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Deadly Vices: Blackmail, murder and sin in Victorian London [Kindle Edition]

Michael Allen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

London, 1867: a place where the cream of society live outwardly respectable lives, but in private often have much to hide.

Algernon Swinburne (a portrait drawn from real life) is a famous and successful poet – and he’s also about to become a detective! When one of his former school friends is stabbed to death, Algernon is determined to bring the murderer to justice.

Algernon’s investigation involves him with both the Society for the Suppression of Vice and a member of the royal family: a most unhappy mixture. He also uncovers a record of blackmail, murder and sin in high places.

Here is what the critics have had to say about Michael Allen’s previous crime fiction: ‘A true blue murder master.’ Time.
‘Solidly constructed.’ New York Times Book Review.
‘A thrill-a-page plot.’ Booklist.
‘In the Top Ten of crimewriters.’ The Bookseller.

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More About the Author

Michael Allen is best known for writing popular mainstream fiction, and he's been doing it successfully for more years than he cares to remember. (Actually his first novel was published in 1963.) Here are some quotes from reviews of his work:

'Absolutely first class' The Bookseller
'Solidly constructed' New York Times Book Review
'A pleasing narrative style' Daily Mail
'Beguiling entertainment' Kirkus Reviews
'Don't miss it' The Observer

These days, Michael publishes all his new work in Kindle format. Much of his earlier work is now out of print, and some of the printed books listed on Amazon are only available secondhand; but most of this earlier output will gradually be republished in Kindle versions. In addition, there are some brand-new publications, listed on Amazon Kindle for the first time anywhere. To take a look at Michael's output and see what appeals to you, click on the Kindle category below and scroll down.

Michael Allen is also known for his practical books for writers:

How to Write a Short Story that Works
The Truth about Writing
On the Survival of Rats in the Slush Pile

From 2004-07, Michael wrote a daily blog, the Grumpy Old Bookman. Still available online, this contains over one million words of essays, book reviews, and useful information for writers. Michael has recently reopened the blog for occasional reviews, news, and opinion pieces.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really amusing book 20 July 2013
By Pamela
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this in one sitting! I hadn't intended to do that but I couldn't put it down. I found the historical setting interesting. and believable, the characters fascinating and amusing. There is a quiet wit about this book which made me laugh out loud at times. The subject matter was realistically described but not in a prurient manner. I thoroughly recommend it, I will looking for more of Michael Allen's work.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It starts off in an almost PG Wodehouse frame of mind, with mildly entertaining characters and events. Half way through there is a brutal, quite graphic murder, somewhat at odds with the storyline. Then it becomes a kind of murder mystery / revenge.

There seem to be several quite god ideas bumbling around in the book, but not a very coherent whole.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 24 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating. We'll written
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deadly Vices 25 April 2014
By Rolyn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In 1867 it was illegal to be in possession of pornographic material. Many of the men in high society owned it anyway. Mrs. Addams made a tidy profit off of the sale of her special offerings. When one of her go-between people is found dead in an alley, poet and school mate Algernon Swinburne uses his access to society to solve the murder.
4.0 out of 5 stars An apt title 10 July 2014
By Leapin' Literary Lurkers - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a nice surprise to encounter this book (& author, about whom I knew nothing).

Modeled after a tried and true British style with a soupçon of kinkiness thrown into the mix, I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book until things took a more serious turn.

It was difficult to assess where the story was heading since it meandered --- the reader got a bit of he did this, she did that amidst some naughtiness and rough language. Part of the topic also involved pornography, sexual proclivities, unpleasant behavior and the need to protect the sensibilities of womenfolk from exposure to any of the aforementioned. (My how times have changed :-)

None of these issues struck me as unseemly, but very sensitive readers might take note. Mrs. Addams truly was one of the foulest characters I have encountered in a long time.

What was most unexpected was the inclusion of at least three actual persons: poet Algernon Swinburne, Lady Trevelyan and Theodore Watts-Dunton who were incorporated as characters in the novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read! 31 Oct. 2014
By Videogrl - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are many books I can't even finish but I enjoyed this one till the very end! I was transported to another time and I think the author nailed the sentiment and lifestyle of the era.
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