When magistrate Patrick Colquhoun orders a habitual thief and ne'er-do-well transported to Botany Bay, he doesn't realize a 14-year-old boy has been left behind to follow in his father's footsteps - not until young John Pickett is hauled into Bow Street for stealing an apple from the produce market at Covent Garden.
Feeling to some extent responsible for the boy, Mr. Colquhoun prevails upon Elias Granger, a prosperous coal merchant, to take him on as an apprentice. For the next five years, John Pickett hauls coal in exchange for room and board. The work is dirty and hard, but the drudgery is lightened by the occasional deliveries to Bow Street, where Mr. Colquhoun usually tosses Pickett a coin for his pains. An even more pleasant diversion exists in the form of Mr. Granger's pert daughter Sophy, with whom Pickett tumbles headlong into love.
And then one day 19-year-old John Pickett stumbles by accident into a criminal investigation that will bring him once again to the attention of Bow Street for an entirely different reason, and will change the course of his life.
©2015 Sheri Cobb South (P)2016 Sheri Cobb South
Glued to a story, but could also be knitting , unknitting, cooking, drawing cats or doing Chinese Calligraphy and learning a language or try
John Pickett's lucky childhood takes him from almost being punished for stealing an apple in Covent Garden to becoming a thief taker. A good story with social background about the early 19th century.
Interesting and I think following Pickett's career is worth it.
"Delicious language, wonderful narrator"
I knew this book will be a perfect fit for me. It happened when I heard this in the audio sample: "He hauled by the collar of a shabby grey coat a scrawny individual who appeared to be disinclined to bear him company."
See, this is what I love in good regency stories. The language. Why say "he looked like he didn't want to be there" when you can (and should) say it so... beautifully! Sheri Cobb South, you speak the quirky language of my tribe :)
When it comes to the plot of this prequel, it's more of an origin story than a mystery novel - but there is a brush with crime here too, of course. It focuses on John Pickett's childhood and adolescence, and on the kindness of his benefactor, so rare in those times.
The characters Sheri Cobb South drawn for us are very likeable and there is a subtle sense of humor weaved in. Also, Joel Froomkin, the narrator, is stunning. He can do accents, quirky voices, all sorts of them. He's really, really good.
Give this a listen and the first full length novel will have far more richness for you. And you should definitely read that one... but that's for another review :)
My heartfelt thanks to the author, narrator, or publisher for providing me this audiobook via Audiobook Boom at no cost in exchange for my unbiased review.
"An old English mystery!"
This story is a prequel to a mystery series, so I went into this knowing that it would be more of a background set up vs a fully developed cast of characters. That's important to note!
This is a short mystery, but jam packed with action, a fluid plot & a variety of characters! I loved the narration, it absolutely made the story come alive. I can't imagine this being narrated by anyone else. Just wonderful!
The story itself is enjoyable because you meet John on the streets without hope & you get to follow his journey. I enjoy the relationship with Sophie, as her & John are polar opposites in every way. Overall this makes me want to hop into the main mystery series to see where John is now & what things he might be up to! I was gifted this book in exchange for my honest review
That Sheri can fit so much story and characterization into a novella testifies to her gift of writing. I never felt short-changed. Highly recommend for a quick read.
I received a copy for my honest review.
"Introducing John Pickett"
The book introduces fourteen year-old John Pickett. A chance meeting with a magistrate opens new opportunities for him. He can keep stealing or change his life by becoming an apprentice. I enjoyed the period detail and getting to know John Pickett. This story is the perfect introduction to the series.
The narrator is excellent, doing both accents and male and female characters with ease.
I listened to the pickpocket’s apprentice before starting the John Picket series, and during my first listen I didn’t find it particularly to my liking. It’s a decent enough story, but I kind of saw no reason to like the young protagonist.
However, when I started In Milady’s Chamber, my mind kept circling back to events that took place in the Pickpocket’s Apprentice, and I instantly gained a better appreciation for the prequel! It is always nice to know where a character came from and how they developed.
I don’t think it's necessary to read/listen to this title first. You can most definitely pick it up after starting the the John Picket series. The narration is so wonderful too. The performance is lively, and every character’s personality and qualities are portrayed effortlessly.
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
"And so it begins."
Pickpocket's Apprentice is a wonderful beginning to the John Pickett mysteries. The backstory gives readers a chance to see a youthful Pickett & the circumstances that shaped him & his poor broken nose. I highly recommend it & the entire series. Joel Froomkin's narration was spot on for me with one exception. I didn't care for Sophie's voice. I would have liked her to sound more snobbish as the story moved along. I gave the performance 4 stars, but really should have been 4.5. Good job all.
"Didn't want the story to end!"
There's hope for John when someone is willing to give you a break.
Yes, He was able to slowly prove himself to prepare himself for greater things
Enjoyed the accent and good diction.
When someone believes in you...
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
Pickpocket's Apprentice (John Pickett Mysteries 0,5)
by Sheri Cobb South
An introduction to John Pickett, from age 14 and picking pockets to age 19 after serving an apprenticeship. I will be looking for more in this series.
The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed.
"Backstory Novella of Law and Class in England"
This is favorably similar to one of my all time favorite series of books by the late Bruce Alexander -The John Fielding Series. It takes place at the end of the late 1700's, early 1800's in England. The series of which this the establishing foundation is historic mystery... a very good one!
The John Fielding series by Bruce Alexander. The setting and characters of Bow Street. Magistrates Court, the poor of London, the time frame, the harsh justice system.
There are two, young John Pickett and his benefactor, Magistrate Patrick Colquhoun. This a good place to mention the great performance of Joel Froomkin! Unique voice to each character both the primary ones and supporting cast. To this untrained American ear, fantastic accent and pronunciation. Engaging pace to the story.
I was put into the story, by both the writing and narration. In that sense I was moved by the plight of the poor and by the differences in social classes. By life in that locale and time period. This kept me involved. Probably more important, I want more of the John Pickett story.
So well done! Thanks for the opportunity to listen to and review it!
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
I have read all of Ms South's books and they get better and better. This introduction to John Pickett gives us a solid characterization which avoids subsequent detailed repetition.
This one made me eager to read the next installment. It took me a few minutes to get into the rhythm of the reader, but then I was into the story ... And it ended all too quickly.
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