Reminiscences of a police detective from Edinburgh Scotland in the early to mid 19th century. The author waxes more poetical and philosophical than one might expect from a policeman, and reflects upon society and the roles of it inhabitants on the production of conditions which create crime. That said, he then rips into fascinating descriptions of characters, locales and events beyond our present day experience, replete with both criminal jargon and fascinating local dialect. A fascinating window into the past, both entertaining and educational. Four stars out of five because the philosophizing does get a bit dense at times and the uncommon terminology and dialect might be challenging for some readers.