Kept

Kept

A Victorian Mystery

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
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Madness, greed, love, obsession, Machiavellian plotting, and a great train robbery, in a captivating Victorian mystery about the extreme and curious things men do to get--and keep--what they want

August 1863. Henry Ireland, a failed landowner, dies unexpectedly in a riding accident, leaving a highly strung young widow. Not far away lives Ireland's friend James Dixey, a celebrated naturalist who collects strange trophies--a stuffed bear, a pet mouse, and a wolf that he keeps caged in the grounds of his decaying house, lost in the fog on the edge of the fens.

The poachers, Dewar and Dunbar, with their cargo of pilfered eggs; Esther the observant kitchen maid, pining to be reunited with her vanished admirer; the ancient lawyer Mr. Crabbe, made careless by snobbery; John Carstairs, in search of his cousin, the elusive widow; an enigmatic debt-collector, busily plotting an audacious robbery; various lowlife henchmen; a beady-eyed country curate who sees more than he should; and Captain McTurk of Scotland Yard, patiently investigating the circumstances of Mr. Ireland's death and many other things besides--all are drawn into a net of intrigue with wide and sinister implications.

Ranging from the loch-sides of Scotland to the slums of Clerkenwell, from the gentlemen's clubs of St. James's to the Yukon wilds, Kept is a gorgeously intricate novel about the urge to possess, at once a gripping investigation of some of the secret chambers of the human heart and a dazzling reinvention of Victorian life and passions.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061146084
0061146080
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY Taylor
Characteristics: 463 p. ; 24 cm

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stormy1960
Apr 09, 2012

Like Derby Day, I found it tough to get into and gave up. The writer seemed to be too conscious of aiming for a simulation of Victorian style than a good read.

polar_bear Dec 01, 2011

A terrific book. While the Victorian novel format is not new, there are many delightful details, unique characters, and plot twists, which display the cleverness of this inventive author. Finding out what happened in the end was fun, but finding out what happened next was often more fun.

m2 Feb 03, 2011

Mr. Dickens writes again! A mad woman locked in the attic and the Great Train Robbery of 1855. The brilliant historian who wrote this book (he's received awards for his biographies) writes this like a collection of original research with real excerpts from Thakery and Elliot. Watch the slow unwrapping of this lovely onion of a story. If you know the literature and history of the time period you will catch many allusions, but those of us that don't still relish the book.

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