MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason

The Darwin Affair

by Tim Mason

The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason X
The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2019, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    May 19, 2020, 400 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tara Mcnabb
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Get ready for one of the most inventive and entertaining novels of 2019—an edge-of-your-seat Victorian-era thriller, where the controversial publication of On the Origin of Species sets off a string of unspeakable crimes.

"Keep clear of his blade!" he cried. "Once cut, always kept!"

LONDON, JUNE 1860: When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments later—and only a block away—Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field quickly surmises that these crimes are connected to an even more sinister plot. Was Victoria really the assassin's target? Are those closest to the Crown hiding something? And who is this shadowy figure witnesses describe as having lifeless, coal-black eyes? Soon, Field's investigation exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and the pursuit of a diabolical madman named the Chorister. As the investigation takes Field from the dangerous alleyways of London to the hallowed halls of Oxford, the list of possible conspirators grows as the body count escalates. And as he edges closer to the Chorister, he uncovers dark secrets that were meant to remain forever hidden.

With ingenuity, intelligence, and wit, debut novelist Tim Mason has created a powerfully entertaining thriller. For fans of Caleb Carr and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Darwin Affair is a rousing page-turner that both Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would relish and envy.

Excerpt
Darwin Affair

The heat moved like a feral thing through the streets, fetid and inescapable. Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field, sweating in his shiny black greatcoat, ducked into the shadowed portico of a house near St. Albans Street, just bordering the Mall. Because of the view it offered, as well as the protection from the elements, it was the spot he invariably used to monitor royal processions along this stretch. The horses pulling the royal carriage plodded solemnly, resignedly, their tails flicking at the flies. Victoria and Albert, their faces glimpsed within the open coach, had a wilted look, but they seemed to be conversing nevertheless. Today, given the heat and the mundane nature of Her Majesty's errand (she and the Prince Consort were to open a public bath in the West End), the crowd was understand-ably thin. But because the Queen already had survived several attempts on her life, the royal coach was accompanied by a couple of the Horse Guard. A few police ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Expertly written, the book successfully leads readers down a dark path of mystery, only to pull the rug out, leaving us shaken to the very core. The phenomenal and unexpected twist at the end is a reminder of the staying power of a great villain, one that is worth remembering long after the final page. With gripping dialogue, swift pacing and a fascinating premise, The Darwin Affair is a captivating hybrid of thriller and historical fiction...continued

Full Review Members Only (588 words).

(Reviewed by Tara Mcnabb).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Careful research, a driving plot, wry wit, and compelling characters make this a most entertaining read.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[A]n audacious historical thriller...Wry prose and vivid period detail help make Mason's speculations feel plausible.

Author Blurb Louis Bayard, author of Courting Mr. Lincoln
This clever, yeasty detective yarn is like a runaway hansom cab that pauses just long enough to take on passengers ranging from Darwin to Dickens before hurtling onward. It's a grand ride, a serious education and a delightful addiction.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The Controversy Surrounding On the Origin of Species

Biologist and anthropologist Thomas HuxleyThe publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species forever changed the way humankind thought of themselves and their place in the world. Almost immediately, the public took sides; you were either pro-evolution or anti-evolution. This caused considerable strife between notable public figures at the time, and also resulted in heated debates at home. While the atheists were some of Darwin's most passionate supporters, other defenders came in the surprising form of liberal Anglicans who believed that natural selection was an elegant example of God's handiwork. Thomas Huxley, the English biologist and anthropologist, is perhaps Darwin's most famous public supporter. He was so aggressive during arguments and debates that he came to be ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Darwin Affair, try these:

  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton jacket

    The Confessions of Frannie Langton

    by Sara Collins

    Published 2020

    About this book

    A servant and former slave is accused of murdering her employer and his wife in this astonishing historical thriller that moves from a Jamaican sugar plantation to the fetid streets of Georgian London.

  • Beheld jacket

    Beheld

    by TaraShea Nesbit

    Published 2020

    About this book

    More books by this author

    From the bestselling author of The Wives of Los Alamos comes the riveting story of a stranger's arrival in the fledgling colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts - and a crime that shakes the divided community to its core.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: Run Me to Earth
    Run Me to Earth
    by Paul Yoon
    Suspenseful and elegant storytelling in Run Me to Earth kept me turning pages even through traumatic...
  • Book Jacket: Beheld
    Beheld
    by TaraShea Nesbit
    Much like her debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos, TaraShea Nesbit's Beheld imagines a familiar ...
  • Book Jacket: My Dark Vanessa
    My Dark Vanessa
    by Kate Russell
    The plot of Kate Elizabeth Russell's My Dark Vanessa follows the life of Vanessa Wye, who at the age...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Actress
    by Anne Enright

    From the Man Booker Prize–winner, a brilliant and moving novel about celebrity, and power.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Mountains Sing
    by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

    An enveloping, multigenerational tale set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam War.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien

The classic, ground-breaking meditation on war and the redemptive power of storytelling.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Firsts

The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

"An intimately told story, with detailed and thought-provoking portraits..."
--New York Times

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Die I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.