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Mr. Timothy: A Novel by Louis Bayard
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Mr. Timothy: A Novel (edition 2004)

by Louis Bayard

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6722814,252 (3.7)94
Member:lkernagh
Title:Mr. Timothy: A Novel
Authors:Louis Bayard
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:12 in 12 Challenge, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Historical Fiction, Mystery, London, Victorian Era, Suspense, Murder, Read in 2012, 12 in 12 Challenge

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Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard

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» See also 94 mentions

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Finished in 2013 ( )
  ACrain | Jul 15, 2014 |
Mr. Timothy is Tiny Tim, all grown up and not doing very well. Due to Uncle N's interest in the Cratchits all those years ago, Timothy's leg is mostly healed, but the recent death of his father haunts Tim as he wanders the squalid streets of London. In exchange for giving the madame reading lessons, he takes a room in a brothel and tries to find something to do with himself. With so much time to walk he seems to be the only one to notice that little girls are turning up dead in the street, and they've been branded.

A good story using loved characters from Dicken's A Christmas Carol in a very different way. Normally I would scrunch my nose at something like that, but the writing is very good and the story is equally interesting, though the crimes committed are horrible. There were a few scenes that read like an action script, specifically towards the end, but that's not bad. ( )
  mstrust | Dec 13, 2013 |
Slow to pick up speed, but is well written in the Dickensian style and three dimensional characters that make it easy for you root to for. ( )
  lara.elio | Apr 8, 2013 |
Having read Louis Bayard's The Black Tower a few years back - and being completely captivated by the story - I figured now was a good time to see how Bayard manages to breath adult life into "Tiny Tim" from Dicken's A Christmas Carol.

As far as historical mystery fictions go, this one is a gem of a story. 1860 London, England and its people come to life under Bayard's pen. Timothy is an intriguing character and I do like how Bayard has given Timothy ghosts of his own to face, chase through passageways and mentally write letters to. The plot is intricate, and rolls along at a fast pace with some hair-raising moments. To add to the fun, Bayard inserts one or two surprises for the reader, and yes, Ebenezer Scrooge - "Uncle N" - is here, reprising his role from Dicken's famous story. As Uncle N says to Timothy, when discussing the topic of ghosts: "I used to see spirits, too, Tim. Terrible things. How I miss them."

Overall, a very good story I would recommend for readers of historical mysteries that enjoy books set in Victorian London. ( )
  lkernagh | Dec 31, 2012 |
I enjoyed this for the same reasons I enjoy a lot of Bayard's books--language, plot, a twist on historic events, or in this case, on fictional historic events. It's not that profound, nor necessarily even believable, but it's a lot of fun. ( )
  randalrh | Nov 22, 2012 |
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I am not so Tiny any more, that's a fact. Nearly five-eight, last I was measured, and closing in on eleven stone.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060534222, Paperback)

Tiny Tim is back! No, not the squeaky-voiced troubadour who tip-toed through tulips in the 1960s, but the original--Timothy Cratchit, the crutch-wielding tyke from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Only now he's a "mostly able-bodied" 23 years old, resides in a London whorehouse in exchange for tutoring the madam, struggles to wean himself from financial dependence on his ancient "Uncle" Ebenezer Scrooge, and, as we learn in Louis Bayard's darkly enchanting historical thriller, Mr. Timothy, is haunted by the spirit of his late father--a man whose optimism and strength the son feels himself incapable of imitating.

When we first encounter Timothy, during the Christmas season of 1860, he's vexed by the discovery of two dead 10-year-old girls, each branded with the letter "G"--one found in an alley, the other fished from the Thames River by Cratchit and a voluble old salt who makes his money by finding (and then robbing, of course) errant corpses. Timothy's concern leads him to protect a third possessively marked waif, the frightened and suspicious Philomela--who, he soon realizes, is being sought by a knife-loving former Scotland Yard inspector and a moneyed, malevolent voluptuary. When, despite precautions, Philomela is kidnapped by her pursuers, Cratchit--assisted by a shrewd warbling urchin known as Colin the Melodious--resolves to fulfill his "great calling" in life by mounting a rescue. However, this mission will force the habitually uncourageous Timothy to not only defend himself against sexual molestation charges, storm a well-guarded mansion, and solve the puzzle of a coffin-filled basement, but also engage in a nightmarish final chase along London's docklands.

Authors employing real-life characters as detectives are often hampered by their adherence to historical fact. Bayard suffers no such limitations in imagining what fates awaited Dickens's now-famous fictional figures. Under his pen, Scrooge--whose rooms are decorated for Christmas year-round--becomes an eccentric collector of fungi and host to an interminable stream of charity solicitors, while Timothy Cratchit strikes out beyond his lonely young man status to become the head of an unconventional clan. Bayard's appreciation for the lurid exoticness of Victorian London rivals that of John MacLachlan Gray (The Fiend in Human), while his lyrical prose subtly suggests 19th-century influences. Mr. Timothy is at once a compelling Christmas crime yarn and an audacious literary endeavor. No humbug there. --J. Kingston Pierce

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Seeking to gain independence from his benefactor, Ebenezer Scrooge, Timothy Cratchit loses himself in the underworld of 1860s London, where the discovery of two murdered girls prompts him to protect a third would-be victim.

(summary from another edition)

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