Deadly Vices: A Novel of Crime and Intrigue in 19th Century London

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Categories: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Crime
Publisher: Renaissance E Books/PageTurner | Date published: 01/01/2004

Description


Historical Mystery Featuring Algernon Swinburn. It's London, 1867, where Algernon Swinburne is a celebrated poet and dandy--he's also about to become a detective! Algernon's old college chum, Reginald Simpson lives the carefree life of a man about town. Unfortunately this life had led Reginald's wealthy parents to disown him. Forced to earn a living by his wits, Reginald has turned to smuggling valuable pornographic books into England at the behest of the Mrs. Addams, a shady bookdealer who blackmails the widows of her wealthy clients. When a titled collector of rare erotica, Lord Dinnister, passes away a destitute Simpson sees the opportunity for doing a bit of chiseling himself, and spills Mrs. Adam's plot to Theodore Watts-Dunton, attorney for the widow for a price. Soon Simpson is found stabbed. But by whom? That's what Algernon Swinburne wants to know. The police attribute it to one of Reginald's numerous lovers, and figuring he got no more than he deserved, put little effort into finding the killer. It's an investigation that leads him to Lady Dinnister, Watts-Dunton, her attorney, Mrs. Adams, various members of the oh-so hypocritical Society for the Suppression of Vice, and even a member of the royal family. Soon a battle-of-wits develops between Swinburne and the killer--one in which the poet slowly comes to realize he may be more than out matched. Patrick Read's new novel finds a master of suspense fiction in top form: he shows us the reality which lay behind the respectable veneer of Victorian England.