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A bombing injures private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker, leaving it up to his soon-to-be-married junior partner Thomas Llewelyn to find the person trying to murder them both before it's too late—in the newest mystery in Will Thomas's beloved series. In 19th century London, Cyrus Barker and his associate Thomas Llewelyn are renowned private enquiry agents, successfully employ A bombing injures private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker, leaving it up to his soon-to-be-married junior partner Thomas Llewelyn to find the person trying to murder them both before it's too late—in the newest mystery in Will Thomas's beloved series. In 19th century London, Cyrus Barker and his associate Thomas Llewelyn are renowned private enquiry agents, successfully employed by the highest levels of Her Majesty's government as well as private citizens. Their success, however, has led to their acquiring a powerful group of enemies, many of whom are determined to have their revenge. At least one of those enemies is responsible for a bombing of their offices that puts Cyrus Barker into the hospital and endangers Thomas Llewelyn's rapidly forthcoming nuptials. To add to the confusion, Barker's long-lost brother Caleb turns up on the rubble of their doorstep not long after the not-quite-fatal bombing. Unsure of Caleb and warned about him by Barker, Thomas reluctantly accepts Caleb's help both with a new case that comes in as well as trying to pinpoint which of Barker's enemies is making a move against them. As Thomas works his way through their enemy list, someone else is winnowing down that list: one by one those enemies are dying. With time running out—and his bride-to-be reconsidering their marriage—Llewelyn must (with the sick-bed bound Barker's help) uncover the killer and the plot before it's too late.


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A bombing injures private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker, leaving it up to his soon-to-be-married junior partner Thomas Llewelyn to find the person trying to murder them both before it's too late—in the newest mystery in Will Thomas's beloved series. In 19th century London, Cyrus Barker and his associate Thomas Llewelyn are renowned private enquiry agents, successfully employ A bombing injures private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker, leaving it up to his soon-to-be-married junior partner Thomas Llewelyn to find the person trying to murder them both before it's too late—in the newest mystery in Will Thomas's beloved series. In 19th century London, Cyrus Barker and his associate Thomas Llewelyn are renowned private enquiry agents, successfully employed by the highest levels of Her Majesty's government as well as private citizens. Their success, however, has led to their acquiring a powerful group of enemies, many of whom are determined to have their revenge. At least one of those enemies is responsible for a bombing of their offices that puts Cyrus Barker into the hospital and endangers Thomas Llewelyn's rapidly forthcoming nuptials. To add to the confusion, Barker's long-lost brother Caleb turns up on the rubble of their doorstep not long after the not-quite-fatal bombing. Unsure of Caleb and warned about him by Barker, Thomas reluctantly accepts Caleb's help both with a new case that comes in as well as trying to pinpoint which of Barker's enemies is making a move against them. As Thomas works his way through their enemy list, someone else is winnowing down that list: one by one those enemies are dying. With time running out—and his bride-to-be reconsidering their marriage—Llewelyn must (with the sick-bed bound Barker's help) uncover the killer and the plot before it's too late.

30 review for Blood Is Blood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Thomas Llewelyn is a young private enquiry agent who has worked for Cyrus Barker for 6 years. Thomas is to marry his fiancé Rebecca in two weeks, when an explosion destroys Barker's office and puts him in the hospital with serious injuries. Accordingly, most of the detective work in this book is done by Thomas, and I missed having more of Barker. Soon after the explosion, Barker's long lost brother Caleb suddenly appears and occasionally tags along with Thomas as he tracks down all of the people Thomas Llewelyn is a young private enquiry agent who has worked for Cyrus Barker for 6 years. Thomas is to marry his fiancé Rebecca in two weeks, when an explosion destroys Barker's office and puts him in the hospital with serious injuries. Accordingly, most of the detective work in this book is done by Thomas, and I missed having more of Barker. Soon after the explosion, Barker's long lost brother Caleb suddenly appears and occasionally tags along with Thomas as he tracks down all of the people with the motive and opportunity to have attacked Barker. I didn't think that Caleb added much to this book, other than acting mysterious and adding red herrings. I've read every book in this series. My favorites were the first three, and there have been one or two that were pretty bad. This one falls somewhere in the middle - 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. It held my interest and didn't make me want to skim through it. I didn't find the explanation of how, why and by whom the crimes in this book were committed very convincing. This book also did not have any of the historical details that have made some of the previous books more interesting. In the ARC that I read there were a couple of serious editing/continuity errors that were distracting. I hope that they will be corrected in the final version of the book. I stick with very few series, but I find the Barker/Llewelyn combination entertaining enough to keep me reading. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  2. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    First Sentence: I detest Mondays with all my soul. Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn have become highly successful enquiry agents. But with success comes enemies. With only a fortnight before Thomas is to marry Rebecca, a bomb destroys their offices. With Barker in a coma, it is up to Thomas to uncover the villain. When a contractor goes missing, his wife comes to Barker & Llewelyn for help. Help appears unexpectedly in the shape of Barker's brother, Caleb who has been in Americ First Sentence: I detest Mondays with all my soul. Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn have become highly successful enquiry agents. But with success comes enemies. With only a fortnight before Thomas is to marry Rebecca, a bomb destroys their offices. With Barker in a coma, it is up to Thomas to uncover the villain. When a contractor goes missing, his wife comes to Barker & Llewelyn for help. Help appears unexpectedly in the shape of Barker's brother, Caleb who has been in America as a Pinkerton agent. Can Thomas solve the cases and prevent his fiancée from canceling their wedding? What a great opening. It is one with which anyone who works can identify, and the introduction to Thomas is delightfully self-deprecating and unusual, which is a nice change. The inclusion of information on Cyrus Barker, Thomas' employer, is neatly done, and very succinct background of Thomas is provided. It is also the calm before the surprising storm which dramatically alters the tenor of the story. The introduction to Barker's inamorata, Phillipa Ashleigh, certainly makes an impression—"It was the sound of a woman's boots clicking in fury. Every man on earth is acquainted with the sound, it is instinctual." Assembling the list of suspects is an effective way of acquainting, or re-acquainting, readers with previous cases in the series. A delightful reference is made to the address of their new office. With the case of the missing builder, it is very well done by the author that one is allowed to be suspicious very shortly before Thomas comes to the same realization. It's a clever way to make the reader feel directly involved in the story, and the first major twist is a corker. What an apt description—"Ah, the Wealden murders." He replied. "Three men dead in a display of firearms, all Americans. It is as if they come from the womb with a gun in each hand." It is not easy to convey the action and danger of hand-to-hand combat in words, yet Thomas does a very credible job of making it real, visual, and with plenty of action. One certainly doesn't want for excitement or plot twists. They come one after the next in swift succession. It's hard not to like the advice Caleb offers Thomas—"'A woman prefers a man who is confident.' 'I hadn't considered that.' 'And when she talks, listen, by god. She feels she has important things to say. Maybe she does and maybe she doesn't, but listen anyway.'" And Phillipa is such a wonderful character. She's the woman one would like to be and offers sage advice to Thomas when trying to win back his fiancée—"Don't shave; it shall make you look desperate. She'll complain, but she'll like that. Give her all the control." The relationship between Thomas and Barker is truly that which draws one to the series. We know how the two men met, yet much of the appeal is Thomas' desire to grow and please Barker, not in a subservient way, but in the way of one who wants to earn the regard of someone greatly admired. As for Barker, he respects who Thomas is and who he has become, and that, in spite of everything, Thomas is—"still keen as you ever were." It's amazing what one may learn—"There are a dozen of types of rain in London…"—and who knew about the difference between a noose with a Marwood ring rather than one without. One theme which is somewhat unusual for a story such as this is religion and faith. It is there not in a preachy way but in the best representation of it. Will Thomas created an excellent reveal of one character's true purpose, the surprising appearance of an historical figure, and a very lovely ending. "Blood is Blood: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel" is another wonderful read in an excellent historical mystery series filled with wry humor, suspense, great characters, and a wonderful sense of time and place. It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the books in order. BLOOD IS BLOOD: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel (HistMys-Barker/Llewelyn-London-1890) –VG+ Thomas, Will – 10th in series Minotaur Books – Nov 2018

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I have enjoyed this series very much, and this latest book was most satisfying on several fronts. We are introduced to Barker's older brother Caleb who has come over to England on some Pinkerton business, but Cyrus warns Thomas that his brother is not to be trusted. They had not seen each other in years, in fact. His appearance coincides with the bombing of Barker's offices that causes grave injuries to Barker, leaving Thomas in charge of the investigation to discover who was trying to kill his I have enjoyed this series very much, and this latest book was most satisfying on several fronts. We are introduced to Barker's older brother Caleb who has come over to England on some Pinkerton business, but Cyrus warns Thomas that his brother is not to be trusted. They had not seen each other in years, in fact. His appearance coincides with the bombing of Barker's offices that causes grave injuries to Barker, leaving Thomas in charge of the investigation to discover who was trying to kill his boss. The list of people of interest with motives to kill Barker was sizable. Colorful characters, threats against the woman Thomas was soon to marry (Rebecca)... I could describe this book in great detail, but that would spoil it for others. If familiar with the series, you know there is plenty of conflict/action, utilization of self-defense skills Barker trained Thomas in and interfaces with Scotland Yard. I sat in a chair rather long reading this since I had no desire to put it down and now I find Manchester Union vs Southampton is tied at half on my television - so...I must now stand in front of the screen and do some exercise, acting like a cheerleader and activating some muscles. Could I be a Manchester fan? I'll never tell.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Barker and Llewelyn #9 Publication Date: 11/14/18 How in the world have I managed to miss this author and this series? This is basically the tenth book in the series because I think one of the others was a .5 book. I loved the characters of Barker and Llewelyn as well as the other members of the ensemble cast. The book is well plotted and well written and even has a bit of humor. Cyrus Barker is a self-made man whose parents were missionaries. They died during a cholera epidemic in China wh Series: Barker and Llewelyn #9 Publication Date: 11/14/18 How in the world have I managed to miss this author and this series? This is basically the tenth book in the series because I think one of the others was a .5 book. I loved the characters of Barker and Llewelyn as well as the other members of the ensemble cast. The book is well plotted and well written and even has a bit of humor. Cyrus Barker is a self-made man whose parents were missionaries. They died during a cholera epidemic in China when Cyrus was still young. This book didn’t spell out all of his history, but he made his fortune from captaining a merchant vessel that ran from Hokkaido to Singapore. Afterward, he started the Barker Enquiry Agency and has done remarkable well – often solving cases that Scotland Yard can’t. He’s a gruff bear of a man that most folks walk on tiptoes around. Six years ago, his assistant was killed during an investigation and after winnowing through many applicants, he hired Thomas Llewelyn. That was a shock to everyone because Thomas definitely appeared to be the least qualified applicant. I didn’t learn as much about Thomas Llewelyn in this book. Evidently, he had been a scholar and had a number of dead-end jobs and finally served eight months in prison for theft. This book doesn’t actually say, but I think he was convicted on a false accusation by a peer. Thomas seems to be a very good investigator who works on intuition and methodical investigation. I liked the secondary characters in the series and would be interested in reading more about them. There is Jenkins, the alcoholic slacker who is their clerk; Mac who is their majordomo at their residence; Rebecca, a lovely widow, who is Llewelyn’s betrothed and Philippa, also a widow and in a relationship with Barker. Other recurring characters seem to be from Scotland Yard and a lawyer turned enquiry agent who works directly across from Barker’s agency. The book begins with Llewelyn telling us – “I detest Mondays with all my soul. I always have.” That is a portent for his day! As he and Barker have settled into their shared office for the day’s work, Llewelyn hears something and feels a bit of a jolt. There had been an explosion at a nearby building a while back that had shaken their offices, and this felt much the same. Then, he is shocked to see Barker sink through the floor – followed by his desk, the file cabinet and ending with Llewelyn’s desk, chair and finally Llewellyn. The entire office floor and all of its contents had fallen down into the basement. Llewellyn had enough time to recognize what was happening and managed to get into his roll-top desk and pull the thing closed, so he wasn’t seriously injured. The same was not true for Barker. He was buried under six feet of all sorts of rubble, including his huge heavy desk. Barker’s worst injury seemed to be a shattered leg that would put him out of commission for quite some time. Thus, the investigation into the explosion falls directly and solely onto Llewellyn’s shoulders. Obviously, someone wants to bring Barker and by association Llewelyn down. They don’t want to just cause problems, they want serious physical injury – maybe even death. So Llewelyn begins going over old cases where the perpetrators had threatened Barker and there were several of them. As Llewelyn investigates each of those cases, more and more things happen – not just to Llewelyn, but to those they hold dear. There are red herrings, twists, turns, and revelations before the final solution. It is a great mystery. An additional wrench-in-the-works is the appearance of Barker’s estranged brother. Each had actually thought the other had died. Caleb Barker had gone to America (from China) when he was very young – maybe eighteen or so. He is Cyrus’ older brother. In his first appearance, Llewelyn thinks he has found a full-sized, living, breathing American cowboy. He was a full head taller than Llewelyn and was wearing a brown slicker, wide-brimmed hat, long mustache and he had a gun belt on his hip. It turns out that Caleb works for the Pinkerton Detective Agency in America. Even though he is Barker’s brother, neither Barker nor Llewelyn trusts him. Actually, I liked him and can’t wait to see what happened to him when he returned to America. I love historical mysteries – they are my absolute favorite – but – I like romance in them as well. Is there a genre called historical romantic mysteries? Anyway, this book actually had Llewelyn and Rebecca’s wedding in it. I wonder how that will work out with future stories. I’d love to see both Rebecca and Philippa take roles in investigations in the future. Some of Llewelyn’s thoughts that I thought were witty: --“It is necessary to moderate the intake of sunlight between one’s lashes after imbibing freely the night before.” --“One can sulk for an hour or so, but brooding can take days.” --“It was the sound of a woman’s boots clicking in fury. Every man on earth is acquainted with the sound;” --“Pie cannot fix everything, of course, but it has never ruined anything either.” --“Could you translate that from American to English?” I certainly recommend this book, but you should be aware that it is written in the first person. Please check out my reviews at: Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages... Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview "I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Quirkybookworm

    As the British would say, a bloody good classic detective novel! If I heard one of them saying that, I'd agree. It all started with an assistant who despises Mondays. Things always go wrong on that particular day of the week for him. Sure enough, he's stressing about his upcoming wedding, his office gets bombed, causing his employer to be seriously injured. While Llewelyn tries to clean up and assess the damages, his employer's long lost American brother shows up unexpectedly causing them to have As the British would say, a bloody good classic detective novel! If I heard one of them saying that, I'd agree. It all started with an assistant who despises Mondays. Things always go wrong on that particular day of the week for him. Sure enough, he's stressing about his upcoming wedding, his office gets bombed, causing his employer to be seriously injured. While Llewelyn tries to clean up and assess the damages, his employer's long lost American brother shows up unexpectedly causing them to have a scrappiness which, in my opinion, is hilarious between a British and an American. So far, not the greatest Monday for Llewelyn along the week following that day as he tries to come up with possible suspects who would want to harm Barker, his boss. There have been twists and turns, and surprises which kept me on my toes. The Scotland Yard area and London along with the buildings were pretty descriptive where I was easily lost in that era. There is a bit of Sherlock theme going on but I thoroughly enjoyed it. "Nobody sells snake oil like a snake." "Could you translate that from American to English?" "A paragon of citizenship" "YOU do talk posh, Mr. Llewelyn." He said. Those are just couple of many banters between Llewelyn and the American that had me cracking up as a case gets solved. So, the question of this story is, Will this assistant be able to solve this brutal crime just in time before his wedding on his own, while his employer is laid up in the hospital recuperating? There were so many elements thrown his way including a shocking incident which may call off his wedding for good. Just wanted to say the title was just perfect for this novel. I was very delighted to be kept on my toes while reading this novel. Extremely entertaining. Imagine my delight when I found out there are other Barker and Llewelyn novels! I intend to read those and I hope the upcoming novels of those two beloved detectives in the future. I received this interesting ARC from St. Martin's Press and Minotaur Books through Net Galley. Thank you!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    Thank you to Minotaur Books and the Amazon Vine Voices program for an ARC of this novel. The tenth entry in the Barker and Llewelyn series finds me just as satisfied with this series as I was following my reading of all the others. Will Thomas writes these two characters in such a way that they are both realistic and their relationship throughout the series has matured and developed at an even pace. This story has Thomas Llewelyn solving a case by himself after six years of working with Cyrus Bar Thank you to Minotaur Books and the Amazon Vine Voices program for an ARC of this novel. The tenth entry in the Barker and Llewelyn series finds me just as satisfied with this series as I was following my reading of all the others. Will Thomas writes these two characters in such a way that they are both realistic and their relationship throughout the series has matured and developed at an even pace. This story has Thomas Llewelyn solving a case by himself after six years of working with Cyrus Barker. Well, at least he was almost able to solve it alone. There was an explosion at the offices and Barker was injured enough to require surgery and a long-ish hospital stay. Thomas seems to be on his own until the American Cowboy shows up on the doorstep. It seems this is Caleb, brother of Cyrus, and he's in London working some cases for the Pinkerton agency. They may not see eye-to-eye, but Caleb can't help but get involved in helping Thomas find the criminals out to kill Cyrus. A very satisfactory addition to the series. Even though this book is pretty far along in the series it has been written so it can technically be read as a standalone. Author Will Thomas fills in the backstory when it is required, but if you begin reading here you will miss all of the wonderful interactions between Barker and Llewelyn which brings them to this point in their relationship.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Blood Is Blood By Will Thompson What it's all about... Llewelyn and Barker...they are turn of the century private detectives. This book is one of the later books in this series. In this one their office is bombed and Barker is hurt while Llewelyn is left to figure out how all of this happened. Then...out of the blue...Barker’s rough and tumble brother shows up...from America. He wants to help find the bombers, too! Why I wanted to read it... I love books like this and I immediately grew fond of Llewe Blood Is Blood By Will Thompson What it's all about... Llewelyn and Barker...they are turn of the century private detectives. This book is one of the later books in this series. In this one their office is bombed and Barker is hurt while Llewelyn is left to figure out how all of this happened. Then...out of the blue...Barker’s rough and tumble brother shows up...from America. He wants to help find the bombers, too! Why I wanted to read it... I love books like this and I immediately grew fond of Llewelyn and his fiancé...Rebecca. Llewelyn is sort of lost without his boss Barker around...at least that was my impression. He sort of stumbles along...things happen...he is not very decisive. But he is determined. What made me truly enjoy this book... The escapades of Llewelyn and the Barker Brother were what made me enjoy this book. There are gunfights, possible kidnappings, broken engagements and murders! This book is very exciting! Why you should read it, too... Readers who love these odd old adventures should enjoy this book and this series. I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Bohnert

    I've now read all ten novels in this series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maranda

    Challenges for Thomas Llewelyn are two fold. He is preparing for his wedding and he is left on his own to solve a bombing. This is a Sherlock slash Watson clone story which is my favorite duo crime team. Beginning of the story is well described with an office bombing that leaves their detection agency in shambles and Cyrus Barker, Thomas' boss in the hospital. Many avenues are traveled to get answers. Many turns and close escapes make the story a must read. "A copy of this book was provided by S Challenges for Thomas Llewelyn are two fold. He is preparing for his wedding and he is left on his own to solve a bombing. This is a Sherlock slash Watson clone story which is my favorite duo crime team. Beginning of the story is well described with an office bombing that leaves their detection agency in shambles and Cyrus Barker, Thomas' boss in the hospital. Many avenues are traveled to get answers. Many turns and close escapes make the story a must read. "A copy of this book was provided by St. Martin's Press Via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Horton

    This latest involvement in Thomas' ten-book series is a little different from previous books. In Blood is Blood, the assistant enquiry agent, Llewelyn, must take the lead because his boss, Barker, has been seriously injured. The witty dialogue that marks their relationship continues in Blood is Blood, but it seems heavier with introspection and description—not necessarily a good thing because it slows the read. This book contains more strong female characters, and their interactions with their m This latest involvement in Thomas' ten-book series is a little different from previous books. In Blood is Blood, the assistant enquiry agent, Llewelyn, must take the lead because his boss, Barker, has been seriously injured. The witty dialogue that marks their relationship continues in Blood is Blood, but it seems heavier with introspection and description—not necessarily a good thing because it slows the read. This book contains more strong female characters, and their interactions with their male counterparts are realistic, and not forced. (It seems that male authors are now trying to include more female characters in mystery and thriller, and oftentimes to me, they just don't quite pull it off believably.) Although Blood is Blood can be read as a standalone, the story was richer because I've read the entire series. I enjoy the relationship that's been built between private enquiry agents Barker and Llewelyn and for that reason, I'd recommend starting with the first one, Some Danger Involved. Recommended, especially for fans of Ann Perry and Charles Todd.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    If you enjoy historical mysteries and you aren't reading this series, you REALLY need to change that. These books are such a fantastic combination of history, intrigue, and humor. I know I said this last time, but this book really is the best of the series so far. A mysterious relative shows up (!!!), there are fights and explosions, a house fire, a standing arm-wrestling match, two visits to an insane asylum and maybe a wedding! And everything takes place in London in the 1880's. I highly recom If you enjoy historical mysteries and you aren't reading this series, you REALLY need to change that. These books are such a fantastic combination of history, intrigue, and humor. I know I said this last time, but this book really is the best of the series so far. A mysterious relative shows up (!!!), there are fights and explosions, a house fire, a standing arm-wrestling match, two visits to an insane asylum and maybe a wedding! And everything takes place in London in the 1880's. I highly recommend starting at the beginning of the series because all of the characters really develop over time, and knowing the history makes the ending of this book even more satisfying.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Dee

    "Barker and Llewellyn” is a delightful series. Don’t be afraid to dive in at #10. Thomas gives you enough context to understand the detectives’ history, but not so much that it is a tedious rehash of past stories if you are up to date. Thomas Llewelyn is about to be married. Trouble is, his office with Barker has been blown to bits, with Barker in it, and it is up to him to find out who from their past wants them dead. There are almost too many candidates to consider. In addition, Barker’s brothe "Barker and Llewellyn” is a delightful series. Don’t be afraid to dive in at #10. Thomas gives you enough context to understand the detectives’ history, but not so much that it is a tedious rehash of past stories if you are up to date. Thomas Llewelyn is about to be married. Trouble is, his office with Barker has been blown to bits, with Barker in it, and it is up to him to find out who from their past wants them dead. There are almost too many candidates to consider. In addition, Barker’s brother, a Pinkerton detective from America shows up with some additional shady history. “Blood is Blood” is a fast moving, action packed, almost cinematic historical mystery. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Have you ever had one of those friends that you can go for months without seeing, but once you meet up again it’s like no time has passed at all and you pick up right where you left off? That’s how I feel when I open a new volume of Will Thomas’s Barker and Llewellyn series. This has been my favorite mystery series since I came upon the second book, To Kingdom Come, on the New Releases shelf at my local library. Suffice to say that I was thrilled when NetGalley approved my request for a digital Have you ever had one of those friends that you can go for months without seeing, but once you meet up again it’s like no time has passed at all and you pick up right where you left off? That’s how I feel when I open a new volume of Will Thomas’s Barker and Llewellyn series. This has been my favorite mystery series since I came upon the second book, To Kingdom Come, on the New Releases shelf at my local library. Suffice to say that I was thrilled when NetGalley approved my request for a digital ARC of the latest installment, Blood is Blood. To describe my real reaction would be admitting that I might have lost all dignity for a few moments. *ahem* When the story opens, all is going well for our narrator, Thomas Llewellyn. Mostly. He’s preparing for his upcoming wedding and he knows nothing about flowers, though he is quickly learning to say, ‘Yes, dear, whatever you want’ when it comes to his fiancee’s wishes. This sweet opening comes to a sudden, explosive end when Llewellyn arrives at his workplace at the office of Cyrus Barker, Private Enquiry Agent. Someone sets off explosives under the building, and Barker and Llewellyn barely escape with their lives. Barker is badly injured, and so it is up to Llewellyn to solve the mystery of who, exactly, wants them dead badly enough to blow up a building. The list is long, but not beyond Llewellyn’s means to investigate alone, though matters are complicated by the unexpected appearance of Barker’s brother Caleb. Instead of simplifying matters, Caleb’s arrival complicates them and adds to the web of intrigue that could result not only in Llewellyn’s death but in the ending of his marriage before it even begins. I will admit that I approached this book with sky-high expectations. I love this series more and more with each new volume, and it seems like every new book is better than the last. I was not disappointed. Blood is Blood is as fast-paced and witty as the previous books and left me guessing about the culprit right up to the reveal, which hasn’t happened for a while. I’ve been able to identify ‘whodunnit’ in the past few books, and I was happily in the dark for this one. But I don’t read these books solely for the mysteries. I adore the characters, and from the opening pages of the first book, I knew Thomas Llewellyn’s voice was one I’d fall in love with. He starts out as a naive young ex-scholar/ex-convict from the Welsh countryside, and though he develops his gentlemanly manners (and combat skills) across the ten books of the series, he never loses his wit and charm. Other mysteries set in Victorian London might garner more acclaim and fame, but this one will always be my favorite. Their wry humor and gritty Victorian atmosphere drew me in, and their inherent humanism keeps me coming back. There are few mystery series I’ve found where the detectives are so devoted to the fundamentals of justice, no matter the race, religion, class, or sexual orientation of the victim. Or that of the perpetrator. The morally upright, if rather intimidating Cyrus Barker necessarily takes a step back in Blood is Blood, forcing his protégé to take a step forward and use the skills he’s been honing for the past nine books. While Llewellyn does slip up a few times, its clear that Barker chose the right man all those years ago. Llewellyn has become a capable investigator, even if he doesn’t realize it himself. He will be taking a larger role in upcoming cases, I think, if not working his own caseload in a more solo fashion. More changes are in the air for other key characters and while I welcome them, I approach them with the sort of trepidation one feels when facing a shift in one’s life. How will these changes affect Barker and Llewellyn? More importantly, how will they affect Harm, Barker’s beloved Pekingese? I have more questions, but to ask them here would spoil the surprises. Suffice it to say that Blood is Blood is a worthy successor to the preceding novels while acting as a turning point for future books. Will Thomas’s narrative voice is unique among mystery novels, maintaining a gritty, atmospheric realism that does not rely on gore or sexual violence to emphasize the horrific nature of the crime or the urgency of the investigation. His tone moves from humor to drama to moments of grace as smoothly as the turning of a page while the plot maintains a quick pace, slowing down for moments of introspection that deepen the reader’s appreciation of the characters without dragging the story to a halt. If I have one complaint about Blood is Blood, it’s that I will now have to wait an entire year before the next book comes out. In the meantime, I will simply have to reread Blood is Blood, listen to the audiobook, and then reread the entire series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    BOOKLOVER10

    Will Thomas outdoes himself in "Blood is Blood," a rollicking and action-packed historical thriller. The first line spoken by the narrator, Welsh-born Thomas Llewelyn, is "I detest Mondays with all my soul." He subsequently explains in eloquent detail why he feels this way. In nineteenth-century London, twenty-six year old private enquiry agent Llewelyn endures physical attacks and experiences psychological trauma weeks before his planned marriage to Rebecca Cowan. The book begins with a bang. S Will Thomas outdoes himself in "Blood is Blood," a rollicking and action-packed historical thriller. The first line spoken by the narrator, Welsh-born Thomas Llewelyn, is "I detest Mondays with all my soul." He subsequently explains in eloquent detail why he feels this way. In nineteenth-century London, twenty-six year old private enquiry agent Llewelyn endures physical attacks and experiences psychological trauma weeks before his planned marriage to Rebecca Cowan. The book begins with a bang. Someone plants bombs beneath the office of Cyrus Barker, Llewelyn's boss, and Barker is seriously injured in the explosion. Adding to the chaos, Cyrus's estranged older brother, Caleb, unexpectedly arrives in England. Caleb Barker is an acerbic, stubborn, and arrogant individual who claims that he works for the Pinkerton Detective Agency in America. He has a devil-may-care approach to life, and appears to be untroubled about the possibility of retribution from the many people he antagonizes. When Caleb and Cyrus meet after decades of separation, they exchange harsh words but form a tentative truce. Thomas reluctantly accepts Caleb's assistance in pursuing one or more villains who plan to finish off Barker for good. Llewelyn makes a list of the most likely suspects—certain felons who have threatened retaliation against the man who brought them down. With the help of Scotland Yard's Chief Constable McNaughton, Thomas is anxious to find out whether these criminals are still at large and capable of revenge. There are amusing scenes in which Thomas serves as an intermediary between the short-tempered Caleb and members of the Barker household who are put off by this unwelcome and uncouth intruder. Llewelyn also tries to allay his fiancée's fears that he may be severely hurt or killed in the line of duty; tracks down leads in Paris, a British prison, and an asylum for the mentally ill; and urges Barker to trust him with the case while Cyrus's wounds heal. There are welcome appearances by some of our favorite characters: the beautiful, regal, and sensible Mrs. Philippa Ashleigh, Cyrus's long-time lady friend; Jacob Maccabee, Barker's fussy and efficient factotum; and Harm, Barker's Pekinese dog who is small but fiercely protective of his master. The author's lively dialogue is darkly humorous, his descriptive writing is evocative, and the answer to whodunit is intriguing and surprising. "Blood is Blood" is an entertaining and fast-paced novel in which a bruised and battered Thomas Llewelyn will be tested in ways that he could never have anticipated.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    While I haven't read all of the books in this series featuring Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewellyn, I've read quite a few and enjoy the historical elements as well as the characters. Thomas Llewellyn was very young and fresh out of prison when Cyrus Barker hired him originally. He is now twenty-six and has gained much experience and confidence during his years working with Barker. When the current plot begins, Thomas is looking forward to his marriage. Cyrus Barker is a bit mysterious, but through t While I haven't read all of the books in this series featuring Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewellyn, I've read quite a few and enjoy the historical elements as well as the characters. Thomas Llewellyn was very young and fresh out of prison when Cyrus Barker hired him originally. He is now twenty-six and has gained much experience and confidence during his years working with Barker. When the current plot begins, Thomas is looking forward to his marriage. Cyrus Barker is a bit mysterious, but through the books we have learned a little more about his past. In Blood Is Blood, we meet his brother Caleb, and the brothers may be cut from the same cloth, but the resulting garments are quite different in style. When the office of Barker & Llewellyn Private Inquiry Agents is bombed, Cyrus is seriously injured and the brunt of the investigation is shifted to Thomas with the newly arrived Caleb taking an often questionable hand. As Thomas attempts to interview some of the enemies who may be responsible, it appears that someone is taking his suspects out. NetGalley/St. Martin's Press Historical Detectives. Nov. 13, 2018. Print length: 320 pages.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    In Victorian London, a bomb is set off below the office of Cyrus Barker and his trainee (of six years) Thomas Llewelyn. There is no lack of suspects because Barker is a successful enquiry agent and has be instrumental in putting many men behind bars. However, Barker is seriously injured in blast while Llewelyn suffers a momentary hearing loss. Llewelyn decides he must solve the both the bombing case and a new missing person case. This book wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be. While the writin In Victorian London, a bomb is set off below the office of Cyrus Barker and his trainee (of six years) Thomas Llewelyn. There is no lack of suspects because Barker is a successful enquiry agent and has be instrumental in putting many men behind bars. However, Barker is seriously injured in blast while Llewelyn suffers a momentary hearing loss. Llewelyn decides he must solve the both the bombing case and a new missing person case. This book wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be. While the writing is sufficient, the telling is lacking. Other than the occasional ride in a hansom cab, the reader has no real sense of where the book takes place. None of the atmospheric details found in other, better told, Victorian mysteries is found here. Characters pop up with no explanation of who they are and only a vague reason as to why they are in the book. All in all, if you are a follower of this series, you will undoubtedly overlook the above and enjoy the read. However, if this will be the first book you read in the series, I would suggest you not read this one until you’ve read the other nine books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    "Blood is Blood" by Will Thomas, Minotaur, 320 pages, Nov. 13, 2018. In this 10th installment featuring 19th century London Private Enquiry Agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn, Thomas is preparing for his wedding to Rebecca Cowan, a widow. "I detest Monday's with all my soul," Thomas says. He and Barker are in their office when an explosion occurs. Someone dynamited the building. They both survive, but Barker is seriously injured. Caleb Barker arrives from America. The two brothers "Blood is Blood" by Will Thomas, Minotaur, 320 pages, Nov. 13, 2018. In this 10th installment featuring 19th century London Private Enquiry Agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn, Thomas is preparing for his wedding to Rebecca Cowan, a widow. "I detest Monday's with all my soul," Thomas says. He and Barker are in their office when an explosion occurs. Someone dynamited the building. They both survive, but Barker is seriously injured. Caleb Barker arrives from America. The two brothers haven't seen each other in many years. He works for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, so he is willing to help Thomas investigate. The American Embassy wants to get Caleb out of the country before he causes trouble. The list of suspects is a long one. Barker has put many people in prison. Llewelyn is visited by Camille Archer, who claims her husband has gone missing. Suspicious of her story, he follows her, but she gives him the slip. Is she somehow involved in the bombing? Although this is a series, "Blood is Blood" can be read as a stand alone novel. Will Thomas' storytelling is excellent and filled with attention to detail. He brings 19th century London to life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    With Barker in the hospital, this is the first time that young Thomas Llewelyn is in total charge of an investigation, and-- wouldn't you know it-- it's a case in which both their lives are in grave danger. He needs help, but the only help he can get is from Barker's brother, Caleb, who seems to have spent most of his time in the United States-- much of it as a Pinkerton agent. This could be good news, but Caleb has a nasty habit of disappearing all the time, and the U.S. Embassy is after him an With Barker in the hospital, this is the first time that young Thomas Llewelyn is in total charge of an investigation, and-- wouldn't you know it-- it's a case in which both their lives are in grave danger. He needs help, but the only help he can get is from Barker's brother, Caleb, who seems to have spent most of his time in the United States-- much of it as a Pinkerton agent. This could be good news, but Caleb has a nasty habit of disappearing all the time, and the U.S. Embassy is after him and Thomas doesn't know why. Blood Is Blood is a very strange and complex mystery, with danger appearing unexpectedly from any and all directions. Will Thomas knows how to make readers wish they had eyes in the backs of their heads. I did enjoy the mystery very much, and it wasn't easy to determine if Caleb Barker was a good guy or a bad one. The only small problem I had with the story is that-- even after six years and everything he's been through-- I thought Thomas Llewelyn didn't perform all that well as the one in charge of the investigation. He took too many things at face value and as a result, put those closest to him in danger. But that is a small irritation in this latest book in one of my favorite historical mystery series. Will Thomas always puts me right in the heart of Victorian London with his fast-paced, heart-thumping mysteries and strong main characters. Once again, I'm left waiting to see where he takes me next. Wherever it is, I know I will enjoy the journey.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Nicely done Victorian mystery with a great odd couple pair in Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn. This starts literally with a bang, when their office is bombed and Thomas finds himself trying to figure out who tried to kill them. Then, Cyrus' brother Caleb - the proverbial long lost - turns up and Thomas reluctantly accepts his help as he goes through their old cases in the hope that he can find the person who hates them so much. There are some fun smaller characters here, not the least of which Nicely done Victorian mystery with a great odd couple pair in Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn. This starts literally with a bang, when their office is bombed and Thomas finds himself trying to figure out who tried to kill them. Then, Cyrus' brother Caleb - the proverbial long lost - turns up and Thomas reluctantly accepts his help as he goes through their old cases in the hope that he can find the person who hates them so much. There are some fun smaller characters here, not the least of which are the women in their lives, Rebecca and Philippa. There are some twists, some turns, and some entertaining vignettes. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'd only read the book immediately preceding this one and Thomas gave be enough info to both catch me up and launch me forward. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the ARC of the tenth Barker & Llewelyn novel. I have been reading this series since Some Danger Involved was released in 2004, and am always excited to read Thomas Llewelyn's next adventure. Because really, although Cyrus Barker does figure very prominently in the series, these books are the story of young Thomas Llewelyn's unlikely rise from scholar and former convict to private enquiry agent. Llewelyn is the apprentice and narrator, and Barker Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the ARC of the tenth Barker & Llewelyn novel. I have been reading this series since Some Danger Involved was released in 2004, and am always excited to read Thomas Llewelyn's next adventure. Because really, although Cyrus Barker does figure very prominently in the series, these books are the story of young Thomas Llewelyn's unlikely rise from scholar and former convict to private enquiry agent. Llewelyn is the apprentice and narrator, and Barker is the rather mysterious employer and teacher, and it is wonderful to see Llewelyn gain in skill and confidence over the course of the series, while we gradually learn more about. Cyrus Barker. In Blood is Blood, the bombing of the Barker's offices puts him in the hospital, leaving Llewelyn to ferret out, in his first solo case, who is responsible for the attempted murder of his employer and friend. Llewelyn is also preparing for his rapidly approaching wedding, and yet a further complication arrives in the person of Barker's long-lost brother, Caleb, claiming to be a Pinkerton agent from the U.S. I enjoyed Blood is Blood very much, and look forward to book eleven in the series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    J Bel

    If you haven't read the previous books in the series, you will probably find this book tough to follow. I enjoy this series very much. It takes place in the late 1800s in London, England. The characters have quite unique histories and the backstories are as interesting as the main plot. There are many recurring characters beside the two main characters of Messrs. Barker and Llewelyn. There are several minor characters who are Jews and others who are Chinese and apparently both groups were real e If you haven't read the previous books in the series, you will probably find this book tough to follow. I enjoy this series very much. It takes place in the late 1800s in London, England. The characters have quite unique histories and the backstories are as interesting as the main plot. There are many recurring characters beside the two main characters of Messrs. Barker and Llewelyn. There are several minor characters who are Jews and others who are Chinese and apparently both groups were real exotics at the time these novels take place in England. If you are a fan of mysteries and like the setting of the Sherlock Holmes novels, you should give Will Thomas' novels a try.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arleen E.

    Another great installment. I liked the introduction of Barker's brother. Would like to see his appearance in another book. A very quick and engaging read because the author makes you care about the main characters. If you like complex and engaging characters and plots, this is a series you should explore. While each book stands on it's on, if you are reading this series for the first time, I suggest you start on Book 1.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    *CHOMP.* MORE! *looks around* wait...wait, what do you mean this is all there is? 8 books, 1 novella, and an ARC of Blood is Blood? But...but...but...there has to be more! I need at least five more books, Will Thomas, and I needed them YESTERDAY. Aaaackgh. This is what I get for reading all of the books, one after the other, nonstop. How long until book 11? Will we be getting another novella soon? And when are we going to meet Thomas's family?! 10 books and we've never met his parents or any of *CHOMP.* MORE! *looks around* wait...wait, what do you mean this is all there is? 8 books, 1 novella, and an ARC of Blood is Blood? But...but...but...there has to be more! I need at least five more books, Will Thomas, and I needed them YESTERDAY. Aaaackgh. This is what I get for reading all of the books, one after the other, nonstop. How long until book 11? Will we be getting another novella soon? And when are we going to meet Thomas's family?! 10 books and we've never met his parents or any of his nine siblings! I want a whole book dedicated to Thomas reconciling with his family and he and Barker and Mac running all around Wales. I NEED IT. You can see my review of all 10 books here on my dumb book blog. Write faster, Will Thomas.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I just love this very British series, written by a librarian in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This one has more of Thomas Llewelyn, as Barker is injured in an explosion. I hope this series runs for many more years!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Frankie J. Greer

    Great Jolly Ending Enjoyed new character of Brother Caleb. Not my favorite book of Series but always look forward to be involved with Barker & Llewelyn and London of this Era.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindy Santellan

    Enjoyed Thomases growing role in bothe the book and as an inquiry agent.

  27. 5 out of 5

    James

    5/10

  28. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Owen

    http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id...

  29. 5 out of 5

    William

    One of my favorite books in this series. It left me looking forward to the next one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Edwards

    Another Winner This was another winner in the series. I've read and enjoyed them all and look forward to the next one.

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