The Darwin Affair

Available Now

from Algonquin Books

Get ready for one of the most inventive and entertaining novels of 2019—an edge-of-your-seat Victorian-era thriller, where the controversial publication of On the Origin of Species sets off a string of unspeakable crimes.

Available wherever books or e-books are sold.


ondon, circa 1860. A botched assassination attempt against the royal family.  A madman on the loose.  And a police detective made famous by Charles Dickens.

When Inspector Charles Field (based on the real London policeman immortalized by Dickens as Inspector Bucket in Bleak House) sets out to find who was behind the failed attempt against Queen Victoria’s life, he comes to believe the plot may have originated with ranking members of the Church of England, the scientific establishment, and highly-placed representatives of the  Empire.

Many were alarmed because the Queen had chosen to offer a knighthood to Charles Darwin, author of the newly published – and very controversial – On the Origin of Species, widely viewed as antichurch, anti-Empire, and an act of heresy. That Darwin was indeed on a list of men to be knighted by Queen Victoria is a recorded fact.  History also shows that it was an honor he would never receive.

In this fast-paced Victorian thriller, debut novelist Tim Mason unfurls a gripping, richly atmospheric tale. Beginning with the murder of a small-time underworld figure in London—followed by the kidnapping of a butcher’s boy, the death of a divinity student from Oxford, the discovery of a ring of body snatchers, and a royal visit to Bavaria that turns deadly—and ending with a spectacular London fire, Inspector Field suffers wounds to his body and blows to his ego.  Nothing, however, stops his pursuit of a psychotic surgeon known as The Chorister. The Chorister, for very personal reasons, is not only intent on attacking Darwin, but also making sure his theories of evolution die with him.


Hardcover, 384 pages

ISBN 9781616206345

E-book ISBN 9781616209469

Where to Buy

The Darwin Affair is available wherever books and e-books are sold.

Rich in period color and detail, and with many twists and turns to its plot, The Darwin Affair combines historical fact with vividly realized fiction to create an immersive reading experience that will captivate fans of such writers as Matthew Pearl and Alan Furst.

Available Now from Algonquin Books

“…a fast-paced historical mystery…”

“With many grisly murders and many shocking surprises along the way, the book rockets toward a last dark twist. Careful research, a driving plot, wry wit, and compelling characters make this a most entertaining read.”

– Kirkus Reviews