A Shadowed Livery

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 5 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

A thrilling book that keeps you interested from start to finish. Recommended to those who enjoy a good detective story.
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A Shadowed Livery is a great historical mystery that is well written,but is a slow read. The characters are interesting and well developed.
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A great introduction to Inspector James Given  by Charlie Garrett a true murder mystery set in rural countryside amongst the so-called gentry. 
Given has just witnessed the hanging of two men convicted of murdering a Jewish shop owner in Birmingham. 
Adolf Hitler is a rising name in German politics and his views on the Jewish community are being voiced all over. 
Given is asked to review a case at Grovestock House which was initially thought to be one case of murder followed by two separate suicides - but nothing is quite as it seems. 
An enjoyable murder mystery although i did figure it out on the most part before inspector given.
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This is a detective novel set before WW2. I found this book to be fascinating and enthralling and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime novels. I enjoy modern day crime/psychological thrillers novels and this was a refreshing change and the overture of the looming war with Germany and Hitler was well represented. I look forward to book 2.
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On the brink of war, Inspector Given is trying to deal with the wave of Anti Antisemitism sweeping the United Kingdom. Two people who were caught in the latest killing are being hanged though the masterminds behind the attack are still free and very much pursuing constant attacks against Jewish businesses.

Surprisingly he is taken off the case and given another one - a triple murder cum suicide (apparently) for the flimsiest of reasons. Suspicious about the reasoning behind the murders and thinking it is an inside job Inspector Given is swept into a case with much wider repercussions. It is not a family saga, with family secrets to hide but goes back decades and uncovers a very long trail of coercion, deceit, cover up and many secrets.

Told in a slightly old fashioned style, not detracting from the story or the detection the story is well told. Characterization was spot on and very good reading.
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Received this from Net Galley it's a mystery set in WWII, it's a who done it book well written and historical facts well researched! This started off slow for me almost twice didn't finish it but glad I did! You will find heartache,surprises drama and history in this story! It was a different kind of story but off you like all the above in a story you will like this one!
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A Shadowed  Livery is a slow paced novel with some twists and turns, which made me guess until the end who was the killer. It's also well researched, considering the treatment of Jews.
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I struggled with this book, it was very slow going, but I persevered as I felt the storyline was interesting. 
There were some well researched parts regarding the war and Jewish people. I felt this was a good part of the story to include- especially in today’s climate. 
The only thing is, I found that the storylines didn’t blend too well together. Imagine the story as a cake, and there’s clumps of flour in the outcome. In theory, it would be great, but I feel like it needs some revising in certain parts- especially the start as a lot of it was waffle. The inspector researching each point of the crime scenes, it just droned on. 
The small twists were good, I don’t want to ruin it for other people wanting to reading the book, but the part with the teardrop photo, the parts regarding Isabelle - were great. I did have a feeling the final outcome would be as it was with Sir Arthur. 

I won’t be writing this review on public forums as I feel it’s unfair to the author and their hard work. Please don’t take offence to this review, I am merely giving an honest opinion so you can perfect the story if you wish. I appreciate how much time and effort you will have put into the book.
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An amazingly good story.  Based on a true happening, but fact and fiction melded well together. Detective Inspector James Given knows that he's missing something in his search to tie up the double suicide and murder, two days before the wedding of the murder victim and one of the suicides.  Will he be able to sort it out before being called back to headquarters to sort out the beatings and death of Jews - it is the late 1930s - and the war to come is a constant background to the story.

I read a free advance review copy.  This review is voluntary, honest and my own opinion.
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A very twisty. topsy-turvy tale of a police inspector having to face all sorts of skeletons both in his present and his past. Totally plausible, totally engrossing and with the odd surprise thrown in for good measure. If you like the idea of a police story set between the wars where social mores have a lot of influence on the way that people behave and the way that life progresses then this is a book for you. It even has a butler and the only "spoiler" is that the butler did not do it!! Enjoy, I most certainly did and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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A Shadowed Livery by Charlie Garratt (Inspector Given book 1)

Netgalley disclaimer blah, blah….

Does it really alter anyone’s review? A rubbish book is a rubbish book and a good book is a good book.

This, in case you’re wondering, IS a good book. Apparently based on real events (haven’t tracked the case down as yet), it’s the story of Inspector James Given (aka Jacob Geffen) and his investigation in to an apparent double suicide and murder among the upper classes.

Did Lady Isabelle kill her stepson? Did his fianceé commit suicide? Will it turn out to be three murders????…..Well yes, of course it will! And a few more thrown in for good measure.

This is an engaging and intriguing murder mystery with a well-fleshed back story for Inspector Given. It’s set in 1938, mostly in rural Warwickshire, during the final build-up to World War II. It includes a cast of forelock-tugging servants, toffs, anti-semites, Italian mafia-type thugs, and Russian spies! Everything you could possibly want!

All this against a back-drop of trips into Given’s pastinvolving his murdered girlfriend, his unexpected ties to this case, and a trip home to visit his hidden (from colleagues, at least) Jewish family. The late 30’s, during the rise of Moseley and fascism all over Europe is no time to be Jewish if you want a career in the police….or anything really. Sadly things haven’t changed as much as one would hope even now.

I enjoyed it enormously. It’s everything I love in a (just about) Golden Age detective story, it even has the ‘tec’s sidekick!

I’m not going to say it kept me guessing right to the end, but I’ve read a very VERY large number of whodunnits so very little surprises me these days. It did, however take more than half the book, so good work Mr Garratt!

I’ve already pre-ordered the next book and I’m very hopeful it’ll be every bit as good as this one.
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Inspector James Given is sent to re-investigate a supposed murder-and-double-suicide when the public complains that it wasn't looked into properly - but though he gradually comes to realise that it can't have happened the way that was originally supposed, finding the actual killer or killers and proof to convict is difficult. To complicate things further, his family is facing difficulties that lead to additional unauthorised contact with a witness, and one of the suspects is the girl he had hoped to marry, before she disappeared some years earlier... Will he find the killer(s) in time?

Clean and well-written, not overly gory despite the several dead bodies, this captured my interest relatively early on and held it. Having said that, I mostly guessed the solution long before the end, though without the details that transpired. Overall, on the darker side of things - I found it interesting but didn't love it, and would probably consider reading the sequel if it came my way, though I wouldn't search it out.

Note that I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review.
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This historical murder mystery is set in 1938 in the brink of WWII. It has the trademarks of the golden age of murder mysteries - a country house, a detective w a complex personality, questionable murders, family secrets and some good old investigation work.

It gripped me from the start and kept my attention until the end with great narrative, nice flow, plots and sub plots. You could sense the intrigue all the way through.

I’m looking forward to reading more Inspector Given’s murder mysteries!

Thank you NetGalley and Sapere Books for the advanced copy!
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Oh, more like this please! Set in the late 1930s at the time of the Munich Agreement life in Warwickshire is disrupted by an apparent murder and two suicides at the Big House, Grovestock House. Inspector James Given is sent to tidy up the few loose ends but, with the able help of young local PC John Sawyer he is not convinced about the verdict. .Witnesses change their stories, couldn't have seen what they claimed to have seen, mysterious strangers are seen in the village, Given is knocked out, another murder occurs and so on. Interwoven with the murder story there is background to Given's personal life not just with an old girl friend being the housekeeper and a suspect. His Jewish grandparents and parents fled Russia to Germany thence on to England. He had a wild childhood, shall we say and ran away to sea but eventually calmed down and joined the police, but not until he had changed his name and, essentially, abandoned his religion. He still finds it somewhat stressful to visit the family but is coming to terms with being Jewish in reality. This very much set his scene and, given the time - 1938 - I did wonder whether more was going to be made of Germany - persecution and intolerance of Jews and the beginnings of WWII. Think - German spies in well-to-do society circles, especially as the opening chapter saw Given attending the hanging of a murderer of a Jewish shop-keeper. But, nope, a good murder mystery dealing with revenge, love/hate and family strife. The setting is very well researched and the characters strong and believable. An engaging story, more please. Thanks to NetGalley and Sapere Books for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Country house style murder mystery set pre second world war and the first in a new series featuring Inspector James Given. Thoroughly engaging, well written and researched with a deftly plotted storyline. Characters are credible and convincing and James Given a very likeable protagonist. I enjoyed the author's writing style and am looking forward to reading more in this very promising series.
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An excellent historical mystery that reminded me those of the Golden Age.
It's a bit slow at the beginning but after a few chapters I was hooked and couldn't put it down.
I liked the well researched historical background, the setting and the well developed characters.
The mystery is well plotted and kept me guessing.
I look forward to reading other books in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This is a historical mystery in the tradition of the golden age of crime, with the country house and a host of suspects, set in Warwickshire in the troubled times before WW2 in 1938. It begins with DI James Given witnessing the hanging of one of two men he had arrested for beating a Jewish butcher to death. There is more work to be done on the case, but Given is moved to another inquiry by Superintendent Dyer, one which requires him to evaluate whether the police were correct in laying to rest the death of three people at Grovestock House, the home of the wealthy Sir Arthur Barleigh and his family, assumed from the available evidence to be a murder-suicide, and suicide. However, the media thinks there has been a cover up, so Given makes his way there, working with the young local village policeman, John Sawyer, who had taken photographs of the crime scenes.

Lady Isabelle had shot her disabled son, Tom, unhappy about his imminent marriage, and then killed herself straight after. The apparently distraught beautiful fiancee, Jenny Bamford, then kills herself with a gun in her bedroom. A gardening boy, Billy Sharp, has gone missing as has Tom's nurse, Trudi Collinge. As Given goes over the evidence in detail and interviews the relevant individuals, everything seems to be in order, but he can feel something is not right and that he is looking at murder. To make matters worse, he is shocked that the woman he wanted to marry but who ran away from him, Elizabeth Parry is the housekeeper, a suspect for whom he still has feelings. Given's background and identity is particularly relevant given the growth of Hitler and fascism in Germany and the rising number of attacks on Jews in Britain, all of which has personal implications for him and his family.

Garratt writes a well plotted historical mystery set amidst the turbulent pre-war times, involving Special Branch and the intelligence services in Given's case. The diligent and determined Given eventually uncovers dangerous family secrets and plenty of intrigue, in a story of class and family. This is an entertaining and engaging read which I very much enjoyed, with its details of the historical period and with a upcoming war on the horizon. Many thanks to Sapere Books for an ARC.
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*Many thanks to Charlie Garratt, Sapere Books and Netgalley for ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
Had I not known better, I would have categorized this novel as belonging to The Golden Age Detective Stories as it reads like a piece of the old Masters. And for me it means it is good, to say the least.
There are mysterious deaths of three people which seem to be a murder and two suicides. Inspector James Given has some doubts and begins probing into the family history. During the investigation we learn more about his past and identity, and in the background the Munich Conference is over.
This is a truly well-written novel, with interesting characters and narration that takes a reader on a smooth ride. Not many novels of the genre written in contemporary times read so well!
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I was slightly disappointed with A Shadowed Livery by Charlie Garratt as I found the book a little bit too slow and therefore difficult to get into.

The premis of the book is very good so maybe it was just me. I will give the next one in the series a go and will probably return to A Shadowed Livery at some future date
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"The first book in a page-turning historical mystery series! Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Philip Kerr and Andrew Taylor.

War is on the horizon...

Warwickshire, England, 1938.

While Hitler and Chamberlain are preparing to sign the Munich agreement, the murderer of a Jewish shopkeeper is being hanged in Birmingham.

After witnessing the execution, Inspector James Given, who brought the killer to justice, is surprised to find he has been taken off the investigation to pursue something completely different.

Grovestock House, owned by the wealthy Barleigh family has witnessed a triple death.

With the terrible events neatly written off as a murder and a double suicide, Given is supposed to tidy up a few loose ends with the help of local constable, John Sawyer.

But Given is sure there is more to the case than meets the eye.

What dark secrets were the Barleigh family hiding? Could there be another killer involved?

And how will Given react when he is forced to confront the ghosts of his past...?

A Shadowed Livery is an intriguing historical mystery - a traditional British investigation set in England immediately before the Second World War."

A time of change, a true event, and perfect for fans of Agatha Christie? Perfect summer read in my book.
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