Rules of Engagement
This is the eleventh and final book in the mystery series featuring the blind magistrate Sir John Fielding (half-brother of novelist Henry) and his ward, now clerk Jeremy Proctor. It is 1775. When Lord Lammermoor, a prominent member of Parliament, jumps to his death from Westminster Bridge, his friend the Lord Chief Justice finds that verdict hard to swallow and asks Fielding, the Blind Beak of Bow Street, to investigate. Jeremy, acting as Fielding’s eyes, finds Lammermoor’s widow reluctant to cooperate—and no motive for suicide. A doctor friend of Fielding’s takes the Fieldings, Jeremy, and his fiancée to a mesmerist, giving the reader an “ah ha” moment that comes a little later to Jeremy and Fielding.
Alexander (a pseudonym of author Bruce Cook) died when this work was two-thirds completed, and it was finished by his wife and a close friend working from his notes. That explanation may account for the mystery’s red herrings and blind alleys, which are numerous, but it does not detract from the reader’s enjoyment of the last book in this wonderful series. Fielding’s prodigious talents are on display in this last hurrah, and the boy Jeremy has become a man.