The Solitary House: A Novel

The Solitary House: A Novel

by Lynn Shepherd
3.7 18


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The Solitary House: A Novel by Lynn Shepherd

Lynn Shepherd’s first acclaimed novel of historical suspense, Murder at Mansfield Park, brilliantly reimagined the era 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.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345532435
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/30/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 566,302
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

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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The Solitary House: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the Dickensonian language and subtle plot twists are sometimes challenging to follow, it is worth the effort.Besure to read the author's research information at the end.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
Ms Shepherd has done her research well and she has created a Dickens Victorian England. The storyline is well developed as are the characters The different narratives keep you guessing up until the end. I love Victorian London stories and this one is going on my favorites list. I would recommend this to all readers.Well done!
eternalised More than 1 year ago
A mash-up between “Bleak House” and “The Woman in White” that never matches the greatness of either of those novels, but does offer an intriguing book. Charles Maddox is an intriguing protagonist, and the mystery at hand is complex and interesting. The book is a bit pretentious though, with stiff Victorian dialogue that could’ve flowed better. I did enjoy it, and I wouldn’t mind reading more books by this author. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
RRatliff More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads first reads. This book is well-paced, and very well written, with careful attention to historical detail. As to historical detail, I particularly noticed the way the author always wrote "bus" with an apostrophe in front: 'bus, because at that time, it was an abbreviation for omnibus. Today, bus is just a word we use, for us it's not short for anything. But at that time in London, the omnibus was a relatively new addition to the streets. The writing style is very unique. I was hooked at the prologue where the author spoke directly to the reader as if the two were walking down the streets of London side by side. I was even more excited to see that this particular writing style was not just for introduction. Throughout the story the writer takes the reader on side trips without the characters to give the reader inside information or to make the reader aware of things not yet revealed to the characters. It's a very refreshing style. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel that releases later this year!! 
wazdat More than 1 year ago
I loved Lynn Shepard's Murder at Mansfield Park so I did not hesitate to purchase this book when it popped up on recommended for me. Like Mansfield Park where I reread Pride and Prejudice before reading Mansfield Park I am reading Bleak House first. Unfortunately I am having difficulties staying into Bleak House. Dickens is a wordy man! His books require stubborn determination! I have yet to be disappointed if I persevere for a third in I am always rewarded. I have read the prologue for the Solitary House. Once again I am drawn entertainingly in to the historical time period, this time of Mr. Dickens'. As an avid reader and true history buff I am already hooked by the prologue alone! Solitary House will be my reward for completing Bleak House. I will complete Bleak House out of respect for Mr. Dickens and a need to have some feel of the past I am about to enter. Historical fiction gives me the the wonders of the authors imagination and a glimpse into a far past I find engrossing. If you are a historical fiction fan read Shepard's books. You will enjoy!
norway_girl More than 1 year ago
Charles Maddox is a likeable young man, and we are sympathetic to him from the start. We are exposed to the many facets and contrasts of Dickensian London and the equalizing measure of murder. This book is well written, with great characters and a page turner of a whodunit. I. like another reviewer would like to see young Charles Maddox appear in another interesting mystery.
nolenreads More than 1 year ago
I have a difficult time getting into a novel where the author is using a style that might reflect writings of the time period the story is set in. I really became impatient reading from the little girl/young lady's viewpoint. She is insipid. I found Charles's point of view much more interesting as much more happens during his times on the page. Really his character drives the story forward, thank goodness. The story was well-laced together finally with just the right amount of intrigue.
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I don't like a story told by two different people where a connection is not made until almost the end of the story. Maybe its me.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If Lynn Shepherd cares about writing, she should stop doing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But second narrative pads story with false info and sexual grafuc details regarding children are not acceptible and the iincreasing use in myateries only please those with similar perversions. Grafic details of this era have turned me off of this time period. This was the second book this month about terriers and rats and child pros. Yes the writing is good but not what it describes and deadens so you need more "stimulation" Enough already. Mom