New Book – A Case of Conspiracy in Clerkenwell by Clara Benson (Chapters 1 – 2)

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Publishing year: 2017

Another new adventure for Freddy!!!

This time Freddy is covering a meeting between the Minister of Labour and businessmen,which he finds so soporific that he falls asleep. When they are to leave the place, there is a group of protesters. The Minister leaves through a back door, but Freddy witnesses scuffles between the businessmen, the protesters, and the police. It is in the middle of this altercation that he runs into an old friend of his, St John Bagshawe. Later in the novel we learn that St John was in Angela Marchmont’s case about Fifes Castle, but I have no reference to him in my entries about this character, and I don’t remember him in the novel at all.

St John introduces John to his assistant, Ruth, and we learn that St John runs a radical newspaper, supporting Communism, and he is usually in the thick of it. St John also refers to Ivor Trevett who is also an activist and gets arrested whenever she stirs those listening to his speech.

A few days later Freddy is summoned to Whitehall, and we get to meet an old friend. It is Henry Jameson, Inspector Jameson’s brother, and who we saw with Angela as he works for British Intelligence. What Jameson wants from Freddy is information about St John. Apparently, some kind of conspiracy is expected but Jameson doesn’t know what to expect. He also talks to Freddy about Rowbothan, leader of the labourers’ union, and apparently, a few would want him removed in favour of his second, John Petit, who is not so temperate and would resort to violence for his cause. Jameson also mentions Anton Schuster, an Austrian philosopher, who has come to England recently. Jameson wants Freddy to glean as much information as possible and also meet Schuster.

I am glad to read about Freddy again. So far what we have about communists and labourers’ fights is quite confused, and I wonder what the case Freddy will get involved will be.

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