Posted by: gillarbuthnott | May 29, 2012

A Twisted Mind Is A Joy for Ever!

Let me introduce you to two cracking books, by an author I’ve only recently heard of: Lynn Shepherd.

Tom-All-Alone’s is a marvellous re-imagining of  Bleak House crossed with The Woman in White and turned into an ingenious, atmospheric and chilling detective story. Now, while The Woman in White is one of my favourite victorian novels, followers of this blog will know that Charles Dickens and I don’t get on very well. They will understand what a big deal it is that Lynn’s book inspired me to battle my way through Bleak House, with its many irritating characters (though I must admit there is a terrific story trapped in there). It would still be a hugely enjoyable read if you didn’t know either of the source books, but it does add several layers to that enjoyment if you do.

Murder at Mansfield Park was actually written first, and introduces the hero of both books, the detective Charles Maddox. It is a gloriously twisted reinvention of Jane Austen’s original Mansfield Park, and captures the tone of Austen’s writing brilliantly.  Anyone who finds Fanny Brice a bit too vapid in the original will love this. I won’t spoil your pleasure by saying more about the plot – just get out and buy both books, sit back and enjoy…

I do hope there’s a third outing for Mr Maddox on the way. I’m speculating wildly about which other book could come in for the Shepherd treatment.



  1. Right – got Murder at Mansfield Park onto my Kindle, all set for the next train journey – thanks for the recommendation!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: