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Let There Be Blood

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In the Kingdom of Mists showcased the talent of Jane Jakeman. In its wake comes the first of the Lord Ambrose historical mystery series, a "cleverly executed" (Yorkshire Post) tale of turn-of-the-last-century murder-and, perhaps worse, wrongful blame. Lord Ambrose has returned to England from the battlefields of Greece to heal his wounds in the peace and quiet of his countr In the Kingdom of Mists showcased the talent of Jane Jakeman. In its wake comes the first of the Lord Ambrose historical mystery series, a "cleverly executed" (Yorkshire Post) tale of turn-of-the-last-century murder-and, perhaps worse, wrongful blame. Lord Ambrose has returned to England from the battlefields of Greece to heal his wounds in the peace and quiet of his country mansion. But when a nearby farmer and his son are shot dead, and the villagers accuse a local gypsy, Ambrose must attend to the matter before he can rest. A trip to the farmer's house reveals some very strange facts: the new widow appears to have a dangerous addiction to laudanum-and the governess's expensive dress is soaked in blood. The young woman's eyes bespeak dark secrets-and Ambrose has an eerie suspicion that these first two murders will not be the last.


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In the Kingdom of Mists showcased the talent of Jane Jakeman. In its wake comes the first of the Lord Ambrose historical mystery series, a "cleverly executed" (Yorkshire Post) tale of turn-of-the-last-century murder-and, perhaps worse, wrongful blame. Lord Ambrose has returned to England from the battlefields of Greece to heal his wounds in the peace and quiet of his countr In the Kingdom of Mists showcased the talent of Jane Jakeman. In its wake comes the first of the Lord Ambrose historical mystery series, a "cleverly executed" (Yorkshire Post) tale of turn-of-the-last-century murder-and, perhaps worse, wrongful blame. Lord Ambrose has returned to England from the battlefields of Greece to heal his wounds in the peace and quiet of his country mansion. But when a nearby farmer and his son are shot dead, and the villagers accuse a local gypsy, Ambrose must attend to the matter before he can rest. A trip to the farmer's house reveals some very strange facts: the new widow appears to have a dangerous addiction to laudanum-and the governess's expensive dress is soaked in blood. The young woman's eyes bespeak dark secrets-and Ambrose has an eerie suspicion that these first two murders will not be the last.

30 review for Let There Be Blood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aneca

    I love historical mysteries and I’m constantly on the lookout for new authors to read. Last year this series by Jane Jakeman was brought to my attention and I’m really happy that I decided to read it. Written in the first person this is the story of Lord Malfine, a man who has fought in the wars of the Greek independence against the Turks only to return home full of scars and any lack of desire of socializing with his neighbors. He is the son of an English gentleman and a Greek lady who died whe I love historical mysteries and I’m constantly on the lookout for new authors to read. Last year this series by Jane Jakeman was brought to my attention and I’m really happy that I decided to read it. Written in the first person this is the story of Lord Malfine, a man who has fought in the wars of the Greek independence against the Turks only to return home full of scars and any lack of desire of socializing with his neighbors. He is the son of an English gentleman and a Greek lady who died when his sister was born. He stays closed up in his home till he finds a group of men, some of his tenants, planning to kill a gypsy believing him guilty of the murder of two farmers. Decided to give the man a fair trial he starts he own investigation about what really happened at the farm questioning all people involved including the farm’s mistress and her son’s governess. It seems there were hidden depths to most of the people involved and the author manages to throw us on quite a few twists and turns with decidedly unexpected information. Some of its resolution is provided by facts unknown to the reader as not all that Lord Ambrose discovers is made available to us. It makes for quite a mysterious and atmospheric read, a gothic hero with a crumbling house and two mysterious women as suspects, one of them addicted to laudanum and the other that strangely appeals to him. I did like the author’s voice and I am quite curious about the next books in the series but I wish we had been given more information about some of the characters. The author provides a lot of historical detail like the treatment of gypsies, the fight of the workers against the machines that replace them in the factories, the disinterest shown by the upper classes in the justice system they are supposed to uphold. Nothing that overwhelms the story, just little tidbits of information that enrich it. Grade: 4/5

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    2 1/2 stars. The author digresses a bit too much but overall I enjoyed it. But I do admit I'm a bit biased about Regency mysteries so I may be more forgiving than I would be with other books. I thought it was a quick read and enjoyable. 2 1/2 stars. The author digresses a bit too much but overall I enjoyed it. But I do admit I'm a bit biased about Regency mysteries so I may be more forgiving than I would be with other books. I thought it was a quick read and enjoyable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    Let There Be Blood was an intriguing mystery that takes place in England in 1830. I enjoyed the story, but I felt that the book did not let the reader know enough about the main character, Lord Ambrose Malfine for him to be a truly sympathetic character. A brief history of his background unfolds in the book, but I never felt that the author fleshed his character out enough for the reader to feel a real connection to him. Lord Ambrose Malfine has come home to England to recover from wounds that he Let There Be Blood was an intriguing mystery that takes place in England in 1830. I enjoyed the story, but I felt that the book did not let the reader know enough about the main character, Lord Ambrose Malfine for him to be a truly sympathetic character. A brief history of his background unfolds in the book, but I never felt that the author fleshed his character out enough for the reader to feel a real connection to him. Lord Ambrose Malfine has come home to England to recover from wounds that he received from a war in Greece. His half Greek heritage drew him to the conflict there. Terribly scarred by the war, Lord Ambrose has no contact with the villagers who live nearby, and wants to be left completely alone. He has one manservant who handles all contact with outsiders. Lord Ambrose is dismayed when two villagers ride frantically up his driveway with the news that two farmers, a father and son, have been murdered. Lord Ambrose knows that he has no choice but to go to the scene of the crime, as any other authority is many hours away. Lord Ambrose arrives to find a group of villagers ready to dispense vengeance upon the gypsy they believe is the murderer. Lord Ambrose steps in and stops the vigilante justice, taking care to see that the gypsy is locked safely away at Malfine. Against his will, Lord Ambrose becomes interested in solving the crimes, and he begins to investigate. He must carefully consider all of those who could be involved including the widow of one of the farmers, the family governess, and a mysterious man with a limp. As he closes in on the murderer, Lord Ambrose's own life is placed in danger. This was an interesting book, and I am looking forward to reading the two others in the series. I am hoping that the next book will flesh out the character of Lord Ambrose Malfine a bit more. From the small amount I learned of him in this book, I found him to be likeable, but at the end of the book, I still felt that I really knew very little about him. I am hoping to learn more of his background and his feelings. This book was short, and was very quick to read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    The first in a series of historical novels set in the Austen countryside gone to seed--Lord Ambrose has been trying to be a reclusive hermit since returning from traumatic fighting for Greek independence in the wake of Lord Byron, but his cretinous peasants want to lynch gypsies, and the local gentry is too complacent, or too faded to care. Lord Ambrose involves himself in murder investigation (such as it is--he's the only one trying to investigate anything), and discovers the seamy world famili The first in a series of historical novels set in the Austen countryside gone to seed--Lord Ambrose has been trying to be a reclusive hermit since returning from traumatic fighting for Greek independence in the wake of Lord Byron, but his cretinous peasants want to lynch gypsies, and the local gentry is too complacent, or too faded to care. Lord Ambrose involves himself in murder investigation (such as it is--he's the only one trying to investigate anything), and discovers the seamy world familiar to anyone who has read Hardy. By working in first person, Jakeman has to deliberately withhold information from readers to make this work, which suggests that this was not the best choice of form.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Briefly, I found this really slow, although the book was quite short. Didn't care for the protagonist much--he did a lot of whining about the past. A little would have set the stage adequately, but too much and it felt like filler. Especially annoying - the protagonist finds out things, tells you he has found out, but doesn't tell you what he found out. OK once, but not 2 0r 3 times. NetGalley/Endeavor Press Historic mystery. Oct. 9, 2015. Print length: 196 pages. Briefly, I found this really slow, although the book was quite short. Didn't care for the protagonist much--he did a lot of whining about the past. A little would have set the stage adequately, but too much and it felt like filler. Especially annoying - the protagonist finds out things, tells you he has found out, but doesn't tell you what he found out. OK once, but not 2 0r 3 times. NetGalley/Endeavor Press Historic mystery. Oct. 9, 2015. Print length: 196 pages.

  6. 5 out of 5

    TeresaFL

    If I could I would give it 3.5 stars. It’s a short and easy read, told in first person almost as if the author is writing a memoir. Although the main mystery wasn’t that hard to figure out the underlying motive and mystery was a bit more difficult. I may have to check out the next one to see what I think.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    this book is set in 1840 and is filled with well-rounded out characters, excellent plotlines, subterfuge and red herrings. Situated in England with a Gentry returned from the war between Greece and Turkey, he is faced with crimes on his lands and does sleuthing along the way. I totally recommend this book for anyone that likes a good mystery. Definitely not a cozy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    In the summer of 1830 Lord Ambrose is back from the wars of Greek independence recovering from his injuries when a double murder occurs at a farm near his estate. It becomes his duty to investigate. An enjoyable easy to read tale and I look forward to reading about the characters in the next book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    Set in England in 1830 this book is about the lord of the manor and a local crime he sets out to solve. Well written and full of tibits of English history and tradition it was an engrossing read. I look forward to reading more in this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chea

    This was a great book! A must read

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teri White

    So far I am enjoying it. A little suspense, a bit of historical fiction...yeah!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Simon Mcleish

    Originally published on my blog here in May 1998. Jane Jakeman's first novel is a Regency period detective story, with a hero (Lord Ambrose) clearly based on Byron. Lord Ambrose has returned to England following the Greek war of independence (in which Byron also fought), sickened by the sights of war. He takes up a hermit-like existence, which is only interrupted when, in the absence of the local squire, he is called to the scene of a local murder. He immediately makes himself unpopular by stoppin Originally published on my blog here in May 1998. Jane Jakeman's first novel is a Regency period detective story, with a hero (Lord Ambrose) clearly based on Byron. Lord Ambrose has returned to England following the Greek war of independence (in which Byron also fought), sickened by the sights of war. He takes up a hermit-like existence, which is only interrupted when, in the absence of the local squire, he is called to the scene of a local murder. He immediately makes himself unpopular by stopping the lynching of a gypsy who was in the area at the time of the murder, and then meets the widow of one of the murdered men, who were farmers, father and son. He also meets the governess of her young son, about whom there is some mystery - she is clearly from a very well-off genteel background, but she has hired herself out as governess on a farm; indeed, the older farmer boasted that he bought her at the fair. Lord Ambrose finds himself strangely drawn to this woman, a fellow voluntary outcast from the human race. The novel has a good, gothic novel style atmosphere, though Jakeman doesn't have the touch for creating the Regency period which Georgette Heyer (for example) had. There are one or two infelicities in her writing; no editor should have allowed the word for word repetition of descriptions which occurs. (They form a clue to the mystery as well, for the repetition draws attention to a particular feature.) The title of the novel is from Byron's Childe Harolde.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I didn't finish reading this. I found the language to be unnecessarily vulgar. I don't have problems with the use of obscenities in the right place, but in this book it seemed almost a laziness or simply for shock value. The main character was a rough edged man who had seen brutal combat, but there are ways to show that without peppering the writing with pointless vulgarities. Especially when it wasn't even a part of the character's dialogue. Also, it was much more graphically violent than I lik I didn't finish reading this. I found the language to be unnecessarily vulgar. I don't have problems with the use of obscenities in the right place, but in this book it seemed almost a laziness or simply for shock value. The main character was a rough edged man who had seen brutal combat, but there are ways to show that without peppering the writing with pointless vulgarities. Especially when it wasn't even a part of the character's dialogue. Also, it was much more graphically violent than I like in a mystery, including the description (though mercifully brief) of the torture of an animal. These are both things I could probably have overlooked in a gripping story, but I did not find this to be a gripping plot.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Swafford

    I had high hopes for this one. I adore the time period it is set in and I love mysteries. In theory, I should have loved this, right? In truth, it was...ok. I did not like the language used and the dark tone of the whole tale. The plot, to me, was a bit convoluted and had many scenes that seemed unnecessary. Definitely not a favorite.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    Good beach reading. This mystery has some elements of sickening romances but these are out weighed by a good tale.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Childminerva

    A good book. Very intriguing and, I must admit, a little sexy at times.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan E

    Interesting premise/hero. I've got the next book in the series. Interesting premise/hero. I've got the next book in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Excellent writing and character development for a mystery

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Kind of slow-moving and gothic mystery.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    it was fine. entertaining enough, but i saw the ending coming a mile away.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eirene Ritznore

  23. 4 out of 5

    Denise

  24. 4 out of 5

    Xy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lila

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vikki

  28. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Hollrah

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew May

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