The Sir John Fielding Mysteries (Series Premise)

Sir John Fielding, magistrate of the Bow Street Court
Written by Bruce Alexander
Mysteries that take place in London during the Georgian era
(Pre-Revolutionary colonial times in America)

Warning: The following  is a basic summary of the series premise for the Sir John Fielding mystery series that is taken mostly from the first book Blind Justice
by Bruce Alexander. Individual plots of the different books in the series are not discussed here. For those, please see my reviews.

Sir John Fielding is a magistrate of the Bow Street Court in London during the 1760s, when the series takes place. He is fairly progressive for the time and less apt to render judgment on the basis of class. Fielding also founds his own band of a kind of auxiliary police force, the Bow Street Runners, who patrol the streets of London after dark. Adding to his uniqueness, he is absolutely blind (but of course, this doesn't effect his ability to see the truth). 

This series is narrated by Jeremy Proctor, who is 13 when the series begins. Proctor is born in Lichfield where his father is a printer under John Berkeley. He had a younger brother who was two years younger than him.

Jeremy loses both his mother and brother to typhus in 1765, so his father sets out to Stokes Poke to start his own printing business. Jeremy apprentices under his father and is also moderately educated by him in math and reading. When he turns 13, his dad begins to teach Jeremy Latin and French to the best of his ability.

It is then his father makes a mistake. Being fond of Voltaire, his dad prints out a pamphlet translating one of his works. Thinking of it as a way to showcase his printing abilities more than anything else, Jeremy’s dad distributes the pamphlet for free to the shop’s regulars…which includes members of the clergy.

Given the time—and Voltaire’s already controversial philosophies—his father is beaten by the congregation and thrown into the stocks. The shop is destroyed by a mob and Jeremy, visiting his dad in the stocks, is told to go back to Lichfield and meet him there.

As Jeremy is packing, he finds out his dad has died and he is being summoned to the magistrate. He escapes, however, and flees down the road, only to find a day later that he has been taken the wrong fork and is on his way to London, not Lichfield.

He finds himself one of my street urchin in London and eventually brought before Sir John Fielding for a false accusation of stealing. Fielding remands the boy to the custody of the court and ultimately takes him in his own home, where Jeremy acts as a kind of assistant and their adventures in solving mysteries begin.