Review published Mar 2007.
We have now finished the series and recommend them highly. The eleven books, which should be read in order, are placed in Georgian England and involve the same set of delightful characters: Sir John Fielding, the "Blind Beak", or magistrate in the London courts, his feisty wife Jane, his wards Jeremy Proctor and Clarissa Roundtree, his great friend the Irish surgeon Gabriel Donnelly, and several supporting characters. Cameos of Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Goldsmith, David Garrick, and Samuel Johnson add to the reader's pleasure.
Each book has a self-contained mystery which Sir John, aided by Jeremy, must solve. The details paint a vivid picture of life in London during the years when the American colonists were preparing to rebel. Alexander's view of the colonies through English eyes makes these events fresh.
By taking his time with the series and carefully crafting each book, Alexander is able to develop his characters much more fully than in the usual historical fiction. Jeremy and Clarissa, children when first met, become adolescents, then mature into generally responsible adults. Sir John, coping with his blindness, gently reaches old age.
We heartily commend this series to any reader of fiction, and especially to any reader of historical fiction. They are widely available in paperback.