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The Infernal Riddle of Thomas Peach

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529347357

Price: £25

ON SALE: 12th August 2021

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

A masterful novel of necromancy, secrets, and a world on the brink of the modern age…

The year is 1785, and Thomas Peach, a gentleman of modest means, moves to a small village in the West Country, bringing with him a steamer chest of clothes, some books – and, apparently, his wife, Mrs Peach, who quickly becomes a source of fascination and suspicion to the villagers. Why is she never seen abroad? Why does Mr Peach refuse entry to her bedroom to their maidservant, who is unable to detect even a whisper of breath at Mrs Peach’s door, try as she might? Does Mrs Peach even exist? And if so, is she the victim of her husband’s cruelty?

A liberal and free thinker, Mr Peach is a member of a society of learned men in Bristol, one of whom is guardian of a young woman believed to be possessed by a demon. Mr Peach disagrees with this opinion, but suspicion only grows when the woman in question – whose mouth and lips are stained inexplicably black – escapes from her patron and causes panic in the countryside. Soon she is living under Mr Peach’s protection. But he himself is in danger; someone – or something – has followed him from his former life in London. Thomas Peach has enumerable secrets – and one of them might just prove deadly.

(P) 2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Reviews

An extraordinary novel . . . a tour de force
Andrew Taylor
Treadwell's book is a magnificent pastiche of 18th-century fiction
The Sunday Times
Tristram Shandy meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in a novel that addresses dark disturbing themes with tremendous wit, charm and elegance
Daily Express and Daily Mirror
Part historical pastiche, part gothic horror, this is an ambitious and stylistically bold 18th-century adventure with shades of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
SFX
This novel is a virtuoso performance . . . he must be heartily congratulated both for performing an extraordinary feat of literary ventriloquism and also for reminding us what historical fiction does best: create an entirely convincing vanished world while also using that world as a lens through which to view the present day
Guardian