Tom-All-Alone’s by Lynn Shepherd #FridayBookShare


#FridayBookShare is a game created by Shelley Wilson to help search for an ideal read.

Anyone can have a go – all you need to do is answer the following questions based on the book you are currently reading/finished reading this week and use the hashtag #FridayBookShare

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.

Tom-All-Alone’s by Lynn Shepherd  contains the ingredients I love to find in a book; well-researched history, a touch of mystery, literary quality and a special twist.

First Line   The young man at the desk puts down his pen and sits back in his chair.  The fog has been thickening all afternoon, and whatever sun might once have shone is now sinking fast.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb

The story of Tom-All-Alone’s takes place in the ‘space between’ two masterpieces of mid-Victorian fiction: Bleak House and The Woman in White – overlapping with them, and re-imagining them for a contemporary reader, with a modern understanding of the grimmer realities of Victorian society. Charles Maddox, dismissed from the police force, is working as a private detective and can only hope to follow in his uncle’s formidable footsteps as an eminent thief-taker. On a cold and bright Autumn morning, a policeman calls on Charles at his lodgings with information that may be related to a case he is working on. He goes to a ruined cemetery to find a shallow grave containing the remains of four babies has been discovered. After examining them he concludes they are not related to his investigation, which is to find a young girl abandoned in a workhouse 16 years before, when her mother died. But all is not as it first appears. As he’s drawn into another case at the behest of the eminent but feared lawyer, Edward Tulkinghorn, London’s sinister underbelly begins to emerge. From the first gruesome murder, Charles has a race against time to establish the root of all evil. Tom’s-All-Alone is ‘Dickens but darker’ – without the comedy, without the caricature, and a style all its own. The novel explores a dark underside of Victorian life that Dickens and Collins hinted at – a world in which young women are sexually abused, unwanted babies summarily disposed of, and those that discover the grim secrets of great men brutally eliminated.

Introduce the main character – Charles believes in justice and cares for those who suffer but he is sometimes thoughtless and careless.

Delightful Design


Audience appeal  A lover of Dickens’ London who would like to see deeper into the sort of characters you might find in Bleak House.

Your Favourite Scene

“As you will recall from your own days in the Detective’ when a certain person has been seen more than once at the scene of the crime, when that person has, indeed, been heard arguing with the victim- even, perhaps, threatening him- a threat witnessed by a most unimpeachable source- then it’s in the natural way of things that I should seek out that person and bring him in for questioning.  So, young Charles, am I to call in assistance or is the deed done?”

Charles stares at him for a long moment, as if weighing his options.  “There’s no need for that. If I have to come I’ll come quietly.”

“All the same,” says Bucket affably, “this is a very serious charge, Charles, and I have a preference to do such things by the book.”

He takes a pair of cuffs from his pocket and stands, holding them, waiting.  Charles stares back angrily but says nothing, and eventually holds out his hands in silence.

It is mercifully a very short way to Bow Street, so it is barely half an hour later that Charles finds himself in an underground cell, the iron-bound door of which he knows only too well, even if this is the first time he has seen it from the inside.

If you want to join in, then answer the F.R.I.D.A.Y questions and use the Friday Book Share meme. Tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72) in, so she can read what you have added, too.

Published by lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

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