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In the Mayor's Parlour

J. S. Fletcher

Book Overview: 

“Rotten borough” is a term that goes back to the 18th century, and it used to mean a parliamentary constituency in which a few property owners, or sometimes a single one, could choose the local member of parliament. The three Reform Acts of 1832, 1857 and 1884 brought that system to an end and by the time this book begins, a rotten borough has taken on its more modern meaning of a constituency whos rules allow a handful of people to profit secretly from the borough’s finances. In one such borough a new mayor, victor by a margin of single vote, has been working on a reform program and is found mysteriously murdered in his office -- the Mayor’s Parlour. As it happens, his young nephew is visiting from London, and is determined to find the killer. It’s no easy task, and the final discovery leaves him, as well as many others, surprised.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Peppermore. "He does odd jobs for people. For one thing, he carries out all Dr. Wellesley's medicines for him. And he shows strangers round the place—he knows all about the history and antiquities of the Castle, St. Hathelswide, and St. Laurence, and the Moot Hall, and so on. A hanger-on, and a sponge—that's what he is, Mr. Brent. But clever—as clever, sir, as he's unprincipled."

"The Croods seem to be an interesting family," observed Brent. "Who is that girl that I saw last night—the Alderman's niece? Is she, by any chance, this chap's daughter?"

"Queenie," said Peppermore. "Pretty girl too, that, Mr. Brent. No, sir; she's this chap's niece, and Simon's. She's the daughter of another Crood. Ben Crood. Ben's dead—he never made anything out, either—died, I believe, as poor as a church mouse. Simon's the moneyed man of the Crood family—the old rascal rolls in brass, as they call it here. So he took Queenie out of . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Although a fairly short book, it had all the required elements that I like and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fletcher, to me anyway, can be relied on to give the reader a good character sketch of the participants. This is a story of graft and corruption set in one of Fletchers favoured Northern towns. Th

J S Fletcher can always be depended on to deliver an exciting mystery story, with lots of twists, a bit of sweet romance, and a variety of well described characters. “In the Mayor’s Parlor” is no exception. The old town is very proud of its centuries old traditions, and a new mayor is about to get d

Our protagonist is another journalist. [as was the author] Brent is also the cousin of the victim, and the inheritor of the dead Mayor’s estate. Even though Wallingford is a new man, only lived in Hathelsborough for twelve years, he won the Mayor role by one vote and has been pushing a reform agenda

John Wallingford, the Mayor of Hathelsborough has won the mayoral elections by one vote. He promises to bring down corruption and abolish Town trustees and their ancient regime. And before he could make any such changes, he is found brutally murdered in his parlour. Brent decides to continue his lat

The Mayor of Hathelsborough is determined to remove the town's corruption but it is not long before he is found dead, in a seemingly locked room scenario. The story dragged in a couple of places where romance seemed to take over the story but an enjoyable tale when you skip those parts.

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