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  1. This is also known as Tom-All-Alone's and The Solitary House. Set in London in 1850 Charles Maddox is a private detective that has been asked to find out who is sending threatening letters to the VIP client of a lawyer named Edward Tulkinghorn. It seems simple enough but Charles wonders why he is being so very well paid for such a simple task and then (of course) wonders if there is more to it. He is already working on a case but badly needs the money so despite his own reservations he takes Tulkinghorn's case, and money. Naturally he uncovers a whole lot that he's not supposed to uncover and solves not only this case but also the one he was working on originally. This is beautifully written and researched and absolutely complicated to follow. In my opinon, if you choose to read this make sure that you have enough time to spend reading big chunks of it at a time in order to keep up. The author makes much of the fact that she based the story on Charles Dickens Bleak House, which I've read, and Wilkie Collins' Woman in White, which I haven't. I did not see the Dickens similarity but I've never been good at that type of thing. The story is amazing and believable, the characters are all believable and it takes in everything the reader would expect from Victorian London and then more. Very highly recommended.
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