Agnes Meadowes is cook to the Blanchards of Foster Lane, the renowned silversmiths. Her quiet world of culinary activity, preparing jugged hare, oyster loaves, almond soup and other delicacies for the family, is a happy refuge from the hustle and bustle of 1750s London. But in a single night everything is to change. When the Blanchards' most prestigious and expensive commission, a giant silver wine cooler destined for the house of Sir Bartholomew Grey, is stolen, a sinister chain of events is set in motion. That same night a young apprentice is murdered and a young maid, Rose, disappears. Are these portentous happenings connected? Called upon by her master, Theodore Blanchard, to investigate 'below stairs', Agnes now enters a dark world of hidden secrets, jealousy and murderous intent. Before the game is played out she will be forced to act as mouse to the infamous Thief Taker's cat as she is slowly drawn into a seamy underworld of London crime. But the truth, like the expensive tea leaves that Agnes keeps under lock and key, comes at a high price and she must decide how big a sacrifice she is prepared to make to bring the villains to justice. Once again Janet Gleeson has produced a gripping historical murder mystery, and in Agnes Meadowes has created a heroine whom readers will love. The Thief Taker is an evocative and spell-binding novel of crime, chicanery and cooking that will delight her existing fans and win her many more.
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