Joe Sandilands Mysteries

Commander Joe Sandilands is the creation of Barbara Cleverly. A WWI veteran and former member of military intelligence now working for London’s Metropolitan Police, Joe Sandilands is intelligent, principled, and steadfast.

Set in post-WWI London in the Roaring Twenties, The Bee’s Kiss, the fifth book in the series, is a superb historical police procedural and whodunit with a complex plot, engaging characters, historical tidbits, and wonderful period atmosphere.

The book opens when Joe Sandilands, returning to Scotland Yard from India where he has been on temporary assignment to the Bengal Police helping them set up new protocols for gathering forensic evidence, is assigned to a special squad set up to handle sensitive cases involving the upper class.

Dame Beatrice Joliffe, one of the founders of the Wrens, the Women’s Royal Naval Service,has been bludgeoned to death in her suite at the Ritz and the emerald necklace she had been wearing is missing. Was it a burglary gone wrong? Or was it a far more sinister crime made to look like a burglary?  Commander Joe Sandilands is determined to find out even though someone wants him off the case.

Note:  The book can be read as a standalone, but there is a continually developing storyline about Sandilands throughout the series.

The first four books, The Last Kashmiri Rose, Ragtime in Simla, The Damascened Blade, and The Palace Tiger, are all set in early 1920s India. (The Damascened Blade, the third book in the series, is set in the tribal regions between what was then India and Afghanistan—what we now call the tribal region of present-day Pakistan where Bin Laden was for some time believed to be hiding.)

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey, sounds like a good read! A lot of my favorite novels were written in the early 1900s, so the timeframe for the story itself is especially appealing to me.

  2. I’ve enjoyed all of books so far. Let me know what you think.

  3. This series sounds excellent. I was reading only contemporary mystery for a while, but then discovered a couple of excellent historicals. Now I’m always looking for more. Thanks!

  4. You’re welcome! Barbara Cleverly also has another mystery series set in the 1920s. Laetitia Talbot is an amateur sleuth, a young archeologist turned detective. The first book in the series is The Tomb of Zeus.

  5. I’ll have to pass this on to my #4 daughter. She loves historical mysteries as much as I do. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Happy to help! Let me know what you think. I’ve become quite a fan.

  6. Happy to help! Let me know what you think. I’ve become quite a fan.

  7. I’ve not read those books.

    • Then you have some enjoyable hours awaiting for you.

  8. Then you have some enjoyable hours awaiting for you.

  9. Does Cleverly pick up some of the tone and feel of the classic mystery writers of the era? Love your blog, by the way.

    • Barbara Cleverly is definitely in the tradition of the mystery writer’s of the Golden Age. She’s a wonderful storyteller with good plots and in-depth characterization.

  10. I like series that stand alone – probably because I’m notorious for picking up #2 or higher the first time!

  11. Barbara Cleverly is definitely in the traditon of the mystery writer’s of the Golden Age. She’s a wonderful storyteller with good plots and in-depth characterization.


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