A superb retelling of the Jane Austen novel in which the house at Mansfield Park becomes the scene of one murder after another. Here is a new and surprising Fanny Price: forthright, ambitious, scheming and downright untrustworthy. What could possibly happen to a character like that? And how will the fortunes of the inhabitants of Mansfield Park be changed with the discovery of a dead body early one morning...?
I write what I like to call 'literary mysteries'. In other words one part literary fiction to one part mystery, and each time inspired either by a classic book, or - in the case of my new novel - the lives of famous literary figures.
I started with Murder at Mansfield Park, which was 'Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie', then I moved to Charles Dickens with Tom-All-Alone's (UK)/The Solitary House (North America). That was inspired by Bleak House as my birthday present on his bicentenary.
My latest book takes as its inspiration the dark and tangled lives of the Shelleys - the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who drowned at the age of 29, and his wife Mary, the author of Frankenstein. Their history is one of love and death, of secrets and betrayal, but it is also one full of strange silences and inexplicable gaps. My novel is an attempt to weave a story that can explain those silences. It's called A Treacherous Likeness in the UK, and A Fatal Likeness in the US.
I can't remember who it was who said you should write the sort of books you enjoy reading, but they were right - both my books combine my two great literary loves: classic English novels, and good detective fiction. I studied English at university (and have a doctorate in it too).
My other loves include cats (I have two), the English countryside (which I'm lucky enough to live in), Renaissance art (which I'm sadly not lucky enough to own), Palladian architecture, and America's finest police shows (Law & Order, Without a Trace, need I go on). Pet hates include wasps, monkeys, The Simpsons (just can't deal with the yellow faces), and the lazy use of the word "solutions" (I write for businesses as my day job, so that's the corporate copywriter creeping in).
My Twitter ID is @Lynn_Shepherd, and my website is www.lynn-shepherd.com.