Alexander’s series has as its main character an historical figure, Sir John Fielding, magistrate of Bow Street and the founder of the Bow Street Runners, London’s first police force. Fielding, who is blind, is assisted in his work by Jeremy Proctor, a young boy who has appeared before his bench unjustly accused of robbery. Fielding sees through the false accusations, and takes Jeremy in, as the boy is a orphan. The pair investigate the apparent suicide of a dissolute member of the House of Lords. Eighteenth century London comes alive with all its smells and sounds. With well-drawn characters and well-told stories, these books are first-rate reading. 1994, M ALEXANDER, 254 p.