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Sunday Scoop

Wisdom and Rubies

By J. F. Slattery


Today’s book is another Netgalley special. This is one of my favorites that I have read lately. It was published in 2014 by Troubador Publishing Ltd.  I believe at this time it is only available as an e-book.

The novel follows eminent criminal barrister Adolphus Winterbourne, who has been worried about his godson Arthur. When he discovers the young man was in Clerkwell prison on remand for suspected burglary, he gets quite a shock…

It is 1829, and burglary is a capital offence. But Arthur’s brief stay in a London prison on a mistaken charge is only the first in a strange series of interlinked events into which he and Lord Horatio Carlton, his friend and fellow student, are inextricably drawn – events involving every aspect of London life: its journalists and politicians, its artists and scholars, its idlers and gamblers, its burglars, confidence tricksters and pickpockets.

Once Arthur and Horatio lived a life of jokes and laughter, but as events unfold they find the shadows of tragedy closing in around them. Only a desperate plea to Sir Robert Peel, Home Secretary and founder of the new Metropolitan Police Force, will avert disaster…

I found this book to be a slow starter. The first one-third of the book is full of background on London in the 1830s and getting to know the characters involved. I recommend that you stick with it though, because the end is worth it!! After the story takes off it moves pretty quickly. This is Arthur and Horatio’s adventures as young men in London. They are trying to be proper gentlemen, but keep becoming victims of unfortunate circumstances. They are a couple of young and naive boys who can’t stay out of trouble. I thought that this book had the perfect title. I would have liked a flashier cover though. I really enjoyed this one. I did think that there were a few too many characters. It was getting hard to keep them straight. I liked the setting and the crimes and double-crossing. I like that it was based on real events that actually happened. I give this one a 4 out of 5.

For more info on this book take a look at the publisher’s website:




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