Thomas Chaloner is despatched to investigate the death of a lawyer with links to the "Butcher of Smithfield", a shady trader surrounded by a fearsome gang of thugs who terrorise the streets well beyond the confines of Smithfield market. His death is thought to have been one of many caused by the eating of cucumbers - but Chaloner is not convinced. He thinks it may have something to do with the news hounds whose fierce rivalry is escalating into violence. Putting his personal safety aside, he tries to penetrate the rumour mill surrounding the Butcher of Smithfield to uncover his real identity.More
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- Barbara Steffensen