Historical fiction is a bit hit or miss for me, but I can usually tell pretty quickly which it’s going to be. Detective stories, pretty much always a hit. This one had the benefit of being an alternate history about one of history’s most beloved writer, Mr. Charles Dickens.

About the Book

Death strikes England’s foremost novelist, his latest tale only half told. Was he murdered because someone feared a ruinous revelation? Or was it revenge for some past misdeed? Set in the Kent countryside and London slums of 1870, Immortalised to Death embeds an ingenious solution to Charles Dickens’s unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood within the evolving and ultimately tragic consequences of a broader mystery surrounding the author himself. Debut author Lyn Squire kicks off his fascinating Dunston Burnett Trilogy with legendary Victorian novelist Charles Dickens dead at his desk, pen still in hand. Convinced that the identity of Dickens’s murderer lies in the book’s missing denouement, Dickens’s nephew and unlikely detective Dunston Burnett sets out to complete his uncle’s half-finished novel. A stunning revelation crowns this tale about the mysterious death of England’s greatest novelist, and exposes the author’s long-held secret.

My Thoughts

I always love a historical fiction book that makes you wonder who was real and who wasn’t. I won’t spoil the surprise for you, because that wouldn’t be any fun! We don’t get to see the illustrious Mr. Dickens on the page, but we do see the aftermath of some of his choices – good or bad, I’ll let you be the judge! I’m not entirely sure whether those were true or not either, but I do know he was a man of a different time and more complex than we probably give him credit for. Ebeneezer Scrooge and Oliver Twist are vastly different characters that both came from his mind.

I really enjoyed the main character, Dunston Burnett, thrust into the world of detecting as a means of quietly solving Dickens’ death. Dickens’ is his “uncle,” and he and Dickens’ long-term caretaker would prefer the murder not get out and ruin his reputation. Unfortunately, Burnett discovers many more unsavory things along the way to the solution. And the twist at the end is nothing short of mind-blowing!

I’m no expert in the time period, but everything seemed appropriate to the period to me. Unfortunately, that means it is full of sexism, mistreatment of children, women, and lower classes, and all manner of other negatives of the time and place. The characters were well-written and crafty. I especially enjoyed a “downstairs” love-story subplot.

Because of the way the detective came to detecting, I’d almost consider this a cozy – but it has some very noir elements to it. So, I think I’d more consider it a cozy crossover. I’m so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me in this tour and providing such a lovely paperback copy!

Who’s It For?

If you love a good mystery with solid twists, you will love this one. If you also love a great new detective, surprisingly strong, independent women, and Charles Dickens, you’ll love it even more! Historical fiction fans will find a great deal to love within these pages, and both cozy and noir detective fans will eat the story up. It is a story of it’s time, so be sure to consider the context and potential content warnings before diving in.

Content Warnings: Murder, Child Abuse/Harm, Child Abandonment, Betrayal, Sexism, Racism, Classism,

Question of the Day

Do you have a favorite Dickens story?

About the Author

LYN SQUIRE was born in Cardiff, South Wales. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wales, his master’s at the London School of Economics and his doctorate at Cambridge University. Lyn is now an American citizen living in Virginia. During a twenty-five-year career at the World Bank, he published over thirty articles and several books within his area of expertise. Lyn also served as editor of the Middle East Development Journal for over a decade and was the founding president of the Global Development Network, an organization dedicated to supporting promising scholars from the developing world. An avid reader of whodunits, Lyn has reviewed scores of mysteries for the City Book Review (Sacramento, CA), and now devotes his time to writing his own stories. His debut novel, Immortalised to Death, introduces Dunston Burnett, a non-conventional amateur detective, whose adventures continue in Fatally Inferior and The Séance of Murder, the second and third books in The Dunston Burnett Trilogy.


Amazon US: https://a.co/d/0hoV7m1L
Bookshop US: https://bookshop.org/a/25511/9781685123581
Amazon UK: https://amzn.eu/d/00nVb8xw
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/174041856-immortalised-to-death
Author Website: lynsquiremysteries.com

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