An opening note to bestseller Archer’s enjoyable series launch informs the reader: “This is not a detective story, this is a story about a detective,” the detective being William Warwick from the author’s Clifton Chronicles (This Was a Man, etc.). In 1979, William, who has always wanted to be a police detective, tells his father he’s not going to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a barrister. Joining the London police force straight out of school, he quickly proves himself to his superiors and in short order moves from patrol officer to fledgling detective for Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiquities unit, where he investigates forgeries, counterfeit antiquities, a missing Rembrandt, and a master art thief. A fully realized character, the intelligent Warrick is ambitious but naive with a lot to learn. He’s surrounded by a distinctive cast of family, colleagues, and villains, while a well-placed romantic situation fills out a near-perfect hand. The final section dealing with dueling courtroom dramas brings genuine suspense to a relatively bloodless, but thoroughly gripping, tale. Archer reinforces his position as a master storyteller. 300,000 announced first printing. (Sept.)
Advance Praise for Nothing Ventured
"An expert juggling act that ends with not one but two intercut trials. More, please." Kirkus Reviews
"A fully realized character, the intelligent Warrick is ambitious but naive with a lot to learn. He’s surrounded by a distinctive cast of family, colleagues, and villains, while a well-placed romantic situation fills out a near-perfect hand. The final section dealing with dueling courtroom dramas brings genuine suspense to a relatively bloodless, but thoroughly gripping, tale. Archer reinforces his position as a master storyteller.” Publishers Weekly
"Archer has a real gift for family sagas, and here, with Warwick, he’s launching what promises to be a series just as riveting as the Clifton Chronicles . . . Readers who know Warwick from the Chronicles will be interested to learn more about him (such as exactly how he acquired the nemesis who haunts his every move later in his career), but previous knowledge of the character is certainly not necessary to enjoy this first in what we hope will be a long series.” Booklist
"A story that builds in intensity . . . Archer’s numerous fans will appreciate another dramatic, character-driven mystery set in the world of art, police work, and court trials.” Library Journal (starred review)
From age eight, William Warwick knew he wanted to be a police detective. His father, a criminal barrister, wished William would have followed in his footsteps. But with the assistance of his mother, William went to university, studied art, and became a police officer. He starts at the bottom, walking a beat as a police constable, although he could have been fast-tracked as a college graduate. When he passes the detective's exam, William is assigned to the Metropolitan Police Force, attached to Art and Antiques. While he works several cases, because of his knowledge of art, his major assignment involves the theft of valuable paintings, forgeries, and a finder's fee when the paintings are "recovered" on behalf of the insurance companies. While investigating, he meets Beth Rainsford, a beautiful gallery research assistant, who has family secrets. The case, and Beth's secret, result in riveting simultaneous court trials, in a story that builds in intensity. VERDICT Following the success of the historical "Clifton Chronicles," Archer launches a series set in the 1980s. As he says, it's the story of a detective, not a detective story. Archer's numerous fans will appreciate another dramatic, character-driven mystery set in the world of art, police work, and court trials. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/19.]—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
His Clifton Chronicles (This Was a Man, 2017, etc.) complete, the indefatigable Archer launches a new series that follows a well-born police officer from his first assignment to (spoiler alert) his appointment as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police some volumes down the road.
William Warwick may have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he's done everything he can to declare his independence from his father, Sir Julian Warwick QC. When William, fresh out of King's College with a degree in art history, announces his intention to enroll in Hendon Police College, his father realizes that he'll have to count on William's older sister, Grace, to carry on the family's tradition in Her Majesty's courts. Instead, guileless William patrols the streets of Lambeth until a chance remark lands him on DCI Bruce Lamont's Art and Antiques unit under the watchful eye of Cmdr. Jack Hawksby. No fewer than four cases await his attention: the forger who signs first editions with the names of their famous authors; a series of even more accomplished forgeries of old masters paintings; a well-organized series of thefts of artworks by a gang whose leader prefers selling them back to the companies who've insured them and often don't even report the thefts to the police; and a mysterious series of purchases of century-old silver by one Kevin Carter. His investigations take William across the path, and then into the bed, of Beth Rainsford, a research assistant at the Fitzmolean gallery, still reeling seven years after a priceless Rembrandt was stolen from its collection, most likely by landowner and self-styled farmer Miles Faulkner. As if to prevent William from getting even a moment's sleep in between rounds of detection and decorous coupling, Beth unwillingly drags William into a fifth case, a 2-year-old murder whose verdict she has every reason to doubt. One of these cases will bring William up against Grace, whose withering cross-examination of him on the witness stand is a special highlight.
An expert juggling act that ends with not one but two intercut trials. More, please.