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The Limehouse Text

por Will Thomas

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Barker & Llewelyn (3)

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3961365,406 (3.75)30
Fiction. Literature. Mystery. Historical Fiction. In The Limehouse Text, Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn discover a pawn ticket among the effects of Barker's late assistant, leading them to London's Chinese district, Limehouse. There they retrieve an innocent-looking book that proves to be a rare and secret text stolen from a Nanking monastery, containing lethal martial arts techniques forbidden to the West. With the political situation between the British Empire and Imperial China already unstable, the duo must not only track down a killer intent upon gaining the secret knowledge but also safeguard the text from a snarl of suspects with conflicting interests. Prowling through an underworld of opium dens, back-room blood sports, and sailors' penny hangs while avoiding the wrath of the district's powerful warlord, Mr. K'ing, Barker and Llewelyn take listeners on a perilous tour through the mean streets of turn-of-the-century London.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 13 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This installment in the series was not as interesting to me as the previous entries, but it was still a reasonably enjoyable read. ( )
  Fish_Witch | Jul 4, 2023 |
Good action, interesting characters, and a well crafted plot make The lighthouse Text an enjoyable read. This is an excellent Victorian Era mystery series. ( )
  lewilliams | Aug 11, 2021 |
This isn't a bad book - just not a very engaging or original one. Starting with the novel's crimefighting duo, Barker and Llewelyn, a not very thinly veiled homage to Holmes and Watson. Sure, there are some surface differences - Barker's idiosyncrasies include a fascination with all things oriental; Llewelyn is a down-on-his-luck widower/convict/Cambridge student - but the "enigmatic genius and his sychophantic assistant" structure is identical. Also familiar: the novel's Victorian London setting.

What Thomas brings to the party is a plot that focuses on London's Chinese population, especially the sailors and criminals who populate the port district of Limehouse. A book has been stolen from a monastery in China and person or persons unknown seem willing to commit any number of murders to retrieve it. Which sounds good in blurb form, but which ends up a gloopy sort of mess by the time Thomas is done with it, because none of the supposed suspects actually has a compelling or believable reason for wanting the book, which has the unfortunate effect of robbing the plot of most of its credibility and suspense. Nor is there much dazzling deduction to appreciate: though we are told, over and over again, that Barker is a genius, the solution to the mystery ends up depending on his background knowledge in Orientalism rather than his deductive skills, which is not only anticlimatic, but feels a little cheat-y.

Which leaves either the author's storytelling ability or characters to sustain the reader's attention, and I wish I could say that I found either of these compelling enough to distract my attention from the many flaws and banalities of the plot - but I can't. The story is mostly driven by interviews with various suspects who are meant, I suspect, to be "colorful" - including a French chef, a gypsy matchgirl, a triad overlord, an Irish gang leader and a foreign office buffoon - but which come off as a little too colorful and cartoonish to be believable; and Thomas's storytelling, while serviceable, is nothing to write home about. I will say that he does a good job of evoking Victorian London, though - especially tunnels, alleys, and other dark places. The novel is never better than when Barker & Llewelyn are taking dinner at some shady underworld dining establishment or catching a bare-knuckle fight in an underground ring.

Sorry I can't give this a better review because it's not that I hated the book - I was just disappointed that it didn't deliver on the promises that the blurb seemed to make. ( )
  Dorritt | Jul 23, 2021 |
“The Limehouse Text” (2006), despite its bland title, makes a worthy entry in the Barker and Llewelyn series of Victorian mysteries by Will Thomas. Just the third book in the series — there are now more than a dozen — the novel continues with the business of introducing continuing characters for the benefit of both readers and Thomas Llewelyn, our narrator and enquiry agent Cyrus Barker's new assistant.

The murder of Barker's previous assistant remains unsolved, and another murder, that of a Scotland Yard inspector, and the discovery of a small book written in Chinese appear to be related to that earlier murder. In fact, other mysterious deaths may also be related, and Barker determines to get to the bottom of it all.

That book, the Limehouse text of the title, contains secrets about killing people in such a way that it appears to be a natural death, usually from sudden kidney failure. Barker himself is nearly killed in this way.

Many men desire to gain possession of the tiny text, including those who don't even know what it contains, leaving Barker with an abundance of suspects. Thomas gives readers action aplenty, yet he properly lets Barker solve the mystery with more brain than brawn, while Llewelyn remains confused most the time in true Dr. Watson fashion. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Jan 3, 2021 |
This is the first Barker and Llewelyn series book that I have read. It mirrors the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and also takes place in turn of century London. Thomas does not write the book as "dry" as Arthur Conan Doyle." There is plenty of action and mayhem. Cyrus Barker is the "Holmes" copy but while he seems less cerebral, he is much more dangerous with his martial arts. Llewelyn has a past (prison and widower) that I may gather when I read earlier books from the series. There are a number of interesting characters who add to the mystery and action in the book.

Barker has been trying to solve the murder of his late assistant and there are a number of events that propel him into finding his murderer. The appearance of an ancient Chinese martial arts book provides danger and opportunity for Barker in his quest.

I look forward to reading additional stories in this series. ( )
  writemoves | Jan 30, 2017 |
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Will Thomasautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ferguson, AntonyNarradorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Audio, TantorPublisherautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Fiction. Literature. Mystery. Historical Fiction. In The Limehouse Text, Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn discover a pawn ticket among the effects of Barker's late assistant, leading them to London's Chinese district, Limehouse. There they retrieve an innocent-looking book that proves to be a rare and secret text stolen from a Nanking monastery, containing lethal martial arts techniques forbidden to the West. With the political situation between the British Empire and Imperial China already unstable, the duo must not only track down a killer intent upon gaining the secret knowledge but also safeguard the text from a snarl of suspects with conflicting interests. Prowling through an underworld of opium dens, back-room blood sports, and sailors' penny hangs while avoiding the wrath of the district's powerful warlord, Mr. K'ing, Barker and Llewelyn take listeners on a perilous tour through the mean streets of turn-of-the-century London.

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