privateeyejulyThroughout Private Eye July, the editors of BookPage share some of their favorite mysteries and thrillers.

mrtimothyA mystery starring Charles Dickens' pious Tiny Tim? Sounds like a gimmick. Yet Louis Bayard's first historical mystery is a suspenseful story filled with heart and pathos.

In Mr. Timothy, Tim is all grown up and, at 23, is looking for a way to prove his independence from the Cratchit family benefactor, Ebenezer Scrooge. A whorehouse madam hires him to teach her to read and write, and in the process, Tim stumbles upon a mystery. Someone in London is murdering young orphan girls, and Tim may be the only one who cares enough to find out why. With the help of two street urchins—one of whom is marked as the killer's next victim—and a one-armed man who makes a living retrieving bodies from the Thames, Tim sets out to find the killer.

Bayard manages to make his new characters as captivating as those he borrows from Dickens, while carefully layering in references to past events—some portrayed in The Christmas Carol, others from the years since—to reveal what has happened to the Cratchit family over the decades. And as Tim struggles with his complicated feelings for the father figures in his own life, he becomes one to the children under his care, adding yet another layer to the story. If you're looking for an emotionally complex, yet exciting, mystery—this is your book.

See what else is going on during Private Eye July!

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