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Publisher's Summary

The third installment of the John Pickett series of humorous Regency mysteries finds Bow Street Runner Pickett in Scotland investigating a woman found unconscious on the beach - a woman who bears a striking resemblance to the local laird's daughter, a girl missing and presumed dead for the last 15 years.
Pickett is surprised to discover that the woman was found by none other than Lady Fieldhurst and her three young nephews - and gratified to learn that her ladyship has registered at the seaside inn as Mrs. Julia Pickett. When old Angus Kirkbride dies only hours after announcing his intention of changing his will in his daughter's favor, "Mr. and Mrs. Pickett" must join forces to discover the truth about a family reunion suddenly turned deadly.
©2014 Sheri Cobb South (P)2017 Sheri Cobb South
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lady Meserole on 11-25-17

Another Amazing John Pickett!

I have been absolutely loving this mystery series by Sheri Cobb South. Book one is called ‘In Milady’s Chamber’ and book two ‘Dead Bore’, but there is also a prequel called ‘The Pickpocket’s Apprentice’. I found that while each of Sheri’s books can easily be read as stand-alones, reading them in order and especially reading the prequel provide an even richer background for John Pickett. The books are all consistently great with intriguing mysteries and engaging characters, and just a bit of romance. An excellent blend and written exactly how a historical mystery should be written with the emphasis being on the mystery.

Sheri has done an incredible job with the historical aspect of the story. Her research must have been meticulously done. Being a massive Georgette Heyer (the Queen of historical fiction) fan, it is exciting to me to find another author who has taken the time and care to provide an excellent period piece.

The characters in Family Plot are well developed and very relatable. John Pickett is an unusual detective. He’s neither highly educated nor remarkably talented, and comes from a poor background. Irregardless of his birth, John is a true gentleman. He has integrity and treats everyone with respect and curtesy. As a detective, John is painstakingly careful and never rushes into judgment. He does his job well, as he is methodical and openminded. He is an extremely likeable character. Lady Julia Fieldhurst is as well. The best description I can think of for Julia is classy and practical with a dose of spunk. While I love the two main characters, the other characters are pretty terrific as well. I got a huge kick out of Lord Fieldhurst’s three boys, Harold, Robert and Edward (Ned). I hope that Sheri brings them into more books in the future. As always the magistrate, Patrick Calquhoun, is fantastic. His care and concern for John is very touching. I also loved how Patrick became more Scotch the longer they stayed in Scotland:) I love his scenes, he is always so amusing.

The storyline for Family Plot was exciting, captivating and sometimes very funny. Lady Julia had been banished to Scotland ‘for her sins’ by her deceased husband’s family. However, during her exile she was to have company in the form of her brother-in-law’s three illegitimate sons, banishment and babysitting combined in one trip. Once underway, the exiles decided to make their own arrangements, choosing both a different destination and surname. At their journey’s end, they stumbled upon the mysterious return of a local girl and the resulting family chaos. Bow Street was summoned and Lady Julia had some explaining to do. Julia and John, with some help from the kids, had another mystery to solve. Along the way, the reader gets all the clues to solve the mystery beside our sleuths. The denouement was very satisfying and rather funny, with Patrick having the last word, ‘I warned you to be circumspect in your dealings there…’ LOL!

Favourite quotes:
‘Arise slugabed and greet the dawn.’
‘A title, as you must know, covers a multitude of sins.’ ‘How very fortunate for him, for he has certainly committed a multitude of them.’
‘To where might they banish me for this new infraction, the Black Hole of Calcutta.’
‘You knew I wasn't a gentleman when you married me.’ ‘Very true, in fact it was a large part of your charm.’
‘With nary so much as a blush between them - scarcely a blush anyway.’
‘Surely a beautiful lady decking herself out in silks and satin is a case of gilding the lily.’
‘You were hardly alone in your indiscretion, I was an active participant and must be equally culpable.’
‘It was the high point of my existence.’
‘Needs must when the devil drives.’
‘Those with the most talk generally have the least action.’

Fun Fact: There was a real Patrick Calquhoun who was appointed the Magistrate of the Bow Street Runners in 1785. He began the Thames River Police Force (eventually called the Marine Police Force) and created the first preventative police force. Calquhoun’s methods, as written in his book ‘The Commerce and Policing of the River Thames’, were the building blocks for the Peelers/Bobbies, the police force under the direction of Sir Robert Peel operating out of Scotland Yard (Metropolitan Police Act 1829).

Narration: Joel Froomkin is a fabulous narrator. His range of character voices and accents is quite extraordinary. His formal tone for the narration really sets the mood for the Georgian era. As well as the men, Joel did an amazing job voicing the young boys and the women. I can’t figure out how he did Lady Fieldhurst, she sounds just like an upper class woman. Joel has been added to my list of favourites narrators.

For those who like to know... there is no profanity, no sex and the violence is very mild. An excellent clean read.

I received Family Plot: Another John Pickett Mystery free in exchange for an unbiased review.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By barbara on 10-31-17

Unparalleled Cliff Hanger

This ,the third in the John Pickett series , continues a delightful tradition of British comedic mystery The impossible growing romance between now street runner John Pickett and his widowed viscountess Lady Fieldhearst continues but rather than resolving closes in a way that demand that you read this book and hope that Audible publishes the next novel soon

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Norma Miles on 01-07-18

I shall be Mrs.Pickett

A well written, amusing Regency mystery set in London and Scotland. The young Bow Street Runner, John Pickett, is called to investigate the identity of a woman apparently returning to her family home after being believed dead for fifteen years. To his surprise, he finds a 'Mrs.Pickett' already in residence at the local Inn.

This delightful story has everything: mystery, murder, mistaken identity and burgeoning forbidden romance where status can determine who can be loved. Great dialogue, too.
All is deliciously narrated by Joel Froomkin, whose very pleasant, well paced and articulated English accented reading contrasts with his wonderful Scottish conversations, everything delivered with the lightest of touches, emphasising the comedic content but never simply playing it for laughs. An excellent performance.

In part an historic comedy of manners, wrapped into a really good story of deception and intrigue, with realistic characters and an above usual narration, this is a book to be enjoyed by everyone with a delight in crime thrillers. My thanks to the rights holder of Family Plot, not only for freely gifting me a complementary copy, via Audiobook Boom, but also, in so doing, for introducing me to this John Pickett series.
A real pleasure.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Inishowen Cailin on 11-27-17


This series just keeps getting better and better.
I love the slow, romantic subplot that runs through the series.
There is also a lot of humour and intrigue which I love.
I had loads of favourite scenes; the romantic balcony and ballroom scenes and heart thumping, suspense filled action towards the end. I couldn't put this book down and can't wait to listen to the next in the series.
Again the narration is perfection! Just brilliant.

I voluntarily reviewed a gifted copy.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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