Read A Bespoke Murder by Edward Marston Online


May 1915. As zeppelin bombs fall on London and with the sinking of the Lusitania, anti-German hysteria reaches fever pitch and attacks on German immigrants surge. Not even the West End of London is immune. Jacob Stein's bespoke tailoring business comes under brutal attack, leaving his safe ransacked, his daughter, Ruth, raped and traumatized and Jacob dead. Inspector HarveMay 1915. As zeppelin bombs fall on London and with the sinking of the Lusitania, anti-German hysteria reaches fever pitch and attacks on German immigrants surge. Not even the West End of London is immune. Jacob Stein's bespoke tailoring business comes under brutal attack, leaving his safe ransacked, his daughter, Ruth, raped and traumatized and Jacob dead. Inspector Harvey Marmion is detailed to the case and faces an uphill struggle to track down the perpetrators, even up to the chaos of the Front Line. But was the murder as opportunistic as it first appears, or did someone with a deadly grudge plan the attack?...

Title : A Bespoke Murder
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780749009908
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 319 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Bespoke Murder Reviews

  • Gerry
    2019-04-27 18:19

    The sinking of the Luitania sparks off anti-German feelings in London, and elsewhere, and a German immigrant tailor's shop in the West End is burned to the ground. The tailor, Jacob Stein, is found dead in an upstairs room. Is he a victim of the blaze or is their something more sinister afoot?Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy are assigned to the case and they find a web of mystery behind the incident. They discover a number of seemingly related incidents and a whole host of varied characters involved in one way or another.Marmion and Keedy hunt down all the participants, even visiting the front line to track down two soldiers, and their findings help them to piece together a very tangled web, which eventually leads to a somewhat surprising denouement and a somewhat surprising romance into the bargain.Edward Marston captures the feel of wartime London and the trenches admirably and the characters are all utterly believable, which makes the book a most entertaining read.

  • Penny
    2019-05-15 16:29

    This is the first in a series featuring Inspector Marmion. It's WW1 and the Lusitania has just been sunk. There is a surge of anti-jewish feeling in England and a murder of a Jewish tailor occurs.Plenty of historical background, lots of details and context which greatly adds to the read. This is the first in a new series by the prolific Edward Marston. As I have also read some of the other books I am finding some duplications of the type of characters that are created. Will see if that continues.

  • Alan Marston
    2019-05-22 17:06

    The author has a lovely relaxed style for all his works. Here we have another Scotland Yard Detective, Harvey Marmion, and his more than helpful assistant, Joe Keedy, dealing with the death of a leading German Jewish tailor (hence, Bespoke) and theft from his premises as well as arson in burning them down. To add to this his daughter, Ruth, is raped as she makes her way home to escape from the trouble at her father’s shop. All of this appears to have been sparked by the sinking of the Lusitania, resulting in many German businesses being targeted, despite the length of time that their proprietors may have been naturalised in this country. Two survivors, Irene, a stewardess from the ship, and Ernie Gill, a barber, feature quite prominently in the development of the story.There is much to enjoy, the story is well plotted and the perpetrators and their reasons take some teasing out by diligent probing by the detectives, for once supported by their commissioner. There are many likeable characters, and some who are distinctly the opposite, and whose actions in many ways are totally reprehensible.Marmion’s daughter, Alice, a school teacher, provides some slight romantic interest in a developing relationship with Keedy, and the ending of the story is completely clear, but allows for more work on the part of our two detectives in the future.A thoroughly enjoyable read, matching his Railway Detective novels.

  • Oodles
    2019-05-15 16:13

    This book begins with the sinking of the Lusitania during WWI and the aftermath of retaliatory violence against those of German descent in Britain. As one young woman flees her father's factory, she meets with even more unsavory characters and is raped. It's a shocking beginning but the drama unfolds as Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy investigate the various crimes. It's more than a mystery - really more of a drama that deals with the many issues of the day, women's issues, racial violence, and anti-semitism...all issues that still face the world today. Nothing every changes. 4 1/2 stars....the only problem I had with the book was the ending. It was a bit too abrupt and I felt one of the characters' stories wasn't quite wrapped up neatly.

  • Jayne Catherine pinkett
    2019-04-24 17:21

    This is the first if the Homefront Detective series and I think this is my favourite era of all Edward Marston's historical crime series. set in the early 1900s with a cast of characters that remind me of midsommer murders, John Nettles and his sidekick, wife and daughter. The plot follows a series of serious crimes against Germans and Jews living in the UK. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Will definitely be continuing this series

  • Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
    2019-04-27 11:24

    In the wake of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, vengeful mobs attack homes and businesses of Germans in Britain. One of these attacks turns out to be cover for a murder, and what follows is pretty complex mystery that hinges on xenophobia, anti-Semitism and more personal reasons for vengeance. It's interesting in places to see how Marston deals with and frames issues of homosexuality and sexual assault, and the secondary plot about a former stewardess who survives the sinking of the Lusitania adds to the sense of a sort of social tableau of the era while dovetailing with the main plot. As usual, Marston plods about with his tell-don't-show brand of characteristion and somewhat predictable romance sub-plot, but despite all those limitations this is another entertaining mystery novel for a low-expectation, cozy summery afternoon read. I'll certainly want something with higher stakes and production values next, though.

  • Lizzie Hayes
    2019-04-29 15:12

    ‘A Bespoke Murder’ by Edward MarstonPublished by Allison & Busby, 26 September 2011. ISBN: 978-0-7490-0990-8May 1915 and the Lusitania sailing from New York is in sight of land when she is torpedoed by the Germans. The story is told by stewardess Irene Bayard who had worked on the Lusitania since her maiden voyage in September 2007. With the assistance of a colleague Ernie Gill, Irene survives. The sinking of the Lusitania provokes ferocious revengeful action in her home port of Liverpool. The shops of anyone with a German name are looted, and even naturalised British citizens are not safe but beaten up at random. Sadly this action is soon seen in other major cities. But in London matters take a sinister turn when a tailor’s shop on Jermyn Street in London is burnt out and the owner killed. Whilst fleeing from the shop at her father’s insistence Ruth Stein is waylaid by two soldiers and raped.Assigned to the murder case are Inspector Harvey Mamion and Sergeant Keedy. The former, a family man, the latter a ladies man, but maybe he just needs to meet the right girl.Whilst the action taken by Mamion and Keedy as they investigate both the murder and the rape, have all the hallmarks of a good detective story, with the satisfying knowledge that the strong arm of the law has a long stretch, much of the strength of the book is in the characters and their lives on the home front during war. Following her recent experience, Irene decides that she will return home to her sister Dorothy in London, and find work there. Ruth Stein a quiet rather sheltered middle-class girl attempts to deal with the dreadful thing that has happened to her and, along with her family, the death of Jacob Stein. Cleverly plotted, well written and invoking the atmosphere of the time, I heartily recommend this book as an excellent read. I am delighted to see that this is the first in a new series and I look forward to the next one. -----Lizzie Hayes

  • Ann Marie Haase
    2019-05-04 18:23

    A complicated story, turning on tailors who make exquisitely tailored men's suites at the time the Lusitania sank. Germany's expatriates went to England and became naturalized British citizens in the 1890s. Some even changed their names so that they would not be identified as German. However, it made no difference to the toughs who hated all not true blood Englishmen. Taking the sinking of the Lusitania as their excuse, they incited groups in Liverpool and London to destroy Jewish-German businesses. Caught in this were an excellent tailor and his daughter, one murdered, the other violated. Another target was the brother of the tailor, who was also an excellent tailor and prejudiced against those of having a different sexual orientation than he.As the violence increases, so does the scrutiny of the London police who were understaffed as were the firemen at that time. Many young men were signing up to fight to save their country. Clues came from good people worried that villeins would go free. Needless to say that the detectives carried the day, arresting the gang who created the mayhem. The villeins were unexpected. I was surprised that these men were involved. The daughter gains strength. The brother of the dead tailor shows himself to be the tyrant he has always been. Other characters face their just end. An another charming young woman finds it time to leave the family home.A good read. Just remember: Bespoke means is an old English term meaning custom made.

  • Andrew
    2019-05-15 15:13

    I put his on my WW1 shelf, but this story is much more.It takes an unusual angle on life on the Home Front during Great War, which is how crime investigation is still needed.A well-crafted novel. I have read other novels in a different series from this author, so that is what I had expected.Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy are called in to investigate an attack on the premises of a London Tailor, Jacob Stein. This is one of many anti-German attacks around the country following the sinking of the cruise ship, the Lusitania in 1915.As the plot thickens, there is a suggestion of anti-Semitism too. There are multiple strands to this story which eventually come together towards the end.

  • Dan
    2019-05-16 13:29

    This is the first book in a new series set in London during World War I. (Marston by now has at least eight series of novels; some of which are no longer being added to.)Like all the writer's novels,this was well written with good detail. Because he intends to continue the series through the many changes brought to Britain by the War, a lot of time is spent discussing the effects of the war on the women of Britain and the changes made to society by their having to replace men drawn out of the work force and into the battles in Europe.There are two more volumes already published, so I have some catching up to do.

  • Jo Jenner
    2019-05-06 11:13

    Having read and enjoyed the Railway detective series by the same author I was really looking forward to this. The story flows and the description of a young woman racked by guilt from having been raped is written with care and empathy.However the narrative often feel a little stilted and there are many times where the reader is told what a person feels or thinks rather than being shown it through that person's actions.If I didn't know better I would have assumed that this book was written before the railway detective series as this felt like a first time author's book.

  • Natalie Williams
    2019-05-19 13:26

    I'm a sucker for historical fiction and mystery, so this is right up my alley! The atmosphere of WWI London is richly detailed and the writing transports you back to those times. Good solid plot, pacing, and enjoyable protagonists as well . . . what's not to like? It's bespoke enjoyment!

  • Fi
    2019-04-26 13:26

    Marston's has his usual obsession with the sartorial state of his characters, but otherwise there is definitely more 'meat' to this book than to his railway detective series

  • Clark Hallman
    2019-05-25 16:33

    A Bespoke Murder by Edward Marston (2011) – A bespoke murder would be a murder that was well planned and carried out according to that plan. This enjoyable British crime novel takes place shortly after the sinking of the Lusitania during WWI. It begins with the death of a London tailor, Jacob Stein, in a fire that destroys his tailor’s shop. Of course, the fire was not accidental and the plot thickens, including the rape of Mr. Stein’s daughter and other violent attacks. Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy investigate the crimes, and interactions with the victims (and numerous suspects) reveal them to be very interesting, clever, and determined investigators. This novel is the first installment of The Home Front Detective series of seven books written by Marston. He also wrote the twelve-book Railway Detective series, some of which I have previously read and enjoyed. A Bespoke Murder captured my interest very quickly and I am eager to read more of the Home Front Detective series.

  • Lynne
    2019-05-20 18:15

    Much better than the Restoration series featuring the rather too perfect architect/detective Christopher Redmayne, in that Inspector Harvey Marmion is an infinitely more credible character, as is his assistant, Joe Keedy.Marmion and Keedy are on the trail of the killers of up-market tailor, Jacob Stein a victim of a wave of anti-semitism engulfing London following the sinking of the Luisitania and along the way encounter a series of unsavoury characters whilst over in France and Belgium their friends and family members are going through hell in the trenches.Engagingly written at a decent pace and apparently the first in a series. Worth a delve.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-18 12:30

    First in a series set in WWI England. A wealthy tailor German Jewish tailor is murdered and his shop burnt down by a mob. His daughter is raped in the alley behind the store. Is this a case of mob hysteria only, or are there several different criminal impulses involved? It's up to the metro police to figure it out. This was a very fast read. While I was intrigued by the setting and a couple of the minor characters, overall, the plot felt contrived and the revelation at the end was underwhelming.

  • Janey
    2019-04-27 16:23

    Good story well told. Convincing historical setting (mostly - some of the vocabulary seems rather modern, especially compared with the books written at the time.)Entertaining listen but not gripping.

  • Nancy
    2019-05-12 17:35

    Very satisfying, nice escape. I liked getting to know these characters. There was one character I didn't like a bit. He never seemed to get his comeuppance. Perhaps in a later book? This was an enjoyable mystery, not terribly memorable.

  • Scott
    2019-05-23 19:25

    This was fine, maybe I'll come for another. There is an interesting appearance of modern day for something set ~100 years ago.

  • Annette O'grady
    2019-04-30 14:11

    a very good interesting read

  • Pete Harmes
    2019-04-29 15:13

    Brilliantly researched and beautifully written. Full of action and intrigue.

  • Heather
    2019-05-02 14:18

    An easy read but a wonderful one. Good characters that you can really get behind. Will try and read the next one!

  • Sara Townsend
    2019-05-08 11:14

    May 1915: the cruise ship Lusitania is sunk by German torpedoes, and a wave of anti-German riots and arson attacks erupts across London. Amongst the victims is the immigrant tailor Jacob Stein, found dead in his burnt-out shop. But when it is revealed that the victim died of stab wounds, inflicted before the fire broke out, it becomes clear that this was murder, not random mob violence. At the time that Jacob Stein was being killed, his daughter Ruth was being raped by two young soldiers about to be shipped out to Ypres. Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy investigate. The perpetrators of the rape are identified swiftly, but is there any connection between the attack on the daughter and the murder of the father?The first book in the Home Front Detective series, A Bespoke Murder is an appealing mix of Golden Age whodunit and contemporary police procedural. Set in an era when technology was much more primitive – no mobile phones or Internet searches to make a detective’s life easier – Marmion and Keedy have to travel to France and pull the rapists bodily from the Front Line in order to apprehend them. Yet modern attitudes make this book seem contemporary, especially when it comes to the female characters. In an era when the absence of men folk proved that women could do the work just as capably as the men could, there is no shortage of strong female characters in this novel. Irene, survivor of the Lusitania sinking, decides that instead of going back to sea to wait on snooty first class passengers, she will settle in London. On her first day of job hunting she is excited by all the prospects on offer, and finds herself with three very different jobs to consider. Then there is Marmion’s daughter Alice. Still living at home and employed as a school teacher, Alice is considering not only moving into her own place, but joining the Women’s Police Service – decisions which distress her mother, who feels Alice’s energies would be put to better use trying to find herself a husband before she finds herself on the shelf at the grand age of 24. Even Ruth Stein, though devastated by the rape, eventually finds an inner strength that gives her the courage to carry on with life.Amongst all these strong women, Marmion and Keedy endeavour to discover who might have enough of a grudge against Jacob Stein to kill him. As Stein was a German Jew in London, it seems there is no shortage of suspects.An entertaining and skilfully plotted book that cleverly blends nostalgia and old-fashioned prejudice with contemporary attitudes, A Bespoke Murder is a lively start to a new series with a great deal of potential.Reprinted with permission of Shots e-zine (

  • PJ
    2019-05-06 11:08

    I started to read this book, because the author writes great medieval mysteries (Domesday Books) and I thought I'd give this series a try.It starts with the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, then jumps to an attack on a Jewish tailor's shop in London by a mob hysterical with anti-German fever. During the attack, the tailor is murdered, his shop (and corpse) burned and his daughter is raped as she tries to run to safety.With these events, a new hero and sidekick are introduced. Inspector Harvey Marmion and his partner, Joe Keedy are assigned to solve the London crimes of arson, murder and rape. How does the Lusitania fit it to this? You don't think I'd give away any hints do you?The book starts rather slow and the dialogue between the characters, especially on the Lusitania, seems a little stilted. But it does pickup and I became more and more interested in this novel.You will be taken from the terror of being on a sinking ship, to the terror of a young woman as she is assaulted, to the Inspector Marmion's family life as his 20s something daughter, Alice, seeks her independence in 1915 England.WWI is the backdrop for this book and as a result, there is little "forensic science"; only fingerprinting (in its infancy) and mugshots assist the detectives as they try to identify suspects and solve the horrific crimes.I have to confess I had only partially guessed who was involved and was caught off guard at the end.The one issue I had with this book is that it's a little more graphic than the Domesday books (at least during the rape). The rest of the book is fairly "clean" in language and detail. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, solid mystery.

  • Richard
    2019-05-05 16:34

    As a fan of the railway detective it was a natural progression to follow this author's move into another era, London during the Great War. Our story begins in May 1915 and is plot driven following the targeting and sinking of the Lusitania by the German navy.The general outrage of the people is focused on seeking revenge on Germans living in cities like Liverpool and London. The crowd seem easily led which brings about a mob mentality and the unfortunate deaths of innocent naturalised Germans.The book focuses on the death of a hard working tailor as the violence spills into the West End; London appears in crisis with the war not going so well and bombs falling on the capital. I liked the growing sense of danger and the difficult subjects tackled. Early anti-semitic violence, the changing roles of women and homosexuality. But this isn't a modern novel it is cleverly rooted in its time and class and prejudice is faithfully portrayed. Our detectives are still men and share old fashioned male bonding when a young woman hands them a file; they even see it as a positive with so many men away at the front.This isn't a sexist novel and will appeal to both male and female alike. The characters are well drawn, both male and female and Alice is a very strong female who is certain of her own mind and along with this fine cast, and will return in the next book in this fine series.

  • Scott K
    2019-05-18 18:21

    An enjoyable read. The story takes place in the early 20th century and is based upon Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy investigate the murder of Jacob, a Jewish tailor, whose shop is victim of anti-German riots after the sinking of the Lusitania. As the shop is being attacked and burn, Jacob's daughter Ruth is raped.Jacob's killing initially is contributed to the anti-Geramn riots but when it is discovered Jacob was stabbed, his safe broken into and his daughter Ruth being raped it becomes a Scotland Yard investigation.The characters are likable and though some come off as perhaps too wholesome it is refreshing to have a mystery that comes across as more PG-13 then having to have someone having an uncontrollable need for passionate sex, graphic details on anything from sex to grizzly murder to language that was at one time reserved for bar room boasting.Maybe I'm old and boring and not with it but I'd rather old and boring and not with it and enjoy an entertaining book. I get enough of all the non entertaining in the news every day.Edward Marston's entertaining approach may be 'boring' for some but is what I like in a good mystery. The second book of the Home Detective series An Instrument in Slaughter was not available but another of his series the Railway Detective's first book was and I've snatached it as my next read

  • Malcolm
    2019-05-06 16:20

    Early days in WW1 and the sinking of the Lusitania provokes anti-German riots in England, but one of the dead, a West End tailor has died of a stab wound, not smoke inhalation as first suspected. Enter the Met in the form of DI Harvey Marmion and Sgt Joe Keedy, the first a middle aged family man with a complex moral back story, the second a dapper younger man with an eye for the ladies and fine suit. It’s a police procedural shaped by racism, anti-semitism, sexual attack, family rivalry and various degrees of envy. Marston is usually careful in his work, and although the anti-semitic element is plausible Marmion and Keedy seem a little too anachronistic in their views. Even so this is a good example of the historical detective genre, set against well-known (the events of WW1) and less well-known (early 20th century English anti-semitism) events and believable domestic conditions that only serve to enhance that plausibility, so the tendency to anachronism can be set aside. I found it perfect for the end of a long week…..

  • Christine Blachford
    2019-04-25 14:15

    The action in this historical crime drama gets underway straight away with the sinking of the Lusitania after being torpedoed by Germans, and then the murder of a tailor during a fire in his shop whilst his daughter was being assaulted outside. There are a lot of different strands to the book, and quite a lot of characters to get to know quite quickly, but gradually it starts to come together.The writing can be quite stilted in places, although we are told what characters are thinking and feeling, they still seem to be at arm’s length. It actually works quite well given the period though – the story is set during the First World War, when being prim and proper was something to aspire to, and women were just starting to find their voices.I wasn’t sure I was going to read all the way through, but gradually the characters grew on me and I was interested to find out how two strands of the story fitted together. It was a good ending, too, and now that I’ve finished, I’m tempted to read the second book in the series as well.

  • Elaine Tomasso
    2019-05-05 19:10

    I have not read Mr Marston's work before as, normally, I prefer modern day police procedurals with all the science and technology but today I hankered after something a bit different and decided to try A Bespoke Murder which I thoroughly enjoyed. It starts in 1915 with the sinking of the Lusitania and mob attacks on Germans living in the UK and then moves on to the stabbing of Jacob Stein and the looting and arson of his tailoring business. Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy are put on the case.There is an old fashioned feel to this novel, not just the setting but the whole plot as the goodies root out the baddies with determination, guile, quick thinking and a good upper cut or two. The baddies, needless to say, get a very satisfactory comeuppance. In short it is a thumping good tale which kept me turning the pages to see what was coming next.

  • Peter Auber
    2019-04-29 14:08

    In 1915, during London riots following the sinking of the Lusitania, Jacob Stein - a Jermyn Sreet tailor - is murdered, his shop is burned down and - maybe unconnected - his daughter raped by two men off to the trenches of WW1. Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy investigate clues and follow suspects. Another Edward Marston detective story in which the good characters are really good, the bad ones really bad, and the plot is all too clear. Although the villains aren't revealed until the end, the storylines make it rather too obvious who's likely to be nicked. 4/10 (April 2014)