Read Not My Blood by Barbara Cleverly Online


Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands is caught off guard one night in 1933 by a phone call from a distressed boy named Jackie Drummond, who just might be the illegitimate son Joe never knew he had. Jackie is in trouble at his Sussex boarding school, where a teacher has been murdered. When Joe gets himself assigned to the investigation, he learns the boarding school caseScotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands is caught off guard one night in 1933 by a phone call from a distressed boy named Jackie Drummond, who just might be the illegitimate son Joe never knew he had. Jackie is in trouble at his Sussex boarding school, where a teacher has been murdered. When Joe gets himself assigned to the investigation, he learns the boarding school case is more complicated than it appears: A frightening number of boys, all from wealthy families, have gone missing over the school’s history, and by some coincidence none of the families have followed up on their sons' whereabouts....

Title : Not My Blood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781616951542
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 345 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Not My Blood Reviews

  • LJ
    2018-12-15 06:41

    First Sentence: Carrying more than a hint of snow, a southwesterly wind gusted up from the Channel, spattering the school’s plate glass windows with sleety drops.A phone call from Jackie Drummond, a young boy claiming to be his nephew has Joe Sandilands travelling to a boarding school in Sussex where a teacher has been murdered. The case raises a number of questions for Joe. Is the boy actually his illegitimate son? Why has Dorcus, the daughter of close friends, who had recently been avoiding Joe, suddenly insistent on helping him with this case? However, the main question is what has happened to a surprising number of missing boys, each from a wealthy family. With Dorcus to aid him, Sandilands is headed to school, looking for answers.Barbara Cleverly really knows how to captivate her readers from the very first page. Her excellent descriptions of period, place and weather create the atmosphere and bring us straight into the story. It is fascinating to see this period of history between the wars where there are women police and the beginnings of education reform in public schools. The characters are charismatic and real; Joe, his sister Lydia, his expected Jackie, ever-clever aide-de-camp Alfred and Dorcus who is now grown and has a degree in psychology. These are people you come to know by Cleverly providing enough history that new readers don’t feel lost and with whom fans of the series have become friends. Not normally a fan of relationships between two principle characters, Ms. Cleverly makes it work and faithful readers will see things progress as they may have hoped it would so do. Dialogue makes such a difference and here, it is excellent and reflective of the period and class. Ms. Cleverly’s writing is wonderfully literate and she expects the reader to be the same while not trying to embarrass or be over the head of the reader as the meaning is always clear from the context…”If anyone’s been setting himself up as some sort of a psychopompos, a guide to the souls to the Land of the Dead—a Hermes, or even a playful Peter Pan—we’ll have him.” The intrigue and subterfuge is masterfully created, yet clever plotting and occasional humor keep things from becoming overly grim. This is a time when science is evolving. The motive is horrific but not inconceivable, and that makes it the more terrible still. “Not My Blood” is an excellent traditional police procedural driven by intelligent dialogue and charismatic characters and where the case is solved by following the clues and having a good working relationship with the other branches involved. It also has a wonderful, lovely ending. This is also a very good series which should be read in order.NOT MY BLOOD (Hist/Pol Proc-Det. Joe Sandilands-England-1933) – VG+Cleverly, Barbara – 10th in seriesSoho Crime, 2012

  • Sam Sattler
    2018-11-30 07:01

    The special appeal of series fiction, at least for me, largely comes from watching the lead characters change and mature over a number of years. That, however, can be a double-edged sword when a reader begins a long-running series with its latest volume. Not having watched a character evolve over time, a reader might find the current versions of the character and setting intriguing but discover that, for them, the earlier books do not work as well. Because Not My Blood is Barbara Cleverly’s tenth “Joe Sandilands investigation,” but my first, that is exactly the proposition I look forward to putting to the test soon. I am particularly curious this time because I have never before started a series so late in its run.Not My Blood is set in 1933, a time far enough from both the past horrors of World War I and the future ones of World War II that people are still easily surprised by crimes against children. And what Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands uncovers at one English boarding school shocks him to his core.Joe spent time in India on assignment to the British Foreign Service but has been back in England now for several years. When the young son of a British couple he befriended in India flees his Brighton-area boarding school and seeks shelter with Joe in London, Joe is drawn into an investigation at the school that unexpectedly has the potential to shame members at the highest levels of British society and government. His determination to protect the little boy is intensified when Joe sees things in Jackie Drummond that convince him that Jackie could be the illegitimate son whose existence he never suspected.A professor at Jackie’s school has been murdered, and Joe and the local police are charged with the responsibility of bringing the killer to justice. When the investigation reveals that the murdered man was investigating the disappearance from the school of almost a dozen young boys over a period of several decades (only one of whose parents ever showed any concern about a missing son), and fearing that Jackie might be targeted as the next victim, Joe turns up the heat. His efforts are ably assisted by a local cop and by Dorcas Joliffe, a headstrong young woman whom readers will remember from earlier books in the series. Their united efforts, plus a bit of good luck, solve a case that has repercussions delicate enough to leave Joe wondering if he still has a job when it is all over.Not My Blood has a lot going for it - intricate plot, entertaining characters, and intense atmosphere, among its strong points. Too, the rural English setting Cleverly creates combines with the atmosphere of the period to give the book an ominous feel right from the beginning because readers sense that World War I has already stolen the world’s relative innocence – and we all know what is coming just down the road.(Review Copy provided by Publisher)Rated at 3.5

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-21 06:52

    I'm usually a big fan of Sandilands, and while that hasn't changed much, I'm finding I'm having less fun reading about his adventures.The mystery here is in two parts - a teacher's death at a prep school and then a more sinister conspiracy involving that prep school. Sandilands, of course, is in charge of uncovering the conspiracy, which he does, but with more luck than with skill (view spoiler)[:(the second visit to Chadwick - why weren't they more suspicious when he handed them someone else's name - Dorcas' connection to the eugenics lab - why hadn't she mentioned it before) (hide spoiler)].Beyond the talk of eugenics and the coming Nazi problems, the thing that made me cringe was the ending and the (possible) budding romance between Sandilands and Dorcas. Really - not only is he old enough to be her father, he's known her since she was little. Maybe they haven't seen each other for seven years, but still - yuck!

  • Marilyn
    2018-12-09 11:31

    Another terrific Sandilands novel -- this one takes place within the British education system. All my favorite characters were involved and the now grown up Dorcas. I have one more to read before the newest one is released. I do love this series. It is complex and well written. The endings are closer to fact than fiction -- not all the bad characters go to jail. The characters grow and sometimes change -- so there are surprises in store. It's my new favorite series and perfect for a wintry rainy day!

  • John FitzGerald
    2018-11-20 08:59

    This was just not to my taste. Cleverly has succeeded in creating the atmosphere of many British mysteries of the 20s and 30s -- posh protagonist, plot development through dialogue rather than action, posh setting, sterling good guys who pal together to solve a dastardly crime, posh paranoia. It's certainly perfectly all right to like that kind of story, but I don't and just thought I'd warn people who share my tastes. I did give it a chance; I gave up after about 150 pages.

  • Jane
    2018-11-19 05:42

    Excellent. Well-drawn characters, believable plot.

  • Sally Atwell Williams
    2018-12-08 05:45

    Another winner from Barbara Cleverly. This is Book #10 of the Joe Sandilands mysteries. Because of the end of the book, I'm thinking that Joe may be making an entirely different shift in his work.This book was about what happened to nine lost boys who dissappeared from the school which his "nephew" Jackie Drummond attends. There were some strange events going on in the school, and Joe, and the superintendent Martin, begin an investigation. The nine boys that went missing were about the same age, and scattered over a period of 10 to 15 years.As Joe and Martin, along with Joe's friend Dorcas, and Mr. Gosling who is one of the head teachers at the, form a team and begin to find out about the nine lost boys, they begin to uncover the truth.I don't want to spoil this book for others.

  • Anne Egbert
    2018-11-19 07:49

    Although I like this series a lot, this was not one of my favorites. I was so delighted to see Dorcas back as a character, and glad to have here as part of Joe's life again, but the whole premise of the mystery of the vanished schoolboys just seemed a little silly.

  • Judith Saxman
    2018-12-08 10:52

    Good story with historical disgusting thinking!Very clever plotting. Covers popular ideas of the times (An d probably still today) that people don't talk about openly.

  • Debbie Tanguay
    2018-11-16 07:58

    boy in english boarding school- teacher murdered- good but not gread

  • Lavezzij
    2018-11-29 10:36

    Characters, wit and murder aboundI so enjoy ms Cleverlys work. This book is smart without being pretentious, full of life and the times of Pre-war England, as eugenics is embraced by the world, and the resultant deaths of the poor, defective, and lower classes make sense to those in power. A work that foretells of the arrogance of power and the impotence of ignorance. A small amount of humor and romance run like a thread throughout. The writing is excellent, and the plotting, while not the sort that offers a surprise at every turn, is still tight and verbally satisfying,

  • Susan in NC
    2018-12-12 05:00

    SPOILER ALERT: 3.5 stars - I'm not sure how I feel about this entry in one of my favorite series; I was on a roll, having read "Blood Royal" and "Strange Images of Death" almost one after another (not in series order, but chronologically made sense) and felt like Joe Sandilands was back on track after a lamer outing in "Folly Du Jour". This book got off to an exciting start and didn't let up, but I admit I found the eugenics motive painful to read about - that's why I put a spoiler alert on my review, in case readers didn't know about this dark period of history, but it was pretty obvious to me from the beginning where Cleverly was going with the sickly or troublesome boys disappearing at that time. I knew about the movement, I knew the Nazis had taken it to horrific extremes and I knew in 1933 there were many educated, intelligent leaders worldwide who believed it had merit. But Cleverly did a very good job illustrating how a distasteful and discredited theory could take hold and be put into terrifying practice if those in power believed in it. So it was well-plotted and exciting and had a satisfying conclusion to both the murder case of the unsavory schoolmaster which opened up the whole nasty can of worms, and the larger, darker underlying plot concerning missing schoolboys over the years - I'd give that main part of the book 4 stars. I also very much enjoyed several wonderful new characters from an author who has gifted her readers with so many great characters throughout this series - Inspector Martin, young Gosling, Godwit and long-suffering but heroic Francis Crabbe were a treat. I'm not sure I like the direction Dorcas' character is taking, or the Dorcas and Joe possible romantic subplot - last time I encountered Dorcas she was a fascinating, funny, charming and brave old soul in a gangling 14-year-old body (I may be off by a year or two, I know she was in her early teens and Joe was MUCH older), and Joe was her honorary uncle. In this outing, seven years have passed since the two have seen each other, but clearly Joe has romantic feelings for her. Maybe I misread the age spread, but at one point Joe notes another character appears near his own age or mid-forties at most, and Dorcas is 20 or 21 - that kind of raises the uck factor for me, along with going from honorary uncle to possible lover/husband. Even if the age difference didn't freak me out, that would! Also, not to be a prude, but at the end as the two finally discuss their feelings for each other Dorcas tells Joe that her academic patron, the powerful government minister Truelove, is interested in her and "would like to take it further, and I'm considering it." Kind of tacky to tell poor old Joe, and then tell him you want to kiss him - make up your mind, girl! I'll be curious to see in future books if she still tries to play the femme fatale or decides who she wants. So, not knowing quite what Dorcas was up to or what kind of character she was as a young woman (versus the wonderful girl she had been in earlier books) definitely put a damper on this story for me. Exciting if very dark mystery, but the personal character development was not as satisfactory, so my 4 stars went down to 3-1/2.

  • Susan
    2018-11-25 05:50

    Very good mystery. I loved it - even stayed up until 1:30 am when I shouldn't have so I could read "a little more". This book drew me in right away. The characters are very well drawn, the story is strong, the mystery is compelling. I happened to buy this book from a second-hand table having never heard of this author. It turns out that this is #10 in a series about a Scotland Yard detective in the 1930's. So now I'm going to get hold of the other books in the series - starting with the first.

  • Stuart
    2018-11-23 07:58

    Though this is the tenth Joe Sandilands story, it is the first I have read. It was suggested by a book group reading “mysteries with schools”. It turned out to be very good - well written, with nicely evoked 1930’s atmosphere, and using the then fashionable pseudo-science of eugenics as the motive for the crimes. Sandilands is called to a private country school in the English countryside for two reasons. On the one hand, his "nephew" is a student at the school, and has run away calling Sandilands for help, having found the dead body of a murdered schoolmaster, and thus being viewed as a potential suspect. Then, as Sandilands begins to make inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the murder, he is requested by the high and mighty to investigate what seem to be multiple disappearances of pupils from the school, over many years.There is a lot of the “high and mighty” in the book. Having not read others, I am not clear if this is a pattern, or if it was introduced in the book as a background to the eugenics motivation. Working with the local police, Sandilands uncovers the relatively straightforward reasons for the death of the teacher, and gradually, with the help of the new spy agency MI5, and Dorcas, a character from previous books, follows the path the dead man had been following into the multiple disappearances and the reason for them. The murdered teacher, had, in fact, noticed the disappearances, and was investigating previously. All in all, the story is well crafted and interesting, and well-written. Well worth checking out earlier ones.

  • Christopher Taylor
    2018-11-28 10:54

    Another fine book in the Joe Sandilands mystery series. Set in Victorian England, Sandilands has moved up considerably in the ranks of Scotland Yard (properly, the Metropolitan Police Service) and this book has him helping the government examine a public school for boys.Boys are disappearing, ones that aren't the finest examples of young British manhood. Dumber or sicker ones leave the school and aren't heard from again. And now the one man who seemed to be piecing it all together has been stabbed to death as well. What's going on?Sandilands isn't the usual detective novel protagonist who is the super genius who figures out the impossibly complex from a strand of hair. He uses good detective work, relies on help from others working with and for him, and through smart detective work and discussing the case with his assistants works out the truth.The only real flaw in the book was an emphasis on psychology as presented by an assistant given him by the government, a young lady from his past who has studied the relatively new science and applies it constantly to everything. Otherwise a fine book with plenty of great historical bits and well-written characters.

  • Leah Smith
    2018-12-15 04:48

    London, 1933, Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands receives a telephone call from a young boy named Jackie Drummond. Jackie, may or may not be, the illegitimate son Joe never knew he had. A teacher has been murdered at the boarding school in Sussex where Jackie attends. Joe gets assigned to the case and finds out that not only has there been a murder, through the years a disturbing amount of boys have gone missing from the school. All sons of wealthy families and coincidentally none of the families have followed up on the whereabouts of their son.I have read quite a few books from this series and I have enjoyed every single one of them. Barbara Cleverly (love her last name and boy does it suit) is a wonderful historical mystery author. The author weaves an intricate puzzle of her whodunit and the reader must really pay attention to put the pieces of her delightful puzzle together.The author's descriptive prose and crackling dialogue make this a must read for the historical mystery fan.

  • Carla
    2018-11-18 06:57

    Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands (who I think I have a small crush on in the way one does with fictional characters) is caught off guard one night in 1933 by a phone call from a distressed boy named Jackie Drummond, who just might be the illegitimate son Joe never knew he had. Jackie is in trouble at his Sussex boarding school, where a teacher has been murdered. When Joe gets himself assigned to the investigation, he learns the boarding school case is more complicated than it appears: A frightening number of boys, all from wealthy families, have gone missing over the school’s history, and by some coincidence none of the families have followed up on their sons' whereabouts.Two separate but equally disturbing agencies are at work. Eugenics at work on one hand and removing the undesirable traits (or family members) on the other. I thought this book was a little slower than the others with all the explanation and description of what all these things meant during the time period. Once you returned to the action part of the mystery it was back her usual good mystery writing.

  • Nancy
    2018-11-27 04:57

    I always like Cleverly's mysteries (love her name too, for that matter). This one takes place 12 or 13 years after the last one I read (which was the one written immediately before this one also - interesting). It tackles a tricky and horrifying topic - the "popularity" of the notion of eugenics - selective breeding of humans, selective sterilization of those deemed not "good enough" to allow to reproduce, and selective "culling of the herd" - the elimination of some who were mentally ill, incorrigible, etc. I was especially impressed at how she handled this awful topic without resorting to the stomach-churning details that are included in some American thrillers. The only disappointment was in the jump from when they figure out who the mastermind is (without revealing his name) to 2 months later, when that person no longer has influence. But, then, that probably would have made the book half again as long.

  • Michelle L
    2018-11-30 06:56

    One of the better recent entries in this series, which I continue to enjoy despite the erratic history. Two streams of narrative create interesting character and plot movement here . Dashing Joe Sandilands, the English law officer on duty in Roaring Twenties India, has evolved into a more complex, nearing middle age top Yard officer back in London, with many of the best features of his old mentors. He has matured yet remains a born investigator. A new balance in his life.And it may be that he has, after his romantic past, been an unknowing father for about a decade. Then, too, Barbara Cleverly draws on the always rich narrative lode of the English public school. A bunch of characters, classic and not. The combination, meeting in the young boy who's shown up at Sandilands' door as a winter visitor, makes for an interesting mix. Very little way in the way sentimentalism or puffery here. So, as I say, enjoyable withall.

  • Tami
    2018-12-12 08:48

    I haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 8/28/12Received 9/8/12Started 9/9/12Finished 9/13/121933: London. Inspector Joe Sandilands gets an unexpected call. A young boy, Jackie Drummond, is in trouble and had the officer that responded call Joe for help. Joe finds out that Jackie may be his illegitimate son he didn't know existed, and that Jackie is a murder suspect for the death of one of his teachers at boarding school. While returning Jackie to school, Joe finds himself in a much deeper mystery than just the death of the teacher. I really liked this book. Most of my war/post-war reading has to do with WW II and this book dealt with the time period after WW I but before WW II starts. I don't think Like is the right word, but I liked the storyline, the characters, the setting, etc. It was believable, and horrendous all at the same time. Great mystery, great story, and a pretty good read.

  • Amy
    2018-11-16 05:46

    A pretty uneven Sandilands novel. If possible, I would have given it a 2.5 stars. The beginning is stellar and I was very interested in the story line but then it just fizzles and meanders. The pacing picks back up again but if it wasn't a series that I like, I probably would've given up.*** Potential spoiler here so stop reading if you don't want anything given away. ***I'm not too sure I like where Cleverly is going with the relationship between Joe and Dorcus. It feels forced, like the author wanted to do something new and just threw it in there. Dorcus was an interesting character and I liked reading about her in past books. I find her a tad insufferable now and so self-possessed as to be unbelievable. For the most part, I have very much enjoyed this series though not every entry is great. Of course, unless you are reading PD James, that is a hard thing to achieve.

  • Deb
    2018-11-20 07:01

    An unpopular master at an exclusive grammar school is killed. Whitehall asks Scotland Yard to send Joe Sandilands to investigate. As fate would have it, Joe's "nephew" (or son?) is a student at the school and was the student who found the body. Once on site, Joe discovers that, in addition to the murder, boys have been disappearing from the school for years with little or no demur from their families. The murdered master, though, had photos of all the missing boys in his notebook. As Joe and the local constabulary set about discovering if there is a link between these events - and what happened to the boys - a devastating secret is revealed, linking the local crimes to an international society with controversial beliefs. Cleverly does a marvelous job of evoking the 1930s in Britain, with the shadow of Hitler looming and the political spectre of quack science alive and well.

  • Melissa
    2018-11-14 06:54

    I've missed the last few in this series, but will definitely be checking those out. Enjoyed this mystery."In the long-awaited tenth installment Barbara Cleverly's historical mystery series featuring suave, handsome Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands. Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands is caught off guard one night in 1933 by a phone call from a distressed boy named Jackie Drummond, who just might be the illegitimate son Joe never knew he had. Jackie is in trouble at his Sussex boarding school, where a teacher has been murdered. When Joe gets himself assigned to the investigation, he learns the boarding school case is more complicated than it appears: A frightening number of boys, all from wealthy families, have gone missing over the school's history, and by some coincidence none of the families have followed up on their sons' whereabouts."

  • Cheryl
    2018-11-15 09:00

    Oh, how I like Joe Sandilands. Am an old married woman, but Joe could be a temptation. He's just such a good man, with good kind instincts, a conscience, and a very sharp mind. This story brings him closer to the rumblings before WWII - several ideas that would become popular within Germany are brought forward --- beware of words beginning in "eu". There is a bit of a mystery about the true identity of the young man from India who runs away from his boarding school and goes to "Uncle Joe. Dorcas is now all grown up, they meet a very young agent from a "new" agency - MI5 - and generations of evil doings are brought forth. The characters central to the story all ring true - including Ms. Cleverly's version of Mr. Chips; and the sane man who's been living in an insane asylum for years. This is one of my favorite series, and I eagerly wait for each new entry.

  • Martina
    2018-12-07 06:55

    I love the Joe Sandilands series. Started listening to #10, Not My Blood, via hoopla, and just fell right back in to the flow of these stories. Lots of people coming together in this book with direct or indirect ties to people in earlier books in the series. I love a good story! This series is definitely a 'read from the beginning' type of series. We read 'The Last Kashmiri Rose' with the Mystery Book Group a decade or more ago. Not My Blood is one of the better books in this series. There's a sad center to the story, but some wonderful characters who contribute greatly to this outing. There was a shade too much about the issue at the core of the story or I would have given the book 5 stars. Really love the series.

  • Brenda Hawley
    2018-11-26 06:52

    I like the Joe Sandiland mysteries mostly becuase Joe is such a laid-back character with so many experiences under his belt in his early 30s. In the British army, he spent much time in India (the earlier novels) and fought in Europe in World War II. This latest episode starts very slowly... after the first 50 pages I was extremely disappointed with how little interest Cleverly developed in the reader about the death of a boy's school professor. However, the real plot, once it got going, was clever and unique-I could not put the last half of the book down. Let's just say it dealt with the Nazi idea (they had developed a foothold in Germany by the novel's date of 1933) of only letting the superior of the species procreate. I'll leave the rest to you to find out.

  • Ali
    2018-11-16 10:44

    In some ways, Joe Sandilands reminds me of Adam Dalgliesh -- they're both smart, dashing loners, and I think I like the two series as much for their main characters as anything else. That said, while I enjoy Cleverly's writing quite a bit, she's no P.D. James.I found the plot to be a bit convoluted in "Not My Blood" -- some things were telegraphed very early in the story, but it was a bit hazy at the end how it all really fit together. Still, the atmosphere was great and the plot ties in nicely to what's going on historically at that time in European history.This novel is by no means a masterpiece, but it's a great little break between a couple of more intense novels.

  • Susan
    2018-11-23 11:43

    Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands has been promoted to Assistant Commissioner and, so, has men working for him to investigate routine cases. Nevertheless, in 1933 he cannot help getting involved in the murder of a teacher at a Sussex boarding school. He has received a call from a boy named Jackie Drummond, who just might his illegitimate son from a liaison he had years before in India. The case turns out to be quite a bit more complex that it appears on the surface, challenging both his detection and political skills. Dorcas Joliffe, his teenage companion in a previous book also makes an appearance, further complicating the plot. A disturbing but well written mystery.

  • Jann Barber
    2018-11-20 11:57

    I have not read a book by this author before and am not certain where I saw this, as it's not the first in the Sandilands series.It was well written and held my interest. In fact, by the end, I realized that the horrible events that unfolded had been released to me in a rather polite fashion. Not until I thought about it did I realize the heinous nature of what was underneath the original mystery.Other readers might recognize this earlier than I. Perhaps I was caught up in the original mystery too much and didn't see what was gruesome actions were being presented until near the end. That would be the fault of the reader in this case.

  • Susan
    2018-12-02 05:45

    Although the plot got a little strange (sorry, no spoilers!), this well-written book gave the lead character, now assistant commissioner of Scotland Yard Joe Sandilands, more emotional depth than the last several books. A phone call from an unknown nine-year-old boy asking for help takes Sandilands out on a snowy night, and involves him in the sinister doings at St. Magnus School. More than that, Joe realizes that there's a chance that the boy is his biological son. Over the years, boys have been disappearing from St. Magnus. What can they have in common? And who has been around long enough--more than twenty years--to be responsible?