Read The Plague of Thieves Affair by Marcia Muller Bill Pronzini Online


Can the true identity of the Sherlock Holmes imposter be revealed at last?Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are no stranger to mysteries. In the five years since they opened Carpenter and Quinncannon, Professional Detective Services, they have solved dozens, but one has eluded even them: Sherlock Holmes or, rather, the madman claiming his identity, who keeps showing upCan the true identity of the Sherlock Holmes imposter be revealed at last?Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are no stranger to mysteries. In the five years since they opened Carpenter and Quinncannon, Professional Detective Services, they have solved dozens, but one has eluded even them: Sherlock Holmes or, rather, the madman claiming his identity, who keeps showing up with a frustrating-though admittedly useful-knack for solving difficult cases.Roland W. Fairchild, recently arrived from Chicago, claims the man is his first cousin, Charles P. Fairchild III. Now, with his father dead, Charles stands to inherit an estate of over $3 million, if Sabina can find him and if he can be proved sane. Sabina is uncertain of Roland's motives but agrees to take the case.John, meanwhile, has been hired by the owner of the Golden State brewery to investigate the "accidental" death of the head brewmaster, who drowned in a vat of his own beer. When a second murder occurs and the murderer escapes from under his nose, John sets out to find the trail of the criminals-and to ensure he keeps his reputation for catching them.But while John is certain he can catch his quarry, Sabina is less certain whether she even wants to catch hers. Holmes has been frustrating but useful and even kind. She is quite certain he is mad but quite uncertain what will happen when he is confronted with the truth. Does every mystery need to be solved?...

Title : The Plague of Thieves Affair
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765381040
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Plague of Thieves Affair Reviews

  • Karl
    2019-06-14 06:30

    Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are San Francisco based detective partners in the 1890’s. Quincannon, a former Secret Service agent and a reformed alcoholic, Carpenter is a former Pinkerton agent. Together, they make up a team that relies more on intellegence than on gun play, though they are both armed. Together they run their own agency, Carpener & Quincannon, offering "Professional Detective Services in San Francisco. Quincannon's constant efforts to make their relationship romantic and is consistently rebuffed from Carpenter whose husband was killed a few years ago.Quincannon originally appeared in the book titled “Quincannon” in 1985, as a drunken Secret Service agent on the trail of counterfeiters. That's when he first makes the acquaintance of Sabina. Then in order to improve his chances of wooing her quits his alcoholic ways. Since 1986 Quincannon has appeared sporadically in a string of short stories, the stories were ultimately collected in 1998's “Carpenter & Quincannon, Professional Detective Services”, and in 2005 another collection, “Quincannon's Game”, also appeared. Another collection of Quincannon stories “Burgade's Crossing” appeared in 2003.2013 saw a complete reboot of the series, with the release of “The Bughouse Affair”. Followed by “The Spook Lights Affair” also in 2013, which were both pretty good, then there was last years “The Body Snatchers Affair” (2015) which I didn’t care for as much.Now with the release of “THE PLAGUE OF THIEVES AFFAIR A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery” The Duo have returned along with their occasional comrade Sherlock Holmes (yes, that Sherlock Holmes), this time working under the pseudo-name of Charles P. Fairchild III to solve more crime in the city of San Francisco. It makes me happy that the writing team of Pronzini and Muller have written a smooth and gone back to good story telling to raise the series back up to where it belongs. Their combination of history, wit, and way of life in the 1890 era of San Francisco made this a smooth and pleasant read and with the addition of that crackbrain Sherlock assisting them, the investigating team of Carpenter and Quincannon's further adventures is highly anticipated.

  • Marcie
    2019-05-23 09:59

    This series has so much potential that it always seems to fail reaching completely. The very appealing man-woman detective partners are written by a husband-wife team, which I assume Bill takes the chapters from the man's POV while Marcia writes the chapters following the female partner. The two very different voices of the authors really bring the hero and heroine to vivid life. Then there's all the fun period language of which all four of the novels thus far have made excellent use.The problem with this latest entry in the series is so little interaction between those two main characters. They are each working separate cases without even seeing each other over the course of the three days in the story. Each alone is not strong enough or fascinating enough to carry a book...they need each other to highlight their different approaches and personalities. Their interaction and deepening relationship is the anchor for all the cases, action, and other characters that come and go. And yet all we got was a few paragraphs at the end as they congratulate each other over dinner for a fine job? That's so inadequate, unfulfilling.This book barely scratches the surface of how exciting these characters could be in their turn-of-the-century San Francisco setting. The co-authors are holding back too much.

  • Hapzydeco
    2019-06-18 11:33

    Set in late-Nineteenth century San Francisco, the fourth entry in Marcia Muller’s and Bill Pronzini’s historical detective series featuring Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon does not disappoint. The reappearance of the pseudo-Sherlock Holmes character adds to the reading pleasure. Plus the flame between the partners may have been lit.

  • Patrick
    2019-06-14 12:40

    This was actually a very fun read. Set in San Francisco in the late 1800's the description of the area was wonderful. Since I had lived and worked in that area I was familiar with a lot of the places. It was also interesting the interplay of the two authors of this book in describing the detectives and how they solved their cases.One of the more fun things is that I actually know the sister of Bill Pronzini. She is married to a guy I used to work with in the Bay Area. I'm planning on reading more of these tales. You may want to too.

  • Roxanne's Reads
    2019-06-01 13:52

    The story behind 'Sherlock Holmes' was intriguing. ( I would've liked to see more on why he wanted to be Holmes, and how he managed it.) Is this an explanation for 'Sherlock Holmes' returns to London? I liked his partnership with Sabina. He was brilliant, annoying, and selfless. Her detective's intuition saved him and bagged the Marie Antoinette bag thief. Quincannon, meanwhile, had a challenging case that required skill and an ability to bend the rules. I'm glad how the cases ended. I'm also glad the two detectives are gradually moving forward into becoming a couple. I usually like slow-burn romances the best. San Francisco was fun and interesting as usual. I've liked all the books in this series, but think this one is my favorite or 2nd favorite.

  • Susan
    2019-06-03 11:43

    If you are a fan of Agatha Christie, you will enough this series.

  • joanne
    2019-06-06 12:58

    So boring. Too much description. Couldn't finish it.

  • Kathy
    2019-05-26 13:56

    Great book to listen to as you drive.

  • Tara
    2019-06-10 08:35

    3.5 stars. Enjoyed the little side cases, interesting characters. I may pick up another by this author.

  • Beth
    2019-05-30 13:47

    Enjoy the adventures of Carpenter and Quincannon in solving mysteries in early San Francisco.

  • Michele
    2019-05-21 07:55

    Nice, clean mystery with just the hint of a love story... and the cameo appearances by "Sherlock Holmes" are finally somewhat explained!

  • Shane Wilson
    2019-06-19 13:58

    Love the setting. 1890's in San Fran. The story is just so-so. Any other great books set in that time and location?

  • RS Fuster
    2019-05-31 11:50

    Not bad but I didn't expect the ending. History just doesn't change human nature and greed.

  • Janell
    2019-05-21 07:45

    The main characters in this series are growing on me, but the plots are just average. And I'm definitely tired of the Sherlock Holmes character who seems to show up in each book. He needs to be phased out. Just OK.

  • Cornerofmadness
    2019-05-26 06:43

    I snagged this from the library as I like historical mysteries and I needed a P for my alphabet challenge. I quickly realized that it wasn't the first in a series but with mysteries that usually doesn't matter too much. In this case it might have mattered more because the whole John hoping Sabina is warming up to him might have meant more if I knew anything about the two detectives; that and the whole Sherlock Holmes subplot would have been more robust had I seen him before.It's actually three mysteries and two of them slightly tied together. The two detectives are Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon. John and Sabina are on two completely different cases and actually don't really interact at all until the very end when they sit down and tell each other what they've been up to.John has been employed to discover who has stolen the recipe for a well loved San Francisco steam beer, killing the brewmaster in the process. John's employer is sure it's West Star brewing's owner Drinkwater (irony) who is behind it. And really John's case isn't much of a mystery. Drinkwater IS behind it as we know from the very first pages. It's more of watching John gather evidence and at least one more death happens along the way. And John's none too happy about any of this because he's a recovering alcoholic who doesn't need the temptation of a brewery.Sabina has been hired onto two cases, one is more of a protection detail for a museum exhibit on purses, including one from Marie Antoinette. Naturally it's going to be stolen out from under her nose and really given the set up there's no mystery here either as it's almost instantly resolved. The other case is she's been hired by Roland Fairchild and his shrew of a wife, Octavia to find their cousin Charles the third who is the heir to millions. What they want is to find him and have him declared insane so they can have his money. And they could possibly do it because Charles insists he is Sherlock Holmes and he's well known to Sabina as he's apparently interfered with her cases in past books. He makes it easy to find him as he comes to 'help' with the museum case but soon he's the prime suspect in a murder case.Here's the thing about this book, it's short and light which is nice every once in a while. On the other hand, it's less mystery than it probably should be. The team of writers working it (husband and wife I believe) are both Mystery Grand Masters so I would have expected something meatier. John and Sabina are likeable enough but on the other hand this felt like two novellas seamed together with not quite enough filling. Still, I'd give another book in the series a chance. Though I do wonder did anyone even in the turn of the century really believe Sherlock Holmes was real and not fictional because everyone here (barring the detectives) seems to believe it.

  • Donna
    2019-05-28 06:40

    Sabrina Carpenter and John Quincannon operate a detective agency in San Francisco in the 1890s. While John is working on a case involving the stealing of a brewery recipe, Sabrina takes on two cases. She is hired to guard a showing of priceless antique handbags, plus she is also hired to find a missing heir to a fortune who just happens to be the fellow she has worked with on several cases who believes he is the deceased Sherlock Holmes. Things go awry and people get away but the detectives are determined to live up to their expert reputations.I've read many books by Marcia Muller but this is the first one I've read that she co-wrote with Bill Pronzini. I understand there are several previous books in this series. The book was fairly easy to read, although I did have to look up numerous vocabulary words. The book moved along at a good pace and I was always interested in what was happening within the story. I like the direction these two characters are taking in their personal relationships and look forward to future stories.

  • Bob
    2019-06-06 10:35

    San Francisco 1896 and the Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services as several cases under investigation. John Quincannon has been hired to find out who has killed the brew master of the Golden State Steam Beer brewery and stolen their recipe for their popular brew. Sabina Carpenter has two cases, one to provide security for a traveling exposition of "Reticules Through The Ages" some of which are quite valuable. The second case is a search for one Charles Percival Fairchild III, who is being looked for by his cousin. Charles is now the heir to a large fortune but there is a small problem, he assures every one that he is Sherlock Holmes, late of Baker street in London and while he has interacted with Sabina on several occasion on the past cases, is a strange and elusive character. The three cases provide a journey through the society and streets of 1890's San Francisco. Marcia Muller and her Husband have combined to give us an enjoyable light period mystery.

  • Kathy
    2019-06-17 14:39

    Two stars for "it was ok" should indicate I will not check out another of these, but I can make no promises when I look through available books from my library. Here we have a male and female author that perhaps write the sections devoted separately for the male's cases and actions and the female's cases? I don't know if they write that way, but it does read that way. It is supposedly a partnership in San Francisco between a widow and a reformed drinker macho male, but they don't work together. Their cases are presented in separate chapters and they rarely meet up. Throw into the mix a Sherlock Holmes character who appears and disappears, some salty San Francisco history and references to cases solved in the past, and it could be enough to bring some people back. The dialogue, fumbling execution and questionable tactics are enough to discourage me from returning to the series. Am I getting it wrong? Maybe it is meant to be comical.

  • Norman Smith
    2019-06-02 12:36

    This is a rather light book, in a class with the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels of Anne Perry. That is, a couple investigate events, and there is social snobbishness in the 19th century, and it's all very lovely. However, in the case of this book, I never felt invested in the mysteries (there are several), and really didn't feel that the problems and the solutions were interesting. The only interesting part was the "Sherlock Holmes" angle, and it wasn't REALLY interesting.The two detectives, Carpenter (female) and Quincannon (male), operate in this book completely independently, coming together at the end to have dinner. This book could easily have been done as a couple of novellas with no connection at all between the two detectives.The writing is fine. The characters are agreeable. Perhaps if I had read the previous books in the series I would have been more interested, but I found that I really did not care what happened.

  • Susan
    2019-06-08 09:34

    WhenI read, I have a rule,I need to read at least 50 pages before putting a book down. Most of the time, I go 75-100 pages trying to be fair to the author. I am 130 pages in and sad to say, stick a fork in it, I am d-o-n-e, done. I have enjoyed Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone series since the beginning. The Carpenter and Quincannon series is a collaboration with her husband, author Bill Ponzini. The two authors seem to graft their plot lines together. Sometimes they meld and create an interesting book. This one does not. This series of plot lines seems muddled and meandering with little focus, a hint of romance down the line and a rush to get the book to the publisher on time. I know this is harsh, but this book reminds me of the grafted shrubs my father found so intriguing. There was a lilac plus bush outside the kitchen door. The lilac side killed off the plus side within months. This series just didn't work for me.

  • Kate
    2019-05-26 11:57

    I keep reading these, probably because they are reliable enough to know its worth using up one of my Hoopla checkouts for one, but I don't love them. This one is missing a lot of the main detectives, they never work in concert and we get to hear that Sabina is edging towards starting a relationship with John but don't see them together until the end. The "who is Sherlock Holmes" ongoing story is solved but it wasn't such a mystery since we've always known he was a nut. The solutions are told, they aren't solvable with text clues. I have liked some of Muller's and Pronzini's other works, but not more than three stars. Adding in the clumsy though interesting San Francisco history this one can have two grudging stars, but really, the pair might be better off writing narrative nonfiction to share their meticulous research.

  • Edward Weiss
    2019-06-07 12:51

    What a waste!I read a library copy which is why I am not a 'verified purchase,' so at least it didn't cost me more than my valuable time.And, yes, i finished it. Finishing bad books is one of my many bad habits.I'm trying to break it. Maybe, this one will be the proverbial 'straw.'I have only read a few of Marcia Muller's books, and while I never found them spectacular, I remember them as acceptable.I believe I must have read at least one of Bill Pronzini's , but it also must have been so unmemorable, i just don't remember.This one is two bad novellas, neither of which went anywhere, preceded by a mediocre short story.I understand there are two previous books in this series which I haven't missed because I wasn't aiming at them and now surely won't.If this is an example of 'team' writing, I suggest a trade of one of the players.

  • Katherine
    2019-05-21 13:42

    I came across this book by chance at the public library. Ten pages into it, I was looking on the frontispiece to see what other books had been written in this series. This book was very entertaining and just plain fun. A detective pair, a man and woman, solve crimes in San Francisco at the turn of the century. To add to the stories, they get help from none other than Sherlock Holmes, supposedly on his interlude from London after his battle with Moriarty. This is a quick and entertaining read as it fluctuates between the two detectives. I look forward to reading the first three books about this pair.

  • Marilyn
    2019-06-15 09:47

    These are fun books to read - not exciting or particularly riveting -- but just an amusement for a quick read. Two detectives who each follow their own crimes and come together to report on their deeds with an underlying budding romance The theme of the Sherlock Holmes imposter (is he or isn't he?) runs through this series. I don't enjoy the series as well as I do the Sharon McCone series that Marcia Muller has written over the years, but I enjoy these as a diversion from my public library. Clever and witty.

  • Beth
    2019-06-04 14:35

    This book was another installment in a light, entertaining series. I don't find these characters as engrossing as either Muller's Sharon McCone or Pronzini's Nameless Detective, but these authors are skilled enough that you can't go far wrong with any of their books. In this book, I was delighted to learn more about "Sherlock." I begin to wonder if Quincannon ever manages to hang on to the bad guys when he arrests them the first time. I wish the two of them would start courting already, and I wish they would discuss their cases more with each other.

  • Ricki
    2019-06-09 10:52

    Oh, where has this series been hiding? I love Marcia Mueller's writing,,but somehow this series has escaped me? Even though "The Plague of Thieves Affair" is the 4th book in the series, I had no trouble following along...I must go back now and read the first three of the sries to see how private detectives Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon met and started their agency in San Fransisco..and how they met the elusive S. Holmes! Good read for mystery lovers!

  • Carol
    2019-05-27 10:45

    This is the fourth book in this series, and by far the best. The other three books were light, easy reads; this one is also but it was better written than the others. The foremost complaint is that the two detectives never seem to work on the same case at the same time, but that's really a very minor point. Is it the best mysteries series in town? No...but it's still a simple story that can be put down and picked up easily so it's perfect for a quick read between activities. A recommend.

  • Karen
    2019-05-28 10:41

    A good addition to the Carpenter Quincannon series. While Quincannon is finding out who murdered a brewmaster, Carpenter is finding a missing person and guarding an exhibit of purses from the past. Sherlock Holmes or so he claims rejoins Carpenter to help solve a couple of mysteries. The series captures San Francisco of the period beautifully and the romantic tension between the 2 detectives help make the series fun to read

  • Val
    2019-05-20 12:54

    Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are back in this fast-paced detective novel, set in 1880's San Francisco . They are investigating for different clients this time and don't work together, but the stories are just are entertaining as their previous adventures. The mysterious Sherlock Holmes character shows up and helps Sabina solve two cases while John is on his own solving the murder of a brewery employee. Muller and Pronzini work well together in creating this detective team.

  • Julie
    2019-06-11 13:33

    First I've read in this series. While I love Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone series, I thought this was just OK. I knew it'd be different, and thought it was good for what it was, a slower paced Sherlock Holmes style mystery, set back in early 20th century. Just not my taste. Though I did like the characters, and it was great seeing a female character in a strong position that would have been atypical for that time in history.