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The Darwin Affair

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  6,388 ratings  ·  972 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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Marilyn I prefer CLEAN reading and don't recall foul language, but there are a couple cringe worthy bits of gore, i.e.: surgery, cutting off of ears, but not …moreI prefer CLEAN reading and don't recall foul language, but there are a couple cringe worthy bits of gore, i.e.: surgery, cutting off of ears, but not offensive.(less)

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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  6,388 ratings  ·  972 reviews

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Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

The Darwin Affair is a gruesome historical thriller about a murder conspiracy fueled by the sensationalism of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

1860, London: When an attempt is made on the life of Queen Victoria, Chief Detective Charles Field puts the pieces together to determine why the Queen is being targeted. He quickly realizes that is not the Queen who is being targeted, but rather her husband, Prince Albert--all because he champions Charles Darwin.  

There are many prominent i
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
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Tim Mason’s debut novel has all the ingredients for a success. The piece of historical fiction mixes the Victorian Era with the battle over creation versus evolution, peppering in a spree of heinous crimes that shock the general public. Wonderfully executed, Mason is sure to make waves should he have more ideas to share in the coming years. The year is 1860 and Detective Inspector Charles Field has a plum job with the Metropolitan Police, protecting Her Majesty Queen Victoria at a time when many ...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
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
London, 1860. Inspector Charles Field is convinced that the attempted assassination of Queen Victoria is part of a plot. He's not convinced that she was the intended target and that a killer is still out there hiding and planning something. He also suspects that there could be high ranking people behind it all. His investigation leads straight to the publication of Charles Darwin's very controversial On the Origin of Species. Could this book be behind it all, and why? Why would someone kill beca ...more
Human Nature being what it is......

In this case, far less human and more going against Nature.

Tim Mason has quite the intriguing mystery here. He's set the carriage wheels rolling into June of 1860 in London. Her Majesty Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are traveling through the streets as the crowd pushes to get a better view of the royal couple. But someone else within this mob of people wants to keep them in his site. A shot rings out and Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field takes off afte
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
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Very Victorian Mystery

The characters in this book include Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Charles Dickens. Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field interacts with them all. Dickens even has a character in one of his books, Mr Bucket, that everyone identifies as Chief Detective Inspector Fields.

The story begins with an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria, but is Queen Victoria the intended target? There's a possibility that Prince Albert who is in the carriage wi
Bam cooks the books ;-)
#Big-Library-Read for August, 2020

I'm really glad librarians across the country chose this mystery for our latest shared ebook read; otherwise, it may never have come to my attention. Set in Victorian England in 1860, the story involves a plot to assassinate Queen Victoria...or is someone else in the court the real target? Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field of the Metropolitan Police thinks there's a conspiracy afoot as he and his men follow the trail of clues to find a diabolical killer wh
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, x2019-read
3.5 stars. I liked the historical details of the setting, and the idea of a nobility-based conspiracy amongst various gentry i’ve read about in other contexts. Main character and police detective Charles Field is dogged, while the serial killer is creepy as all heck and scary. I also liked the way the author illustrated how controversial and explosive Charles Darwin’s theory was to those who had a vested interest in a more simplistic or religious view of life.
I did, however, have some trouble ke
I'm joining the Big Library Read and have read this. . . not my usual fare - toooooooo much killing just cuz. . .

However, the time period, the historical celebs featured and the twist on commonly held theories makes this a very interesting read. That's about all from me since the Big Library Read is in progress. There is a lot going on, and with all the slashing and blood splashing about, I have a tendency to get a little lost in the narrative. But pulling myself up on top of the maze from time
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.

Shaun Hutchinson
This book proves that even queer writers bury their gays.
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.
Paula Lyle
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is a big mess of a novel with real historical figures doing stupid and ridiculous things because of a made-up villain. The beginning is really more about sadism and child abuse than anything else, and it is described in detail again and again. When even American Typhoid Mary enters the plot, the book officially jumps the shark. This really is not a pleasant read, my advice is to skip it.

I received an eARC from NetGalley.
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
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
There is scant historical record of the actions taken by a small body of like-minded men in response to the message in the courier’s valise. Rumors circulated here and there for a time among members of the court of Victoria, at Oxford, and within the Metropolitan Police, whispers of a bizarre series of murders and one man’s dogged pursuit of a killer. Perhaps the stories merely faded with time; perhaps they were suppressed. But history is crystal clear on one point at least: Charles Darwin never ...more
Was offered by the library as ebook for the Great Read. Check your library website. I highly recommend it. Exciting, imaginative, full of historical characters and context.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m surprised by the mixed reviews. I thought this was a fantastic book! Mason does an amazing job of weaving together the real-world lives of so many historical figures (including Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Darwin, Huxley, Hooker, Owen, Wilberforce et al.) with a page-turning super-creepy, multi-murder mystery thriller. Wow, I could not put this one down. Also, I'm extremely fussy about writing quality and I thought this was excellent.

A couple of favorite passages:

“I often examine that exq
Aug 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Maybe I am not being fair, but after three attempts of getting into the story I put it aside, never finishing it . I agree with the Maine Colonial reviewer that I expected a Carr and did not find it.
It was heavily promoted on my library site, that is why I borrowed it, but there are so many books out there waiting, that I am careful to which book I allocate my limited time.
I do love the title though!
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: who-dunnit
3.75* rounded up because it was entertaining......

This book was a recent ‘The Big Library Read’ at’s setting, and reference to Dickens caught my eye.....

Queen Victoria’s life has been threatened by assassination attempts, and Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field and his team have been tasked with providing protection, and hunting down the would be killers.
The detective takes action, but finds himself with not only a savagely murdered body on his hands, but also a mystery which
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5* Victorian England and there's a conspiracy afoot to assassinate Queen Victoria. But, is she really the target? This book is the featured read for our public library's "Big Library Read". Not sure how many libraries worldwide are included, but it sounds like an interesting book, so I checked the book out. It's fiction but populated with historical figures that we are familiar with. There's Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and Charles Darwin, whose theories of evolution caused such kerfuffle. T ...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 Mystery & Thriller
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
Mike Ryan
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
About one hour into my Audible listen, I started wishing I had chosen the Kindle version to read instead. The character development is so precise, the locations are so compelling and the story unfolds at such a hearty clip. This is one of my favorite books this year. How can you possibly turn down a murder-mystery set against a historical backdrop and featuring such bigger-than-life characters as Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Charles Darwin. There is a also a terrifying vill ...more
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
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the story, the characters, and the writing although the book felt a bit long. Historical references to Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Thomas Huxley, and more play a big part. It seems that the main character, Chief Inspector Fields, was also based on a real person. Fields was the inspiration for Dickens' character Inspector Bucket in the novel Bleak House and this information comes up quite a bit in The Darwin Affair. I'd enjoy another book about Chief Insp ...more
I am not a fan of group readings (reading clubs) so when this title was a suggested group title, I hesitated. I read the description and decided I would give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. I did not know the name of the author TIM MASON. I did know of his one major Broadway show about Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. THE DARWIN AFFAIR is his first adult novel. I sincerely hope it is not his last.

As the title implies, Charles Darwin and his famous work, ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES, is at the heart and so
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Port Colborne Pub...: Big Library Read: The Darwin Affair 1 15 Jul 29, 2020 09:43AM  
Salkum Timberland...: August 2020- The Darwin Affair 1 5 Jul 09, 2020 04:51PM  
Play Book Tag: The Darwin Affair, by Tim Mason, 4 stars 4 14 Aug 01, 2019 01:49PM  

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