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Dance with Death

por Will Thomas

Séries: Barker & Llewelyn (12)

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8810312,015 (3.87)3
Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

"Narrator Antony Ferguson thoroughly inhabits Scotsman Cyrus Barker and Welshman Thomas Llewelyn...Ferguson captures Russians, Americans, and a multitude of British characters ranging from crisply enunciated aristocrats to Cockney-voiced street urchins and cabbies in this latest installment in the Barker & Llewelyn series." AudioFile Magazine

London, 1893: Private enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn are called in to protect Tsesarevich Nicholas from nefarious forces as he travels to England for a royal weddingin Dance with Death, the next mystery in Will Thomas's beloved series.

In June of 1893, the future Nicholas II travels to London for a royal wedding, bringing with him his private security force and his ballerina mistress, Mathilde Kchessinska. Rumored to be the target of a professional assassin known only as La Sylphide, and the subject of conspiracies against his life by his own family who covet his future throne, Nicholas is protected by not only private security, but the professional forces of both England and Russia.
All of these measures prove inadequate when Prince George of England is attacked by an armed anarchist who mistakes him for Nicholas. As a result, Barker and Llewelyn are brought in to help track down the assassin and others who might conspire against the life of the tsesarevich . The investigations lead them down several paths, including Llewelyn's old nemesis, the assassin Sofia Ilyanova. With Barker and Llewelyn both surviving separate attempts on their lives, the race is on to find both the culprit and the assassin they hired. Taking them through high society (including a masked ball at Kensington Palace) and low, chasing down motives both personal and political, Barker and Llewelyn must solve the case of their life before the crime of the century is committed.
A Macmillan Audio production from Minotaur Books

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Mostrando 1-5 de 10 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Barker and Llewelyn are hired to protect the future Tsar of Russia. The plot is good and the characters are interesting, however, at times the story moves along slowly. Still a good Victorian era mysery. ( )
  lewilliams | Dec 3, 2021 |
Dance With Death is the next entry in the Barker & Llewelyn mystery series and this one focuses on their ability to defend a spoiled tsarevich from being assassinated. While the interaction between our two main characters continued to be interesting, with some intriguing politics thrown in, it was quite a bit slower than previous books.

Thomas Llewelyn has always been a character with whom I could empathize, and I have always enjoyed his slightly sarcastic spin on events and people. His humour is what I would call deprecating, but it is never snarky or condescending, which I appreciate. He is a bit bumbling at times and seems to catch the intentions of his partner, both politically and personally motivated, almost two seconds after everyone else, which still makes me laugh, but he is not portrayed as less intelligent than his partner, just that he doesn't think the same way, something I find interesting psychologically.

I enjoyed most of the other characters as well and enjoyed seeing how the author intertwined the real historical figures with his invented characters to being Nicholas' personality and difficulties to light. I personally would have liked to have seen some more emphasis put on Nicholas' mistress, Mathilde, as even a star such as she would have had a difficult life during this time period. I've seen some grumblings about the author talking about her weight, but during this time period, this is a valid thing to talk about as many of these ballerinas were starving and often were forced to prostitute for the company for which they were working to keep the donations coming in and were paid very little for the hard work they did. We all know the outcome of Nicholas' actions and behaviours today, but I could definitely understand her ambition and her fear.

The overall story was its usual laidback format, but I did find it a bit slower than usual and I was also a bit irritated by Rebecca. I don't want to give away any plot points, so I'll just say that I just rolled my eyes and thought it was so out of context and didn't fit with her personality and the story. Was the author just trying to create some drama? Hard to say, but but for me, it didn't sit well. Too much talk about how men will never understand women; I just felt like the author was trying to create some tension between certain characters for whatever reason and it sort of fell flat. Tension that is believable, okay, but tension just for the sake of creating tension, no.

Verdict
Dance With Death had some very interesting historical concepts and I definitely enjoyed reading about Nicholas' visit to London for the royal wedding as well as about the attempts on his life. I know the attempts were fictionalized, but so much else actually happened and it is evident the author did a lot of research for this book. I didn't really notice a lot of character development in this one though, and I did think the plot was a bit slower than usual, with some repetitive elements. I also thought the mystery was a bit weaker than usual as it focused far more on the historical aspects and was quite easy to figure out. While you could jump into the series with this entry, there is a lot of information you may miss as the author doesn't really explain the relationships as there is an expectation you are already familiar with the characters. ( )
  StephanieBN | Aug 18, 2021 |
1893 Barker and Llewelyn are approached to protect tsarevich Nicholas from an assassination attempt by an assassin called La Sylphide. Circumstances change when an attempt in made on Prince George, as he is mistaken for Nicholas. Unfortunately for the agency potential suspects abound and not all Russian.
An entertaining and well-written historical mystery with its likeable main characters. Another good addition to the series. The book can easily be read as a standalone story.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
This is an engaging historical mystery that put me in mind of Holmes and Watson. Private enquiry agents Barker and Llewelyn team up to protect the future tsar from an assassin, during the tsar's attendance at a royal wedding. The setting and plot keep the reader's interest, and the political backdrop supports the detailed plot very well. I did not realize this was part of a series, and I obviously missed out on the backstory for this novel. Perhaps readers would enjoy it more if they read earlier novels in the series.

I received this novel from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. ( )
  LadyoftheLodge | Jul 28, 2021 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this Victorian mystery set in 1893, when the young future Nicholas II comes to London for a wedding and Barker and Llewelyn are hired to protect him from assassination.

This is the 12th in the series, and I jumped in about half way (somewhere around #7, I believe). I've enjoyed them ever since. For those who have not yet met Barker and Llewelyn, they are neither Scotland Yard inspectors nor policemen. They are "private enquiry agents," and readers who enjoy Sherlock Holmes stories will find much to appreciate here in the banter and difference between these two protagonists. As with the Holmes stories, these are narrated by the "sidekick" ... thank goodness because Llewelyn is very likable and funny--a nice offset to the crimes and mayhem; Barker is rather imposing and fierce.

Two of my favorite aspects of these books are first, the humor. It is not ha-ha, elbow in the sides humor. It's subtle--a small wry wink and a nudge to the reader. For example, when Llewelyn and Barker are introduced as "Lewis and Baker," he shrugs it off: "We'd been called worse." There are dozens of these ... I wouldn't even call them one-liners, as sometimes they're merely half a line. But they keep me smiling as I read and give me a sense of connection to and sympathy with Llewelyn.

The other aspect I love is that I feel deeply steeped in Victorian London throughout the book. The author has been writing about Victorian London for years now, and he's familiar enough with the sights and sounds that they appear organically; he doesn't shoehorn them in. The historical figures William Morris and Israel Zangwell appear, and for those readers who know who they are, it's fun to find and recognize them. Beyond that, the very metaphors he uses are drawn very specifically from that English world. Describing trying to find a messenger boy to deliver a note: "The boy slipped by like a salmon on the River Spey." Describing what it was like to be close to a man who was shot: "It was like one of them butchers in Leadenhall market threw a bucket of blood all over us." It's like being immersed in a pot of proper English tea ... or perhaps the Thames!

Despite that last example, these books are not gritty. The violence is largely off the page, and I wouldn't feel uncomfortable recommending these books to my teenage son. I'd recommend to fans of Charles Finch, Alex Grecian (THE YARD, etc.), and Abir Mukherjee (A RISING MAN, etc.). ( )
  KarenOdden | Apr 23, 2021 |
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Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

"Narrator Antony Ferguson thoroughly inhabits Scotsman Cyrus Barker and Welshman Thomas Llewelyn...Ferguson captures Russians, Americans, and a multitude of British characters ranging from crisply enunciated aristocrats to Cockney-voiced street urchins and cabbies in this latest installment in the Barker & Llewelyn series." AudioFile Magazine

London, 1893: Private enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn are called in to protect Tsesarevich Nicholas from nefarious forces as he travels to England for a royal weddingin Dance with Death, the next mystery in Will Thomas's beloved series.

In June of 1893, the future Nicholas II travels to London for a royal wedding, bringing with him his private security force and his ballerina mistress, Mathilde Kchessinska. Rumored to be the target of a professional assassin known only as La Sylphide, and the subject of conspiracies against his life by his own family who covet his future throne, Nicholas is protected by not only private security, but the professional forces of both England and Russia.
All of these measures prove inadequate when Prince George of England is attacked by an armed anarchist who mistakes him for Nicholas. As a result, Barker and Llewelyn are brought in to help track down the assassin and others who might conspire against the life of the tsesarevich . The investigations lead them down several paths, including Llewelyn's old nemesis, the assassin Sofia Ilyanova. With Barker and Llewelyn both surviving separate attempts on their lives, the race is on to find both the culprit and the assassin they hired. Taking them through high society (including a masked ball at Kensington Palace) and low, chasing down motives both personal and political, Barker and Llewelyn must solve the case of their life before the crime of the century is committed.
A Macmillan Audio production from Minotaur Books

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