Detective and Mr. Dickens

“In Victorian London, Charles Dickens and his protégé, author Wilkie Collins, make the acquaintance of the shrewdest mind either would ever encounter: Inspector William Field of the newly formed Metropolitan Protectives. A gentleman’s brutal murder brings the three men together in an extraordinary investigation that leads Dickens to the beautiful young actress Ellen Ternan, who would become the love of his life but who now stands accused of murder”

Reminding me of Sherlock Holmes, this was written in the form of a journal of sorts by Dickens’ sidekick, Wilkie Collins. I love how it mixed fact, fiction, and a murder mystery all in one delightful story that was a gentle reminder of the horror that was 1850’s London.

Dickens meets Inspector Field at a ghoulish hanging and is immediately drawn to learning more about what it means to be a detective. Eventually the right case for him to tag along on comes and Dickens and companion, Wilkie find themselves exposed to all sorts of things that gentleman are not usually. Read: Brothels, Victorian pornography, prostitution and in general the lowest class of the slums of London.

If you are a fan of Dickens or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is a very pleasing read. My only complaint is that the copy I read was done in really small type. I don’t wear glasses, but this was tiny even for me!

The Detective and Mr. Dickens by William J. Palmer

Publisher: Fawcett; First Thus edition (September 23, 1992)

ISBN-10: 0345374711

ISBN-13: 978-0345374714