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The Detective and Mr. Dickens: Being an Account of the Macbeth Murders and the Strange Events Surrounding Them
The Detective and Mr Dickens Being an Account of the Macbeth Murders and the Strange Events Surrounding Them Author:William J. Palmer Here is a singular, engrossing and suspenseful debut novel, a book that any reader, Dickens buff or no, can curl up and read with the pleasure one feels at being wholly caught up in another time and place. In the form of a secret journal kept by Charles Dickens's friend and protege, the novelist Wilkie Collins, The Detective and Mr. Dickens focu... more »ses on a series of real, documented events in the life of Dickens during a time of extreme personal crisis.
Set largely during April and May of 1851, the novel explores the relationship of Dickens and Collins with Inspector William Field of the Metropolitan Protectives of London, one of the first professional detectives. Seamlessly interweaving fact with fancy, what did happen with what could have happened, the plot draws Dickens, Collins, and Field together to solve a brutal murder -- a murder that has its roots in the Covent Garden production of Macbeth.
The investigation coincides with an agonizing period for Dickens during which death seems closing in all around him. As Dickens and Fielding, observed by the fledging author Collins, comb London's back streets for the murderer, Dickens is drawn ever closer to a young woman who will change his life: Ellen Ternan, the young actress who will become his mistress and his greatest love.
The Detective and Mr. Dickens is populated by a varied and colorful cast: prostitutes, beggars, lords and ladies, thieves, actors and pornographers -- some of whom will be familiar to readers of Dickens novels. A rollicking tour through Victorian London's underworld and upper crust, this book affords a unique glimpse into the mind and art of England's greatest novelist.« less