The Thief Taker by Janet Gleeson
A Novel

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In the cellar there was no sound at all except her own breathing and the soft rustle of her skirts. After her eyes had grown accustomed to the dark, she noticed a niche in the wall a yard from where she stood. She saw something there about the size of her fist. Agnes quietly picked it up. It was wrapped in a cloth and surprisingly heavy. . . a pistol, the hilt filthy with mud and dirt. Suddenly she heard the chinking sound of glasses nearby. There was no mistaking the voices now. Before she had time to call out, another door creaked open and the pair emerged from the darkness.

Agnes Meadowes is cook to the Blanchards of Foster Lane, the renowned London silversmiths. Preparing jugged hare, oyster loaves, almond soup, and other delicacies for the family has given her a dependable life for herself and her son. But when the Blanchards' most prestigious commission, a giant silver wine cooler, is stolen and a young apprentice murdered, Theodore Blanchard calls on Agnes to investigate below stairs. Soon she is inside the sordid underworld of London crime, where learning the truth comes at a high price.

About Janet Gleeson

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Janet Gleeson is the author of the bestseller The Arcanum, as well as Millionaire, The Grenadillo Box, and The Serpent in the Garden. She lives with her family in Dorset.
Published September 1, 2006 by Simon & Schuster. 320 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Thief Taker

Kirkus Reviews

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A widow with one child, Agnes Meadowes feels fortunate to serve as cook for the Blanchards, well-known silversmiths.

Sep 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Thief Taker: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Following the cabinetmakers of The Grenadillo Box (2004) and the portraitists of The Serpent in the Garden (2005), Gleeson hangs her solid third historical on another group of artisans—a family of silversmiths, the Blanchards, who have fallen on uncertain times in 18th-century London.

Jul 17 2006 | Read Full Review of The Thief Taker: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

When the cooler is stolen and an apprentice silversmith murdered, the son of the head of household asks Agnes to serve as a liaison between the family and a local 'thief taker', Marcus Pitt.

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Gather Books

The book also informs about the intricacies of silversmithing, which to the modern reader is a lost art (Gleeson did her research based on books written in previous centuries).

Dec 05 2006 | Read Full Review of The Thief Taker: A Novel

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