3. Kept: A Victorian Mystery

Kept: A Victorian Mystery by D.J. Taylor

Pages: 463
Finished: Jan. 6, 2008
Reason for Reading: When I read the jacket blurb, I thought this would be just the kind of book I'd like. Chunkster Challenge
First Published: 2007
Genre: historical fiction, mystery
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

I will happily declare that there is no sight so harmonious to the eye or suggestive to the spirit as Highland scenery.

Comments: It is very hard to tell the plot of this book as there are many things going on. Two main stories run parallel throughout until they come together at the end. One being the mysterious mad woman kept under lock and key, the other follows a crooked lawyer who collects debts for his clients. There are also many side stories that intertwine these main stories. There is a maid who works in the house where the mad woman is kept, a young footman who falls under the spell of the crooked lawyer, an impoverished man whose wife is dying, the embarrassed landowner who would rather collect rare eggs than look after his property, the young man who seeks adventure in the wilds of Canada and so very many more.

This was a wonderful book that pays homage to the classic Victorian novel. There are literary allusions aplenty and many nods to authors such as Dickens and London. The huge ensemble of characters are skillfully woven through the pages and each in their own way, no matter how infinitesimal, plays a part in the grand scheme of the plot. A wonderful, engrossing novel with a very satisfying ending and highly recommended.


  1. Another blogger review this one recently and it caught my attention. I enjoyed reading your review, very much. This one is definitely going on my wish list!

  2. That does sound like a good book. Argh. I knew I couldn't stop adding books when I saw them.

  3. Every time I see this book I am tempted to get it! Hopefully one day I will!

  4. Hmmm. I may have to add this book to my ever-growing list.


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