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The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds

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London 1808: The famous Skelton Diamonds have disappeared, and Detective Stephen Lavender is asked to investigate the crime. But why should he feel so uneasy, so reluctant to accept this case? Can he trust the wealthy, powerful politician who's summoned him? In this short story, Lavender and his loyal assistant, Constable Woods, plunge into the seedy backstreets of Regency London 1808: The famous Skelton Diamonds have disappeared, and Detective Stephen Lavender is asked to investigate the crime. But why should he feel so uneasy, so reluctant to accept this case? Can he trust the wealthy, powerful politician who's summoned him? In this short story, Lavender and his loyal assistant, Constable Woods, plunge into the seedy backstreets of Regency London and steer a tricky path through the opulent drawing rooms of aristocratic suspects in pursuit of the missing diamonds. Welcome to the world of Stephen Lavender, a Principal Officer with the Bow Street Runners, whose further adventures can be followed in 'The Heiress of Linn Hagh.'


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London 1808: The famous Skelton Diamonds have disappeared, and Detective Stephen Lavender is asked to investigate the crime. But why should he feel so uneasy, so reluctant to accept this case? Can he trust the wealthy, powerful politician who's summoned him? In this short story, Lavender and his loyal assistant, Constable Woods, plunge into the seedy backstreets of Regency London 1808: The famous Skelton Diamonds have disappeared, and Detective Stephen Lavender is asked to investigate the crime. But why should he feel so uneasy, so reluctant to accept this case? Can he trust the wealthy, powerful politician who's summoned him? In this short story, Lavender and his loyal assistant, Constable Woods, plunge into the seedy backstreets of Regency London and steer a tricky path through the opulent drawing rooms of aristocratic suspects in pursuit of the missing diamonds. Welcome to the world of Stephen Lavender, a Principal Officer with the Bow Street Runners, whose further adventures can be followed in 'The Heiress of Linn Hagh.'

30 review for The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    A splendid historical mystery by Karen Charlton! I loved the historical setting, language, and sleuths detective Stephen Lavender and Constable Ned.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jillian

    A neat short story with a Dickensian view of 19th Century London. The villains are rather obvious and stereotyped while the author invokes a smelly, crowded and unattractive life outside of a manor house. Inspector Lavender, well drawn and interesting is the reason to keep reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    In this Regency based short story Lady Skelton while travelling in her coach finds that her diamonds have been stolen. A box which she has the only key. Detective Lavender and Constable Woods are asked to solve the case. An enjoyable and quick read with likeable characters.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This short story is a mystery set in 1808 London. The detective was clever, and his assistant constable had skills that complemented the detective's. They quickly figure out how the crime was committed and who was involved, but they didn't come out and say it until nearly the end. Still, it was simple enough to figure out myself, partly because it was short and only pertinent clues were given. There was no sex and only a couple uses of bad language. It's a quick and enjoyable read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Apurva Khadye

    Received it free on Kindle. I read The heiress of linn hagh first and I had high hopes from this one. While it is always a pleasure to read detective Stephen Lavender but this one really disappointed me. It started out as really intriguing missing diamonds and all but I was as disinterested as detective himself. It is a short story which gives us glimpses of Dickensian view of London. predictive plot, fails to engross us. only good thing is reading no nonsense detective Lavender

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Grebe

    This Detective Lavender short story follows the same feel as all the other stories. A short, enjoyable read, although I was disappointed by the ending. It felt like Lavender was giving up a part of himself that he values and respects, a piece of his integrity that he would have rather held on to. Probably my least favorite of the series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Macleod

    Insight to characters I felt that I had missed something and that I was the last to know as these characters existed in another series of books but I wasn't aware of that. I'm not sure how to read forward or backwards. Likeable characters and a predictable plot but was meant to be short and sweet to introduce you to the characters

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    It's diverting, short and predictable. I received it free through Kindle and it was handy to read while I waited for an appointment with a veterinarian - just enough to be distracting but not engrossing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Heatherinblack

    a bit simple to solve. but well written. a good statement on the reality and evilness of the “landed gentry” structure. but it has always been like that. looking forward to the next book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Brilliant A short story about the real life character Det. Lavender and his fictional sidekick Constable Woods. Lavender and Woods are called in to solve the case of missing diamonds. What they find is a case of insurance fraud. Brilliantly written and totally enjoyable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Holm

    The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds Excellent as always but too,short for my taste❤.... You his writer is amazing...the way she puts together the words and the story..you will love it! The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds Excellent as always but too,short for my taste❤️.... You his writer is amazing...the way she puts together the words and the story..you will love it!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    3 1/2 stars. Sometimes you are in the mood for a mystery but not a murder. This one fills the order. Clever and filled with historical period atmosphere this is nice read right before going to sleep.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Butch Byers

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sorry, this one didn't really do it for me. Telegraphed the miscreant, too short, none of the detectives Spanish girlfriend, the sidekick's wife, or the local London or UK colour which made the first full length book, and to lesser extent the following two, so much fun to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eileen R. Avrich

    Detective Lavendar Love this series. Personally this story was not as intriguing as his other books, but having said that, I still enjoyed Lavender and Woods engaging team of investigators.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    A very short story with very little plot, tension, or drama. It took me less than an hour to finish the story, while exercising on a bike at the gym.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Kevghas

    Wish it was longer Interesting characters and plot. I will have to look for another with these characters. I recommend this as a quick read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leyna Durham

    Predictable I like Lavender and Woods,however this story has been told and retold by so many before it hardly comes as a surprise.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    Another great short for Detective Lavender.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charles & Janel Wells

    Insurance fraud Very tricky way this insurance fraud played out. The rich want to be richer by any means necessary, even back then.

  20. 4 out of 5

    vivian

    Great read Great read with the story of the orgins of England's great detective organization that still exists today and is actively protecting the coucountry n

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    It's fine, and up to the standards of the full stories, but I am not that into short stories

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I finished binge reading the Absolutely Fabulous, and Brilliant 'Detective Lavender Series' by Karen Charlton a couple of days ago and I am utterly lost... Imagine... Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meets Dame Agatha Christie with a wee dash of 'Ripper Street' thrown in for your arm-chair detective reading pleasure... brilliant and atmospheric, enthralling old-fashioned Historical Mysteries that are absolutely Unputdownable... Karen Charlton is an extraordinarily, gifted and talented storyteller... Methi I finished binge reading the Absolutely Fabulous, and Brilliant 'Detective Lavender Series' by Karen Charlton a couple of days ago and I am utterly lost... Imagine... Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meets Dame Agatha Christie with a wee dash of 'Ripper Street' thrown in for your arm-chair detective reading pleasure... brilliant and atmospheric, enthralling old-fashioned Historical Mysteries that are absolutely Unputdownable... Karen Charlton is an extraordinarily, gifted and talented storyteller... Methinks I shall go back and begin 'The Heiress of Linn Hagh', the first book in this spellbinding series again... whilst counting the days until the release of the fourth book, 'Plague Pit & River Bones' ... Oh, aye, and there is also the marvelously captivating prequel, stand-alone novel, 'Catching the Eagle' featuring the ever-dashing, insightful and wee bit melancholic Detective Lavender, and his loyal and winsome side-kick, Constable Ned Woods... as well as a couple of short stories. Run... don't walk to your nearest bookshop or website and read them all... Not-to-be-missed...

  23. 4 out of 5

    C.M.T. Stibbe

    Karen Charlton is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are true-to-life, edgy, giving a humorous nudge at society’s classes. The setting will appeal to all Historical Fiction lovers and her fresh style and great dialogue only adds to the enjoyment. The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds is full of twists and turns, and I felt my emotions rising like a canoe ride through the rapids. Woods, with his solid common sense, makes for a mischievous character I can resonate with. I want to root for hi Karen Charlton is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are true-to-life, edgy, giving a humorous nudge at society’s classes. The setting will appeal to all Historical Fiction lovers and her fresh style and great dialogue only adds to the enjoyment. The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds is full of twists and turns, and I felt my emotions rising like a canoe ride through the rapids. Woods, with his solid common sense, makes for a mischievous character I can resonate with. I want to root for him, especially after knowing he never misses a trick. Lavender is well equipped, discerning and reserved, and he has a reputation for solving difficult crimes. Can’t be too difficult to solve this one. But something about this case doesn’t sit right. And as I read on, I get the sense that it doesn’t sit right with Lavender either. Looking forward to more books by this author. Fascinating and enticing read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    edifanob

    I like to discover new series and I must say to read a short story for introduction is quite helpful for me. I like historical crime fiction set in England. After reading a lot of mysteries set in the Victorian era I was happy when I discovered this story set in Regency England. Meet Detective Stephen Lavender of the Bowstreet Runners and his sidekick Constable Woods. The story which circles around the disappearance of family diamonds is an excellent introduction of the main characters, the I like to discover new series and I must say to read a short story for introduction is quite helpful for me. I like historical crime fiction set in England. After reading a lot of mysteries set in the Victorian era I was happy when I discovered this story set in Regency England. Meet Detective Stephen Lavender of the Bowstreet Runners and his sidekick Constable Woods. The story which circles around the disappearance of family diamonds is an excellent introduction of the main characters, the Regency era and the difficulties of police work at that time. It was a pleasure to read how the author delivers such rich content in a short story. Now I look forward to read The Heiress of Linn Hagh which is the first book in the Detective Lavender Mysteries.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz Terek

    Despite being a short story, Karen Charlton has packed quite a bit into her plot. I'm pleased to see the return of this dynamic duo & look forward to the next full length novel. Charlton's brief supporting cast add color & depth to the plot without her having spent too much time on their development. Perceptive readers will piece together the clues in perfect timing with Lavender. However, this is the perfect, quick read to occupy waiting time at a doctor's office or other such app Despite being a short story, Karen Charlton has packed quite a bit into her plot. I'm pleased to see the return of this dynamic duo & look forward to the next full length novel. Charlton's brief supporting cast add color & depth to the plot without her having spent too much time on their development. Perceptive readers will piece together the clues in perfect timing with Lavender. However, this is the perfect, quick read to occupy waiting time at a doctor's office or other such appointment. I read it in less than an hour & it definitely added a nice respite to a hectic weekend. Four stars is my rating

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Gleeson

    This is a great cosy quick read to get a taster of Detective Lavender of the Bowstreet Runners and his sidekick Woods. Set in Regency England, the story poses an Agatha Christie like mystery of family diamonds that have mysteriously disappeared. This is the time when detection and formal policing was in its infancy and Charlton gives us a real insight into its workings with a lovely bit of tension and whodunnit to go with it. Family intrigue, rich local colour all go into it all to make a great This is a great cosy quick read to get a taster of Detective Lavender of the Bowstreet Runners and his sidekick Woods. Set in Regency England, the story poses an Agatha Christie like mystery of family diamonds that have mysteriously disappeared. This is the time when detection and formal policing was in its infancy and Charlton gives us a real insight into its workings with a lovely bit of tension and whodunnit to go with it. Family intrigue, rich local colour all go into it all to make a great read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    B.A. Morton

    Another vibrant tale from the pen of Karen Charlton. Excellent scene setting and vernacular in keeping with the period along with a sprinkling of wry humour, raise this historical mystery head and shoulders above others that I've read in this genre. I really do enjoy the easy banter between Detective Lavender and his constable, Woods and the scene at Barty's pawnbroker shop is particularly entertaining. A well plotted mystery that I'd certainly recommend.I look f Another vibrant tale from the pen of Karen Charlton. Excellent scene setting and vernacular in keeping with the period along with a sprinkling of wry humour, raise this historical mystery head and shoulders above others that I've read in this genre. I really do enjoy the easy banter between Detective Lavender and his constable, Woods and the scene at Barty's pawnbroker shop is particularly entertaining. A well plotted mystery that I'd certainly recommend.I look forward to more adventures from Lavender & Co.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

    I really enjoyed this short story. I thought the content fitted nicely into a short read. It gave us an introduction to Lavender and Woods and I can already make an assessment of their personalities. I thought the writing was very good; descriptive and informative without being bogged down. Have just downloaded another short read from Karen Charlton before I tackle "The Heiress of Linn Hagh" which I am looking forward to.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aimee

    I'm afraid there was not really anything interesting in this short story. There really wasn't any mystery at all as Detective Lavendar figured out everything immediately and shared it with Woods, and thereby, the reader. I enjoyed The Heiress of Linn Hagh, so I know the author has it in her to write a good mystery. I guess the short story is just not the medium for her. I'll stick to the novels.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    An ok read, it was a short story, about 50 or so pages long. The characters I thought, needed a little bet more depth to them, they came across a little too predictable. The language and the setting came across a bet too modern at times I thought. The mystery was way to easy to solve, I had it solved in no time at all. Overall, not a surprising read.

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