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Lestrade and the Sawdust Ring
M J Trow
M J Trow
Spieldauer: 7 Std. und 57 Min.
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It is 1879, and the young Detective Sergeant Sholto Lestrade has his work cut out for him as he investigates mysterious goings-on at "Lord" George Sanger's Circus. First, the best juggler in Europe is shot in full view of a thousand people. Then Huge Hughie the dwarf dies an agonising death whilst performing the Ether Trick. Finally, the Great Bolus dies by swallowing the wrong sword. And all of this comes after two bodies are found with multiple slashes.
It is 1891, and London is still reeling from the horror of the unsolved Ripper murders when Inspector Lestrade is sent to the Isle of Wight to investigate a strange corpse found walled up in Shanklin Chine. It is merely the beginning of a series of brutal and bizarre killings so apparently random, that only a warped genius could be responsible.
May 1588. With Elizabeth I’s court rocked by stories of an imminent invasion and one of his key undercover agents missing, Sir Francis Walsingham despatches Kit Marlowe to the Isle of Wight: the first line of defence against the approaching Spanish Armada. Marlowe finds the Islanders a strange and suspicious lot, with their own peculiar customs and dialect. But is there reason to doubt their loyalty to the Crown? And is the Island really haunted, as some believe? Of one thing Marlowe is certain: it’s no ghost behind the series of violent and inexplicable deaths which plague the region.
Everybody, they say, has a book in them. Retired Chief Inspector Walter Dew certainly did. But, under the streets of London, something stirred. More than that, there was a muttering that grew to a grumbling, and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling. Then out of the houses, the bodies came tumbling. Superintendent Sholto Lestrade, with Dew by his side and the rookies Bang and Olufsen in his wake, must go Below to face their demons, to find a murderer whose machinations will upset the infrastructure of the richest city on earth. Will any of them live to tell Dew’s tale? The tale of a rat.
The wings that retired Superintendent Lestrade comes on are those of a de Haviland Hercules. The archaeologist Howard Carter has made the discovery of the century in the Valley of the Kings, but all around him men are dying. Lord Carnarvon, careless with his razor, falls prey to a mosquito bite. Alain le Clerk leaves the tomb in a hurry to die alone in the desert. Aaron G String, the railway magnate, blows his brains out yards from the tomb's entrance.
England in 1920 is a land fit for heroes. So why is one of those heroes found dead in a dingy London hotel? And why does his war record show that he has been missing for three years? The deceased is the fiancé of Inspector Lestrade's daughter, and she sets out to find his murderer. As always with Lestrade, one murder has a habit of leading to another. How can a woman killed in an air raid in 1917 be found with a bullet through her head three years later?
July 1586. Sir Francis Walsingham has dispatched Kit Marlowe to the English College, the school for exiled priests in Rheims, where he suspects the Catholic traitor Matthew Baxter is hiding, the only one of the Babington plotters to have escaped the spymaster's net. Infiltrating the college undercover, Marlowe learns that the community has been rocked by a series of unexplained and violent deaths.
July 1585. Desperate to escape Sir Francis Walsingham's clutches and pursue his chosen career as a professional playwright, the young Christopher Marlowe abandons his Cambridge studies to join Lord Strange's men, a group of travelling players.
Lestrade had never been arrested before, although he had often had his collar felt by unsuspecting constables. But now a woman has died in his arms in a London pea-souper, and he is not only arrested but facing the drop. Millicent Millichip, in the wrong place at the right time, is neither the first nor only in a series of murders by someone so cunning that all the brains of the Yard can’t catch them - and this despite the calling card left helpfully at every scene.
Recovering from a broken leg after his ignominious fall from the
Titanic, Lestrade should have had a peaceful time convalescing. But an attempt on the life of his future father-in-law makes him realise that a policeman is never really off duty. What is particularly puzzling is the arrival of a letter which simply reads, "Four for the Gospel Makers", and it isn’t the first Lestrade has been sent. So begins one of Sholto Lestrade’s most mystifying cases, encompassing both the present and the past.
Lestrade’s detectives at Scotland Yard have promised him that 1910 is going to be a peaceful year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way. His daughter, Emma, brings him news of a tragic boating accident and he is soon up to his neck in a series of vicious murders. On top of all this, Lestrade is roped in to help with the coronation of George V and Inspector Walter Dew needs help with the disappearance of a certain Belle Crippen.
The papers call it suicide. The deceased’s father doesn’t. And when Superintendent Lestrade investigates the death by duelling pistol of Anstruther Fitzgibbon, his suspicions are immediately aroused. One of Britain’s leading athletes, Fitzgibbon is the first victim in a series of murders which threatens to extinguish the torch of the Olympic Games in London, in that glorious summer of 1908.
The madness begins when Captain Orange and his three nieces are killed in a carriage accident. The only clues? A tall man seen near the Captain's house, and a broken mirror found in the Captain's breast pocket. Next, Janet Calthorp of King's College, London, tumbles to her death as she makes her way to her lover's bedroom, the victim of a tripwire. The clue? A broken mirror found in said lover's boudoir.
Murder is afoot among the footmen of Britain's Royal Household: a servant girl, Amy Macpherson, has been brutally slaughtered. And so our hero, Sholto Lestrade of Scotland Yard, is once again on the trail of mystery. As he tries to untangle a villainous web of conspiracy, the superintendent must venture north to Scotland. His investigations take him from Balmoral Castle to the Isle of Skye to the North British Hotel, where he narrowly escapes an inferno in Room 13. The intrepid investigator contends with the most baffling clues he has yet encountered.
Inspector Lestrade is called upon to investigate the brutal death of Ralph Childers, MP. It is but the first in a series of perplexing murders that lead Lestrade around the country. The connection between the victims appears to be politics. Is someone trying to destroy the Government? It would seem so, particularly when a bomb is found in the Palace of Westminster. During his investigations Lestrade encounters some old and some new faces.
The first fatality in a bizarre series of killings is a Captain of the Second Life Guards, found in the River Thames with a war medal wedged between his teeth. Then a dead Egyptologist is discovered with a scarab clamped between his molars. When a young soldier is found dead in the saddle (this time a locket is the dying mouthful), Sholto Lestrade is forced to impersonate a barrack-room lawyer.
There is a new broom at Scotland Yard: Nimrod Frost. His first “little job” for Lestrade is to investigate the reported appearance of a lion in Cornwall. This is hardly a task for an Inspector. Yet even as Lestrade questions a witness, a man is reported dead - horrifically mauled. Having solved that case to his own satisfaction, Lestrade returns to London and to more suspicious deaths - all old men who should have died quietly in their sleep. Is there a connection? Lestrade's superiors discount his speculations....
The murder of Sarah Culdrose is just the first in a series of mysterious and often gruesome deaths that London's subterranean trains will witness. The deceased - all women - pile up quickly. There is a maniac at large, and Inspector Sholto Lestrade of Scotland Yard is detailed to work with the Railway Police. The detective plunges through a tangled web of deviants to solve a string of murders so heinous that every woman in London fears for her life. Will the London Transport System survive? Or will Lestrade run out of steam?
It is a puzzle that has faced Scotland Yard from the beginning - whose was the limbless body found among the foundations? And in the murderous world of Sholto Lestrade, one question is invariably followed by another - what do a lecherous rector, a devious speculator and a plagiarist novelist all have in common? Answer: they're all dead - each of them with a bloody space where his head used to be. And six others are to join them before our intrepid inspector brings the perpetrator to book.
The year is 1888 and Jack the Ripper terrorises the East End of London; all the victims are found in Whitechapel – but Scotland Yard has to look into another suspicious death, that of Edmund Gurney in Brighton. Foremost amongst the Yard’s top men is young Inspector Sholto Lestrade. It is to his lot that a number of unsolved cases fall – cases that include the murder of a former Whitechapel prostitue, and that of Gurney.