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The Solitary House: A Novel
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Lynn Shepherd’s first acclaimed novel of historical suspense, Murder at Mansfield Park, brilliantly reimagined the time of Jane Austen. Now, in this spellbinding new triumph, she introduces an unforgettable duo of detectives into the gaslit world of Dickens.
 
London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.
 
On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get.
 
To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to—discreetly—find and stop whoever is responsible.
 
But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.
 
Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.
This eBook edition includes two complete classic novels that are referenced in The Solitary House: Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White!  This edition also includes a discussion guide and an excerpt from Lynn Shepherd's A Fatal Likeness.
Praise for The Solitary House
 
“A Victorian tour de force . . . a must-read.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Dickens fans will rejoice. . . . [Lynn] Shepherd leaves the reader spellbound.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“The star of Lynn Shepherd’s intriguing mystery novel is mid-century Victorian London. . . . Her suspenseful story and winning prose ably serve her literary conceit.”—Associated Press
 
“Intellectually enthralling, with dark twists at every turn . . . a haunting novel that will have you guessing until the last pages.”—Historical Novels Review
 
“Lynn Shepherd has a knack for setting literary murder puzzles. . . . This literary magpie-ism is a treat for book lovers, a little nudge-and-a-wink here and there which delights fans of these other works without alienating those who haven’t read them yet. . . . An intelligent, gripping and beautifully written novel.”—The Scotsman
 
“The reader is plunged into a complex but comprehensible labyrinth of deception.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Format:
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Street Date:
05/01/2012
Language:
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ISBN:
9780345533555

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APA Citation (style guide)

Lynn Shepherd. (2012). The Solitary House: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lynn Shepherd. 2012. The Solitary House: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lynn Shepherd, The Solitary House: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2012.

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Lynn Shepherd. The Solitary House: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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        Lynn Shepherd is the author of the award-winning Murder at Mansfield Park. She studied English at Oxford and was a professional copywriter for over a decade. She is currently at work on her next novel of historical suspense, A Treacherous Likeness, which Delacorte will publish in 2013.



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fullDescription
Lynn Shepherd’s first acclaimed novel of historical suspense, Murder at Mansfield Park, brilliantly reimagined the time of Jane Austen. Now, in this spellbinding new triumph, she introduces an unforgettable duo of detectives into the gaslit world of Dickens.
 
London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.
 
On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get.
 
To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to—discreetly—find and stop whoever is responsible.
 
But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.
 
Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.
This eBook edition includes two complete classic novels that are referenced in The Solitary House: Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White!  This edition also includes a discussion guide and an excerpt from Lynn Shepherd's A Fatal Likeness.
Praise for The Solitary House
 
“A Victorian tour de force . . . a must-read.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Dickens fans will rejoice. . . . [Lynn] Shepherd leaves the reader spellbound.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“The star of Lynn Shepherd’s intriguing mystery novel is mid-century Victorian London. . . . Her suspenseful story and winning prose ably serve her literary conceit.”—Associated Press
 
“Intellectually enthralling, with dark twists at every turn . . . a haunting novel that will have you guessing until the last pages.”—Historical Novels Review
 
“Lynn Shepherd has a knack for setting literary murder puzzles. . . . This literary magpie-ism is a treat for book lovers, a little nudge-and-a-wink here and there which delights fans of these other works without alienating those who haven’t read them yet. . . . An intelligent, gripping and beautifully written novel.”—The Scotsman
 
“The reader is plunged into a complex but comprehensible labyrinth of deception.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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reviews
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      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content:

        Praise for The Solitary House "A Victorian tour de force . . . a must-read."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Dickens fans will rejoice. . . . [Lynn] Shepherd leaves the reader spellbound."--Booklist (starred review) "The star of Lynn Shepherd's intriguing mystery novel is mid-century Victorian London. . . . Her suspenseful story and winning prose ably serve her literary conceit."--Associated Press "Intellectually enthralling, with dark twists at every turn . . . a haunting novel that will have you guessing until the last pages."--Historical Novels Review "Lynn Shepherd has a knack for setting literary murder puzzles. . . . This literary magpie-ism is a treat for book lovers, a little nudge-and-a-wink here and there which delights fans of these other works without alienating those who haven't read them yet. . . . An intelligent, gripping and beautifully written novel."--The Scotsman "The reader is plunged into a complex but comprehensible labyrinth of deception."

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from March 26, 2012
        Shepherd follows her 2010 debut, Murder at Mansfield Park, which successfully channeled Jane Austen, with an equally satisfying reworking of Bleak House, which Dickens once considered titling The Solitary House. The Machiavellian lawyer from Bleak House, Edward Tulkinghorn, seeks out private operative Charles Maddox, who was discharged from the Metropolitan Police after butting heads with Inspector Bucket (another character from the Dickens novel), ostensibly to track down the poison pen writer targeting Sir Julius Cremorne, head of London’s oldest merchant bank. The omniscient narrative voice reveals that Maddox is being used as a stalking horse, and the reader is soon plunged into a complex but comprehensible labyrinth of deception and violence. Maddox makes some serious missteps, a refreshing change from the typical all-knowing detective. The sensitive portrayal of his relationship with his aging great-uncle and mentor lends depth. Maddox could well carry a series. Agent: Ben Mason, FoxMason.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from April 15, 2012
        Shepherd's latest detective story (Murder at Mansfield Park, 2010) is a Victorian tour de force that borrows characters from Charles Dickens' Bleak House and Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. Ever since Metropolitan police officer Charles Maddox was dismissed for insubordination, he's eked out a living as a private detective. He currently has two cases. The first is finding the grandchild of a man who had cast out his pregnant daughter years before. The second is identifying the writer of threatening scrawls for Edward Tulkinghorn, a powerful attorney who represents the interests of the wealthy and high-born. Charles has learned a good deal from his great uncle. Now that this brilliant detective and mentor is slipping into the dark world of age-related mental illness, Charles, moving into his home to supervise his care, benefits from his meticulously kept case notes. At length he realizes that his work for Tulkinghorn is leaving in its wake a string of corpses, many of them evidently connected to the horrific murder of several women. In 1850s England it is no easy task to confront the noble clients Tulkinghorn is protecting, but Charles is determined to discover the truth no matter where it leads. He is savagely attacked and even arrested. Can he rely on Inspector Bucket's assurances that he is on Charles' side? The enterprising sleuth's life may depend on the answer when his two cases come together in a horrifying denouement. Shepherd offers an intricate plot and a thousand details of the least-admirable side of Victorian life. A must-read.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2011

        Shepherd's debut, Murder at Mansfield Park, investigated trouble in Jane Austen's world from the perspective of a minor Austen character--and went on to win awards, including Best First Mystery from Romantic Times. Her new work introduces an independent detective in Victorian London. Being compared to Iain Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost; buy accordingly.

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from April 1, 2012
        Dickens fans will rejoice upon finding characters from Bleak House performing similar roles in Shepherd's second historical mystery (following Murder at Mansfield Park, 2010) featuring Charles Maddox, thief-taker (a Victorian detective).This reworking of the masterful classic features crooked lawyer Mr. Tulkinghorn, Inspector Bucket, Lady Dedlock, and the not-quite-right Hester (Esther in Bleak House), who begins her narrative with Dickens' words, I have a great deal of difficulty in beginning to write . . . for I know I am not clever. A labyrinthine plot narrated in three voices reveals the underlying motivations and connections of these characters in a story of pervasive deviance so sinister that even those hardened to London's nineteenth-century underworld will reel in shock. Maddox is manipulated by Tulkinghorn on behalf of the attorney's wealthy clients to ferret out those who might expose a nasty secret; as the investigation progresses, Maddox finds himself and everyone he knows in the path of a psychotic killer. Shepherd leaves the reader spellbound by masterfully building suspense, creating a pervasively clammy and befogged atmosphere, and offering a cast of unforgettably peculiar characters, making the most of authentic, period language and a soupcon of subtle humor. Those who haven't read Bleak House will be ready to have a go, while those looking for contemporary read-alikes should be encouraged to try Sarah Waters' Fingersmith (2002)or Sara Stockbridge's Grace Hammer (2009).(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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Lynn Shepherd's first acclaimed novel of historical suspense, Murder at Mansfield Park, brilliantly reimagined the time of Jane Austen. Now, in this spellbinding new triumph, she introduces an unforgettable duo of detectives into the gaslit world of Dickens.

London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary "thief taker," a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.

On Charles's latest case, he'll need all the assistance he can get.

To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and...

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