Synopses & Reviews
The latest comic novel from Christopher Buckley, a hapless Englishman embarks on a dangerous mission to the New World in pursuit of two judges who helped murder a king.
London, 1664. Twenty years after the English revolution, the monarchy has been restored and Charles II sits on the throne. The men who conspired to kill his father are either dead or disappeared. Baltasar “Balty” St. Michel is 24 and has no skills and no employment. He gets by on handouts from his brother-in-law Samuel Pepys, an officer in the king’s navy.
Fed up with his needy relative, Pepys offers Balty a job in the New World. He is to track down two missing judges who were responsible for the execution of the last king, Charles I. When Balty’s ship arrives in Boston, he finds a strange country filled with fundamentalist Puritans, saintly Quakers, warring tribes of Indians, and rogues of every stripe. Helped by a man named Huncks, an agent of the Crown with a mysterious past, Balty travels colonial America in search of the missing judges. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Samuel Pepys prepares for a war with the Dutch that fears England has no chance of winning.
Christopher Buckley’s enchanting new novel spins adventure, comedy, political intrigue, and romance against a historical backdrop with real-life characters like Charles II, John Winthrop, and Peter Stuyvesant. Buckley’s wit is as sharp as ever as he takes readers to 17th-century London and New England. We visit the bawdy court of Charles II, Boston under the strict Puritan rule, and New Amsterdam back when Manhattan was a half-wild outpost on the edge of an unmapped continent. The Judge Hunter is a smart and swiftly plotted novel that transports readers to a new world
"An entertaining and nicely crafted picaresque thriller with crackling dialogue and a brace of Colonial cops as appealingly mismatched as any of Hollywood's buddy efforts." Kirkus Reviews
"Christopher Buckley’s style of satire has a peculiar bite: It nibbles, nibbles, nibbles — gently, even delightfully — before chomping down and leaving teeth marks as distinctive as any known to forensic science....The Judge Hunter is a brisk adventure....Buckley’s signature wordplay transposes well to 17th-century England and America, and anyone familiar with the real Pepys will take special pleasure in Buckley’s pitch-perfect fictional diary entries for him....the point of the thing is in the adventure and in the glimpses of a past that is distant but familiar, not only because of the names that still resonate three centuries on but because all the manners of stupidity and greed, intrigue and intrepidity he describes are still very much with us today." The Weekly Standard
"Christopher Buckley fans and newcomers to his work will delight in this humorous historical novel. " Bookish
"It’s murder and mirth in Christopher Buckley’s The Judge Hunter." Vanity Fair
About the Author
Christopher Buckley is a novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor, and memoirist. His books include Thank You for Smoking, The Judge Hunter, and The Relic Master. He worked as a merchant seaman and White House speechwriter. He has written for many newspapers and magazines and has lectured in over 70 cities around the world. He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence.
Christopher Buckley on PowellsBooks.Blog
The Judge Hunter
is set in the year 1664, which the alert reader will recognize as an important year here on the American continent. Samuel Pepys, England’s great diarist, arranges to rid himself of his annoying and needy brother-in-law, Balthasar de St. Michel (called “Balty”), by contriving a Crown commission to send him to New England...