The Shelleys and their mystery 

If you are familiar with the adventurous lives of the Young Romantics and their circle, you’ll love Lynn Shepherd’s new literary mystery, A Treacherous Likeness. If you aren’t,  you may love it even more. 
You’ll find yourself glued to the pages of this mystery novel, based on an intriguing web of shocking discoveries which detective Charles Maddock unveils,  one after the other , while investigating on behalf of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s only surviving son. 
On his quest for missing documents  he gets involved in the mysterious case of Percy Bysshe's first wife's death; he meets Mary Shelley and Claire Clairmont, once Byron's lover, and Mary's half - sister; he discovers his great-uncle once worked on that case and must know much about the secrets hidden in the Shelleys' past. If only he could speak to him, if only the old detective didn't live in a state of total  unconsciousness...

Literature & Mystery are indeed an irresistible blend and to delve into the lives of such illustrious figures leafing through A Treacherous Likeness can be a  very exciting discovery journey.
The relationship between the Shelleys, Claire Clairmont and Lord Byron has been widely studied and researched by scholars but it has never been fully explained and remains cluttered by secrets and doubts. (This is a detailed account by Ernest J. Lovell, Jr. based on their epistolary exchanges, for instance)
However, this is no boring academic account but a real page-turner! In this novel Lynn Shepherd  gives her own personal contribution to the exploration of those dark lives and mysterious secrets. She attempts to give her own answers to the many unanswered questions related to the many gaps in the Shelleys' lives (see video below)

Lynn Shepherd's literary mystery series

I'm not new to the author's rich and highly evocative narrating style, nor to her fascinating detectives, the Maddocks (both senior and junior).  I read and reviewed Lynn Shepherd's first novel,  her debut mystery set at Mansfield Park and inspired to Jane Austen's novel, Murder at Mansfield Park,  as well as her Dickensian Tom-All-Alone's, a gripping investigation which brings the reader back to grim Victorian London and  into the pages of Bleak House. Her literary mystery novels are definitely original, intriguing, captivating and, last but not least,  accurately researched.            
The book

In the dying days of 1850 the young detective Charles Maddox takes on a new case. His client? The only surviving son of the long-dead poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his wife Mary, author of Frankenstein. Charles soon finds himself being drawn into the bitter battle being waged over the poet's literary legacy, but then he makes a chance discovery that raises new doubts about the death of Shelley's first wife, Harriet, and he starts to question whether she did indeed kill herself, or whether what really happened was far more sinister than suicide. As he's drawn deeper into the tangled web of the past, Charles discovers darker and more disturbing secrets, until he comes face to face with the terrible possibility that his own great-uncle is implicated in a conspiracy to conceal the truth that stretches back more than thirty years. The story of the Shelleys is one of love and death, of loss and betrayal. In this follow-up to the acclaimed Tom-All-Alone's, Lynn Shepherd offers her own fictional version of that story, which suggests new and shocking answers to mysteries that still persist to this day, and have never yet been fully explained.

  • Publisher:Corsair
  • Publication date:07/02/2013
  • Book title:A Treacherous Likeness
  • Format:Hardback & e-book

  • Buy  it at Amazon.co.uk


JaneGS said...

I am very excited to read this novel. I finished The Solitary House (the American title of Tom-All-Alone's) and loved it, and I am also fascinated by the Romantic poets so this will really be a treat.

I like the premise of the two Charles Maddoxes--sometimes working together, sometimes in opposite directions.

Carole said...

Maria, thanks for linking in to Books You Loved. Cheers

Elizabeth said...

This books sounds good. Love how you did your review. THANKS for sharing.

Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved March Edition. I am in that list as #15.

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