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Some Danger Involved

Barker & Llewelyn Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
Series: Barker & Llewelyn Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An atmospheric debut novel set on the gritty streets of Victorian London, Some Danger Involved introduces detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, as they work to solve the gruesome murder of a young scholar in London's Jewish ghetto. When the eccentric and enigmatic Barker takes the case, he must hire an assistant, and out of all who answer an ad for a position with "some danger involved", he chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man with a murky past.

As they inch ever closer to the shocking truth behind the murder, Llewelyn is drawn deeper and deeper into Barker's peculiar world of vigilante detective work, as well as the heart of London's teeming underworld.

Brimming with wit and unforgettable characters and steeped in authentic period detail, Some Danger Involved is a captivating novel that introduces an equally captivating duo.

©2004 Will Thomas (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about Some Danger Involved

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dom
  • 09-09-2020

A strong tale with a weak twist.

The author tried to create a new holmes and watson and succeeded, though the author failed miserably with a plot twist that drew nothing clever from the story itself. The performance was impressive and along with a decent enough prose has convinced me to give the second book a tentative ear.

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Some danger involved, what a great story.

It has been a long while since I have enjoyed a book so much. The plot and the droll dry humour were excellent. The people and the period in which it was portrayed, were eminently believable. Am looking forward to reading the next in the series. I could quite get addicted to the characters, including the Pekingese.

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  • Kathi
  • 13-01-2017

Clever writing!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. Will Thomas has written a story about a clash of cultures in Victorian London that was interesting to listen to because he is a very good story teller who includes many historical and even theological bits of information that take it well beyond a simple period mystery.

Told from the perspective of Thomas Llewelyn, the assistant to the eccentric but brilliant Cyrus Barker, the story focuses on their efforts to find the killer of a young Jewish man, and stop the possibility of there being another pogram against the Jews who inhabit this London ghetto.

I find it somewhat interesting as well, that the author has given his own name to the assistant who is initially desperate for any sort of job--indeed is contemplating suicide because he sees no way to go on living--but quickly becomes a character with a lot of fortitude and intelligence and who develops the most over the course of the book.

I nearly marked the stars down a bit because there are a few anachronisms (mostly in language that probably would not have been true to the times) that were a little pesky, but the overall story was so engaging that I decided they didn't make that much difference. A good story, a good mystery and good narration. That's worth 5 stars to me.

135 people found this helpful

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  • Blue Dragonfly
  • 03-01-2017

Introduction to a great historical mystery series

Would you consider the audio edition of Some Danger Involved to be better than the print version?

Yes, though the print version was excellent, too. I have waited a long time for this to come out in an audio version. I hope more of the series will become avialable on audio.

What other book might you compare Some Danger Involved to and why?

It is pretty unique. The closest I can think of is Alex Grecian's "Murder Squad".

What about Antony Ferguson’s performance did you like?

Wonderful performance! He really had the accents and characterizations down perfectly. You really feel as if there are many different people speaking.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well, no, because I like to savor it.

Any additional comments?

This initial book, written some years ago, is actually an introduction to the variety of characters that appear again and again in the series. They are unique, mysterious, enigmatic and interesting. Though this first story may have disappointed some in its outcome, they get better and better as the series goes on. I particularly liked Will Thomas' obvious research into the details of the problems of this historical period that are not unlike what goes on in our world today with its religious and racial prejudices and its economic woes. The story is told from the point of view of a new young assistant to the enigmatic Cyrus Barker. Though he has never been a detective's assistant, he learns the business from a unique character who works his way through his cases with an intuitive thought process and an understanding of human nature and the criminal mind. Don't give up on this series based on your opinion of the first book. They just get more intriguing. I hope that Audible will be able to provide more than just the first two in the series, in the future.

71 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Book Gobbler
  • 03-05-2017

NOT TERRIBLE, BUT...

This one fell sort of the mark for me. The first few chapters introducing the two main characters were the best. The writing was crisp, and both characters were unique in there own way. Also the book showed glimpses of humor that was very promising. My knowledge of the Jewish community is limited so I appreciated the insight he imparted. However, half way through, I came to feel that it occupied too much of the book. The author seemed to become preoccupied with the topic and went off on long tangents. Then there was all the diatribe about religion. I purposely avoid books with regards to religion as my views on that subject are very personal. Some content on religion is okay but there was quite a bit, and my mind began to wander.

The mystery was half-baked at best. Don't bother trying to figure this one out , because there weren't any viable clues left for us readers. However, I did very much enjoy the developing relationship between Barker and Llewelyn, and if the mystery was tighter I feel this series would have had more potential. Some reviewers said the series got better and better with each book. With that in mind, I won't be opposed to trying another book in the future.

106 people found this helpful

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  • EricinHuntersville
  • 10-08-2017

Very enjoyable book & performance

I won't say this is the best book I've ever read or listen to. However, it was very enjoyable and flowed very well. The performance was excellent and I would recommend this book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • itinerant
  • 21-12-2016

derivative but original

In the Holmes tradition, but with enough variation to make it interesting. An interesting story that taught me about race relations I hadn't thought about before, with characters both predictable and surprising. Pleasant ambiance, more like Nero Wolfe than Holmes . . .

20 people found this helpful

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  • Audible Addict
  • 31-07-2017

Interesting history of London but no characters

The development of character was as thin as air making it impossible for me to get into this book. No there there despite what was clearly a lot of research. Too bad!

5 people found this helpful

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  • LibbyListener
  • 15-12-2016

Very interesting story

I've enjoyed listening to this mystery and will be watching for more titles by Will Thomas. The characters are very well rounded and believable. The loss of one star for performance is that I felt Mr Barker's voice should be deeper and gruffer, but the accents were spot on. I liked the variety of people throughout the story, their various areas of expertise, quirks and how they handle unexpected events.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-01-2017

Great New Series

This is the beginning of a what I hope to be a great new series. The narrator does a great job with my only complaint being the narration of Irish characters which to be truthful is a quirk with me. DO NOT LET THAT DISSUADE YOU FROM A GREAT BOOK!

25 people found this helpful

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  • Consumer
  • 21-02-2018

Enjoyable and comfortable

The story was a typical, period detective tome. The beauty is in the character development. It is also refreshing to enjoy a story without graphic language. This author understands strength if story does not rely on strong verbiage. Bravo!

4 people found this helpful

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  • justthisonce
  • 18-03-2017

Didn't do it for this mystery fan.

I listen to a lot of mysteries including classics, more contemporary ones, cozy ones, etc.
This just didn't do it for me. I made it through a little more than half and ended up returning. As others have mentioned, the mystery seemed secondary to the relationship between the apprentice and the old hand. And while this works in some, it didn't here. Seemed forced.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Rosie
  • 18-09-2017

Shame about the narrator!

Not a bad book if it had not been for terrible narrator. Made it tedious.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 01-12-2016

Resonant Echoes of the Past

I think it's fair to say that the concept of an inscrutable detective, or as Mr Barker would remind us "Enquiry agent" seen through the eyes of an assistant in Victorian London is not exactly brand new. However, it has not often been done this well.

"Some Danger Involved" introduces us to the enigma that is Cyrus Barker seen through the eyes of his sometimes hapless but actually quite talented assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. The book moves mostly at a reasonably sedate pace successfully evoking a very atmospheric period London at both its best and worst. Will Thomas introduces us to an extremely rich cast of characters while demonstrating ably his knowledge of the times, the city and in particular the Jewish community who feature prominently.

Barker really does fit the bill and both he and Llewelyn are painted with depth and care. The interview scene I found particularly revealing and enjoyable. The rest of the cast also have genuine colour and the time taken to introduce them does slow the pace but they promise much more to come in future episodes.

Antony Ferguson's narration is very well suited and attuned to what the author is trying to portray. He is particularly good with Barker himself.

The story itself while set in Victorian London is incredibly relevant to today's Britain. The theme of prejudice around immigration really is as old as civilisation and it is quite stunning how these echoes from our past continue to resonate today. Thomas does not fall into the trap of polarising the effects, he recognises the multi-faceted nature of this particular beast.

I understand that this book was five years in the making and the result of all that effort is a top quality novel which appears to usher in a series with characters I could grow to love.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen C
  • 17-09-2017

Pity About the Scottish Accent

Any additional comments?

An interesting book spoiled for me because the main character who was supposed to be Scottish sounded as if he attended the Dick van Dyke school of acting....

5 people found this helpful

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  • G. Chandler
  • 02-04-2017

The Barker and Lewelyn Series.

A very good story well. I look forward to hearing more in this series. The main character is not unlike Holmes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and for any Holmes fans, I'm sure that you will enjoy it too.
Review by 'The book worm'.

5 people found this helpful

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  • K
  • 11-02-2017

Jolly enough take on an old formulae

The story was actually very engaging.
Victorian crime novels with a sleuth and his side-kick have started to get a bit hackneyed recently. Presumably many authors are cashing in on the Sherlock Hoes revival. However, this offering is interesting and different enough to easily keep the reader's attention. The Scottish (at least I think he's meant to be) sleuth and his down-at-heel assistant are a nicely conceived characters and the peripheral characters are both diverse and complimentary to the tale.

There's nothing essentially new or inventive in this take on the classic detective novel but it is written slickly and engagingly enough to make it a worthwhile listen.

I must say, though, that the narrater is dreadful. He reads like an automated telephone answering machine and his accents are abominable - his Scottish is barely there but his Irish at one point is indistinguishable from Cockney and his French chef has surely migrated to London via Jamaica. It must really be a good book to keep me listening through this shocker care of narrator, Anthony Ferguson (with a name like Ferguson- you'd think he'd manage the Scottish accent okay).

7 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 03-11-2019

Don’t

Sadly this is completely spoilt by the narrators terrible accents. Scottish is bearable but the Irish is terrible and the German sounds straight from the shores of the West Indies. I enjoyed the first book, but I can’t complete this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mrs s curtis
  • 05-11-2017

Great story

This is a great story and read very well except for every foreign accent sounded like a Nigerian,

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • elly gausden
  • 16-02-2017

Not a bad book but reader terrible at accents

The story is okay, with the odd bit that throws you out of the plot when you can tell the author is American and/or didn't research enough. Most of his historical research is accurate, excellent even, but there's just the odd turn of phrase or situation that isn't right. The persistent idea that lots of people had telephones to hand when the book is set drives me mad, but that said it doesn't affect the plot that much so it's easy to skip over.

The biggest issue is the reader can't really do accents for anyone not English or Scottish. Everyone else sounds like they're from Caribbean.

4 people found this helpful

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  • BadMedisin
  • 23-09-2020

Wasted potential

I really wanted to enjoy this. I like the partnership between the detective and the assistant, and the moments of humour between the characters. I feel like eventually the assistant might develop into less of a naive child and start to be interesting. Unfortunately, the storytelling is patronising, like a really condescending history teacher, and the narration will make your head explode.

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  • Steven G Pennell
  • 23-07-2020

Really enjoyable story

I really enjoyed this book, and I’m looking forward to the next episode in the series