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The Darwin Affair

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Get ready for one of the most inventive and entertaining novels of 2019—an edge-of-your-seat Victorian-era thriller, where the controversial publication On the Origin of Species sets off a string of unspeakable crimes.

London, June 1860: When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments later—and only a block away—Chie
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Algonquin Books
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  78 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
“There was a cry and the crack of a whip, and the black-and-gold carriage lurched into motion once again, making a wide arc and turning back toward the palace, its royal passengers seemingly safe after yet another assassination attempt. [Inspector] Field was running in roughly the same direction, back toward St. Albans, determined to find little Stevie and wrest from him a name, a face, a description…Stevie, however, as Charles Field, deep in his dark policeman’s heart already feared, was no lon ...more
Kirsten "Ghost Deserved Better"
Thanks to the good folks at Good Reads and Algonquin Books for sending me a free Advance Reading Copy of this book.

I really enjoyed this historical crime novel packed full to the brim with actual historical figures like Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, et al.

It also was really good at reflecting how dangerous religious fundamentalism is and how it is more than just non-Christians who practice it.

The villain was exceptionally evil. The detective had issues without
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in mid-nineteenth century London, this story revolves around an attempted assassination on Queen Victoria. Detective Inspector Charles Field is assigned to the case and quickly discovers a sinister conspiracy, involved high ranking officials and clergy, centered around Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species.
This is a highly entertaining read. Suspenseful, fast-paced and deft at mixing history with fiction. Even Charles Dickens makes an appearance, along with Mr. Darwin himself.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
To be reviewed over at Fresh Fiction!
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Do not begin reading this book on a Sunday night, if you intend to go to work on Monday.

Do not read this book late at night, if you are alone.

Do not read this book while catching on past seasons of PBS's "Victoria," unless you want to begin looking at all the actors with suspicion.

Do not open this book if you aren't prepared to set aside time to finish it, neglecting to eat and letting your tea go cold... because it is very, very difficult to put down, once begun!

Others have written that "The Da
Joan Happel
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This exciting debut novel by playwright Mason, is a welcome addition to historical thrillers. Set in Victorian England, the main character, Detective Charles Fields, is the basis Charles Dickens “Bucket”. He believes that there is a conspiracy to murder Prince Albert and must convince his superiors as well as the Prince. Traveling from the underbelly of London to the dons of Oxford and a dangerous trip across Europe with the Queen and Prince, Fields must nab the villain before it is too late.

Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
(2.5 stars) This reminds me greatly of a Penny Dreadful. It's historical fiction set in 1860. Many of the characters are actual historical figures, such as main character Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field of the Metropolitan Police (supposedly Charles Dickens' inspiration for his character Inspector Bucket, a fact we are never allowed to forget throughout the reading of this book). There are also various real secondary and incidental characters, such as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; Po ...more
Benjamin Thomas
London 1860. Charles Darwin has recently published his controversial treatise, “The Origin of Species” and not everybody is happy about that. In particular, a man going by the name of “The Chorister” is willing to do anything and everything to ensure Queen Victoria doesn’t buy into the theory of evolution. Prince Albert, being open to scientific advancements in both theory and practice, finds the ideas intriguing. Thus, The Chorister must eliminate any possibility of Albert influencing his wife ...more
Maine Colonial
I received a free publisher’s advance reviewing copy.

I finished this yesterday and I’m feeling more annoyed today that I spent time on it. As the book description says, an assassination attempt seemingly directed at Queen Victoria causes an investigation, led by Inspector Field, that “exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and the pursuit of a diabolical madman named the Chorister.”

The p
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a villain! Truly captivating story taking place in Victorian England.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm usually not a big fan of historical fiction outside of WWII stories, but this was a delicious literary thriller with a serial killer, a policeman in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, and appearances from Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, and many others! Darwin's ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES is cause for much disruption in this Victorian-era story. There are a ton of characters and a lot of scene switches, but the storytelling is electric.

It's a perfect mix of character-driven prose a
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book so much more than I thought I would! A young boy is taken, a murderer is on the loose, and someone tries to assassinate Queen Victoria. This takes place in the Victorian era and even has an appearance by Charles Darwin and his book On the Origin of Species, which has caused a massive uproar and connects the murders with a plot that goes across countries. If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes, you will enjoy this!
Angie Boyter
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vine
A clever, intelligent, mesmerizing Victorian thriller
See my Amazon review:

May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
When a madman attempts to shoot into the open carriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and misses, he is immediately captured, but no one believes him when he says he wasn’t shooting at the Queen. Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field is present as the Queen’s carriage drives approaches him just as he sees a petty thief he’s arrested before with something that looks to him like a gun. He calls out to the man and then accosts him. Then he hears shots fired further up the road and rushes th ...more
Mary Robinson
Very well researched and written, The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason tells a story of intrigue, science and religion centered on protecting Prince Albert from would-be assassins. Concerned with the spreading of Darwin's new theory of evolution, powerful men are plotting to keep the theory from spreading and perhaps upsetting the class system. Chief Detective of the London Police, Mr. Field, begins to see conspiracy in the attempted assassination, and murders of various street criminals, many of who ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Darwin Affair begins with assassination attempt on Queen Victoria and Albert, the Prince Consort. Those in power believe this to be the work of one mentally ill man. Detective Inspector Charles Field sees it otherwise. Field begins to piece together a puzzle that leads him to a connection with Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, and involves some of the most prominent and power men in the Empire.

A great read!! This story grabbed me from the beginning, and had me racing right along wi
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, library-bingo
After the attempted assassination of the Queen followed by the murder of a young street criminal London’s detective, Mr. Field, is determined to find the killer, or killers. Meanwhile, a group of well-known men from England’s upper and professional classes gather secretly to plot an end to the praise of Charles Darwin’s theories, which have become renowned after the publication of On the Origin of Species , and not to mention admired by Prince Albert. The villain, Decimus Cobb, is a meticulous k ...more
Kim McGee
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Charles Darwin came forward with his revolutionary ideas about evolution, his critics were many and some of them were not just outspoken but deadly serious that they wanted him gone. These were the dangerous men and they are the ones that Chief Inspector Charles Field needs to find and stop. All the main players are here- Charles Darwin, Queen Victoria and her Darwin supporter husband Albert, even the elusive Charles Dickens. Inspector Fields has his hands full trying to stop a fiendish ser ...more
Rhiannon Johnson
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

**review to come**
Ronald Roseborough
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The Darwin Affair is a non stop action book. It starts with an attempt on the life of Queen Victoria in London. Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field is called on the carpet for his failure to adequately protect her majesty. He turns his embarrassment into a relentless search for the person or persons responsible. Little does he know that his search will stretch from the lowest gutters of London, across Europe into the highest levels of her majesty’s government. It seems incredulous, but could
Marie Aitchison
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This story had a lot of promise but I struggled to really get into it and found myself losing interest. Fans of books like The Alienist may enjoy this read. Although it wasn’t a favorite, I still found it interesting and liked that the author had a star-studded historical cast for this fictional detective story.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Inspector Charles Field has risen through the ranks by solving some of the most notorious murders of his day. “And then he’d been discovered by the wide-ranging novelist and commentator on London life, Charles Dickens.” Dickens had followed the inspector and “recorded Field’s interactions with the rogues and criminals he encountered. Dicken’s ‘On Duty with Inspector Field,’ published in Household Words in 1851, created a sensation.”

There is an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria. And afterwa
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Very interesting read and the amount of research that had to go into this book is almost staggering. The plot and the mystery in this a really well done, although I must say there was a lot of it and the pacing was a little jumpy for me with the chapters all being alternating subsets of the plot. I also had a hard time staying in the story with the dialects of each character being true to their class and the time period. It can be hard to read and pulled me out of the story line to re-read a lit ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this from Goodreads. This book takes place in London 1860 and Queen Victoria is in danger. Chiel Inspector Fields has to find who tired to kill her but also there is a conspiracy regarding the publication of The Origin of Species. I enjoyed reading this.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, vine
Thank you to Amazon Vine for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason is a true page turner! I made the mistake of picking it up to read at 3:00 in the morning when I woke and couldn’t get back to sleep, and I ended up staying awake the rest of the night to finish it. It is chock full of characters we know from history such as Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Thomas Huxley, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.

The Chief of Detectives, Inspector Fi
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating page--turning mystery featuring Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and many other historical figures. Many of the events taken from historical events. I look forward to future books from this talented author!
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
In “The Darwin Affair” author Tim Mason brings together historical fiction, mystery, action suspense, and modern commentary. I found the interaction of real life characters like Charles Dickens with one of his supposed muses ( especially in answering the question: how does the real life detective live his life while seen by the reading public as a popular character?).

My major problem with this story is the presence of the all powerful villain. I find it hard to appreciate the story telling and
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are a number of mysteries set in the Victorian with a tenacious detective chasing down an elusive killer. Writers like Ann Perry and Caleb Carr created dozens of such books. This book is a successful entry into the genre.

Detective Inspector Field thinks he spots a teenager raising a gun to shoot at Queen Victoria as she rides in procession. After chasing him down, he discovers that the youth was a decoy, and a shot was taken by another, though it missed the Queen. This is one of the many m
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cannot rate this book high enough, just a really great story, well told with fascinating and complex characters. Darwin. Dicken's, Reverend Wilberforce, Victoria and Albert, and Dectective Fields or as Dicken's called him "Inspector Bucket". Who is killing people in London and cutting off their ears? Is it related to Charles Darwin and his new theory of evolution or is it somehow connected to Prince Albert or even the Queen? All Detective Bucket knows is that there is evil loose in London with s ...more Historical Fiction
A clever historical thriller, THE DARWIN AFFAIR opens on the streets of London as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are proceeding in a carriage toward the christening of a new public bath. All appears normal when shots ring out. Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field --- on whom Charles Dickens, of the day, fashioned his detective Bucket --- immediately runs after the fleeing culprit. As he rounds a corner, he discovers a dead man. The policeman correctly interprets the scene, but others do not ...more
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