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Hardcover Honor's Kingdom Book

ISBN: 0060186348

ISBN13: 9780060186340

Honor's Kingdom

(Book #4 in the Abel Jones Series)

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Winner of the 2002 Hammett Award They found the dead fellow in London, balled up in a basket of eels. Chewed upon he was, and most unsightly. He still had the proper shape of a man, if a bit whittled... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

That ... Parry!

I have never eaten an eel pie, but I've heard of 'em and thought perhaps some day I might enjoy the experience. Not now! Not after reading the first chapter of Abel Jones's latest adventure. That ... Parry has such a command of English prose he used it to make me ill! I haven't read anythng quite as graphic as Chapter 1 of "Honor's Kingdom" since Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room." But once into this book, as all of Parry's novels, I couldn't put it aside. So what's Abel Jones doing in England? I thought this mystery was pretty straight forward: the redoubtable Major is there to thwart the Confederates' English confederates from building warships for Richmond's fledgling navy. The CSS ALABAMA springs immediately to mind. But the ALABAMA was launched and she wreaked havoc with Yankee shipping. So Jones' mission we know from the beginning of this book is a failure. OK, so he'll solve some grisly murders? Well, read the book. Owen Parry's plots aren't THAT transparent.Now that the "Washington Post" has blown Parry's cover it's obvious this talented literary gentleman has been leaving clues to his real identity buried in the pages of his books. Turn to p. 75 in this edition. There it is and it's hilarious. The real Owen Parry evidently has a self-deprecating sense of humor that combined with his devastating talent as a writer must make him in real life a very endearing person. He also knows English lit. In "Honor's Kingdom" you'll meet Thackery, learn something about Dickens (to whom Parry's writing has been favorably compared), get to know young Henry Adams, and get a liberal dose of William Shakespeare. Parry has something in common with the Bard too: His bad guys get some of the best lines. Oh, and if Karl Marx has any living descendants they may well sue Mr. Parry. But if that happens, don't worry, old bean, all your fans will happily contribute thousands to your defense!And kudos to Ms. Barbara Levine, the cover artist. I wish I could get her to work for me....

An Astounding Accomplishment

Abel Jones is back and his adventures are more compelling than ever, which is saying something, as readers of the earlier books in this extraordinary Civil War series will recognize. In "Honor's Kingdom" Parry has given us another captivating mystery and an astonishingly well-written historical novel, set primarily in the streets of London and Glasgow. And what do events in Britain have to do with the American Civil War? A great deal, actually, as Parry so beautifully illustrates. In the course of solving another murder, Jones meets Henry Adams (both father and son), Karl Marx and Benjamin Disraeli, among other real-life characters, and of course he encounters a lively cast of characters that are the product of Parry's ever fabulous imagination. Parry captures the sights and sounds of the era in exacting and fascinating detail--yet those details never get in the way of this riviting story. From the opening scene (a dead body is discovered in a basket of eels) to the unexpected climax of this page-turner "Honor's Kingdom" is a treat for anyone who values beautiful writing and intelligent storytelling. For my money, no other author, living or dead, has so well or so delightfully captured the Civil War era as Owen Parry. Long may he write.

Parry's Best Yet

I should have spent the last day studying for the bar exam.Unfortunately, Parry's sharp wit, along with his unsurpassed development of plot, setting and characterization dragged me away from my scholastic duties. Now I know why Abel Jones stands so quick to damn the novel as an enticing distraction from virtue (though the Welshman softens this postion somewhat in the course of this story).I found this story to be the best mystery of Parry's books, too. Though Parry's previous books were similarly entertaining, I found "Faded Coat of Blue" and "Call Each River" predictable of outcome (though having an early notion of the route made the trip no less enjoyable). As with "Shadows of Glory", I found "Honor's Kingdom" confounding until the final pages.And the villain who assumes center-stage in this novel stands up to any of the fictional rogues concocted by the Marquise de Sade as a convincing, repulsive embodiment of villainy. Though I suspect Parry's sympathies would not lie with that French "nobleman", his ability to portray such a wicked character with such sympathy ("Sympathy for the Devil", perhaps?) testifies to his skill as an author and to his integrity as an observer of the human condition.Well worth the read, and then some.

The Soldier, Abel Jones

At one point in his account of this mission to Great Britain, Major Abel Jones confides in us. He asserts that he is, at heart, simply a soldier; not a spy, nor diplomat, nor detective. But the fact that this character is becoming all four of these should be no surprise to those of us who have traveled with him. What an adventure! The subtitle on the dust jacket is "A Novel of Historical Suspense." That's a fitting description, but doesn't give full credit to the rich portrait of Queen Victoria's England painted for us by the author through the thoughts and observations of Abel Jones and the other fascinating characters in this wonderful tale. If you haven't read the first three volumes in this superb series, you must. But even if you have not been previously introduced to Major Jones, you owe it to yourself to read "Honor's Kingdom." It's a first rate adventure and truly gives us a feel for what made America (and Americans) special in the mid-19th century.
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