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Publisher's Summary

When a rash of jewel thefts strikes London, magistrate Patrick Colquhoun deploys his Bow Street Runners to put a stop to the crimes. The Russian Princess Olga Fyodorovna is to attend a production of Handel’s Esther at Drury Lane Theatre, where she will wear a magnificent diamond necklace. The entire Bow Street force will be stationed at various locations around the theatre - including John Pickett, who will occupy a box directly across from the princess. 
In order to preserve his incognito, Pickett must appear to be a private gentleman attending the theatre. Mr. Colquhoun recommends that he have a female companion - a lady, in fact, who might prevent him from making any glaring faux pas. But the only lady of Pickett’s acquaintance is Julia, Lady Fieldhurst, to whom he accidentally contracted a Scottish irregular marriage several months earlier, and with whom he is seeking an annulment against his own inclinations - and for whom he recklessly declared his love, secure in the belief he would never see her again. 
The inevitable awkwardness of their reunion is forgotten when the theatre catches fire. In the confusion, the Russian diamonds are stolen, and Pickett is struck in the head and rendered unconscious. Suddenly it is up to Julia not only to nurse him back to health, but to discover his attacker and bring the culprit - and the jewel thief - to justice.
©2016 Sheri Cobb South (P)2018 Sheri Cobb South
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Avid Audio Listener on 01-31-18

another good read

I love the fact that Julia is the active sleuth in this book. This is probably more romance then mystery, and I figured out the villain pretty quickly; however, those factors do not diminish from the pleasure I received from reading this book.

Although I received a copy of the book from the author, I was under no obligation to give it a favorable review.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe on 02-20-18

A terrific historical mystery

Having accidentally gotten himself irregularly married to the widowed Julia, Lady Fieldhurst, Bow Street Runner John Pickett works to fight a jewel thief in Sheri Cobb South's Too Hot to Handel. Mr. Pickett earlier declared his love for Lady Fieldhurst and then announced that he would never see the lady of a much higher station again. However, he resorts to asking Lady Fieldhurst to join him at a performance of Handel's oratorio of Esther. There the Bow Street Runners are holding a sting to catch the jewel thieves, and Mr. Pickett needs the help of Lady Fieldhurst to help him go undercover at the theater. As the final act begins, Mr. Pickett is surprised to see the royals start to leave, long before scheduled, and soon the word spreads that the Drury Lane Theater is on fire. Mr. Pickett performs some acts of heroism and saves Lady Fieldhurst, but he ends up seriously injured himself.

At this point, Lady Fieldhurst realizes just how much she truly loves Mr. Pickett and determines to nurse him herself. In the meantime, she finds the stolen diamonds in Mr. Pickett's pockets, but before she can turn them over to the police, they go missing yet again. As a protege of Patrick Colcuhoun, the head of the Bow Street Runners, Mr. Pickett gets the best care possible, but even that may not be enough to save him. Thus Mrs. Fieldhurst takes on her own investigation to get to the bottom of the case.

Too Hot to Handel is a terrific, riveting book that kept me drawn to every minute of the book. Much of the book spends its time in a romance between Mr. Pickett and Lady Fieldhurst, as she comes to realize how much she loves him and wants to be his wife. I usually don't like strong romances, preferring only gentle romances in connection with cozy mysteries. But I found myself rooting for this couple, and any discussions of sex is done obliquely. I really enjoyed the characters in the book and the way they came to life.

The plot of the book had interesting details that concluded in a strong manner. I liked the historical setting of this book and the details of high society in the 1800s. The book also concludes with a short story that continues the plot of the novel Too Hot to Handel.

Joel Froomkin narration the audio edition of this book, making it an enjoyable experience to listen to. I liked his performance, which worked with the text to keep me attracted and listening eagerly.

I really liked Too Hot to Handel, but I definitely wish I had read the first books before getting to this one. I have already purchased books .5 and one, eager to listen to the previous books in the series. I give this book five stars.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Layla on 03-12-18

Another Great John Pickett mystery

Any additional comments?

I figured out who did early on in the book. If you have read/listened to Waiting Game then it does help but you don't need it for this book.

This book is more of a romance between John Pickett and Lady Fieldhurst and how quite quickly their relationship moves.
I still liked the book and loved the narrator. I thought he did a great job in narrating the book and voicing the characters.
I would recommend it. It is suitable for all since there is no profanity or sexual content (behind closed doors) and some mild violence.
Can't wait for the next book!!

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5 out of 5 stars
By MaryD on 03-10-18

Absolutely delightful mystery

I came into this series cold not having read the previous bshe hadooks. I can honestly say there was enough information for me to get the gist of what had happened between John Pickett and Lady Fieldhurst previously, although I am quite intrigued as to how it happened so I will be getting books 1-4.
This book seems to be where Lady Fieldhurst comes into her own (how apt I finished it on international women’s day) John Pickett lies injured whilst on duty and after saving Lady Fieldhurst. He rouses briefly to give a huge clue that we the reader can pick up on but is misinterpreted in the story. I loved this ruse. I liked having the knowledge and being the observer as things went awry. All the while confident that the story will have a happy ending. Wonderful to listen to.
I am a fan of Joel Froomkin’s work. I think he is immensely talented. The range of voices he has is astounding. He completely did justice to Lady Fieldhurst in this story. The timbre of the voices he used sounded so right and appropriate, the verve and determination to support John came across so clearly in the narration. Not to miss out the side characters, everyone is given the same attention as they were the main character. Overall his narration is the perfect soundtrack to the images created by Sheri Cobb South’s excellent writing.
I was given a copy of this audiobook book in exchange for an honest review.

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