. I loved this book up until page 200 and then it became a series of coach chases - I skipped a lot of pages and did read the end - which does contain a good twist - it was simply too long. I felt the author was writing for a movie rather than for readers. I did enjoy the book, but it wasn't as good as the first in this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Spitz

    This series appears to have ended with only two installments. My disappointment is mitigated by finding that the author has more books of a sea-faring nature under the name Sean Russell from the same time period (Napoleonic Wars).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    I had a harder time getting into this one than the first book. Although, once I was interested at the end, I was surprised that there were no more books in the series. It seems that it was set up to continue several character lines -- but I guess not.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I was really disappointed in this book, especially since the premise (assassination of Napoleon on a ship off the coast of England) was so good, but YAWN, I was bored silly. Too bad, since I really loved 'The Thief Taker', the first book in the "series". I was really disappointed in this book, especially since the premise (assassination of Napoleon on a ship off the coast of England) was so good, but YAWN, I was bored silly. Too bad, since I really loved 'The Thief Taker', the first book in the "series".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary G.

    A wonderful story. Wish he wrote more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Big on doses of political theory, short on plot. I’m sure there are people out there who are fascinated by Napolean-era political maneuverings of Royalists and Bonapartistes, but I’m not one of them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sherelyn Ernst

    Well-paced, interesting characters and period details; well-told but not literary. This is a good "relief" read if you need to break up something heavier. Well-paced, interesting characters and period details; well-told but not literary. This is a good "relief" read if you need to break up something heavier.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Not really a mystery that grabbed me, although the setting and characters are well done. I think the first in the series was better written.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Lengyel

    Thoroughly good book. Really enjoyed it, but where is the next story?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lee

    I liked the first book better but it was powerful. I am sorry there won't be more of these though. I liked the first book better but it was powerful. I am sorry there won't be more of these though.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jane Glen

    Unfortunately, this is only the second of a series and apparently, there are no more. Too bad, because this is a well-constructed 1800's mystery. I love the historical element. Unfortunately, this is only the second of a series and apparently, there are no more. Too bad, because this is a well-constructed 1800's mystery. I love the historical element.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ejmi

  29. 5 out of 5

    mary

  30. 4 out of 5

    dkpd

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