Andrew Taylor

Crime and Historical Novelist

Selected Reviews



"The descriptive writing is of a high order and, though the novel is told in the first person, this voice never becomes stylised or dull... An ear for pithy aphorism also adds texture to the almost relentlessly invigorating pace of the story... Taylor... has transcended any limitations of genre in this novel, for it is a wonderful book, richly composed and beautifully written, an enthralling read from start to finish." Andrew Rosenheim, The Times

"successful and subtle... Taylor has used the great master of the bizarre as both starting and finishing point, but in between created a period piece with its own unique voice. The result should satisfy those drawn to the fictions of the nineteenth century, or Poe, or indeed to crime writing at its most creative." Michael Carlson, The Spectator

"this engrossing novel... Like Poe's fiction, Taylor's beguiling story and atmospheric evocation of Regency London and the winter landscapes of Gloucestershire cry out for a wingback chair by a blazing fire. Hugely entertaining." Peter Guttridge, Observer

"Andrew Taylor has produced a novel that recalls Wilkie Collins, a book that sounds like an original but contains all the candour and purpose of a contemporary thriller... a most artful and delightful book, that will both amuse and chill, and it will have you desperate to search out a quiet corner in which to continue your acquaintance with it."Will Cohu, Daily Telegraph

"He has created his own Gothic world... he explores areas of feeling formerly forbidden, sensitivities and sexual feelings that Dickens and Collins could not commit to print, while building a solid world of coals, carriages and smelly sickrooms... Taylor's deeply absorbing and beautifully written book is a fitting tribute to the founding father of crime fiction." Jane Jakeman, Independent

"an enticicing work of fiction... Taylor takes account of both a Georgian formality and a pre-Victorian laxity in social and sexual matters; he is adept at historical re-creation, and allows a heady decor to work in his favour.." Patricia Craig, Times Literary Supplement

"The American Boy... manages to sustain plausibility of voice, veracity of detail, and credibilitiy of incident for 400-odd pages of first-person narrative. No mean feat... Taylor has a gift for grand guignol and grotesquerie." Independent on Sunday

"Richly Gothic in atmosphere, with a wonderfully complex plot... this novel has the literary values that should take it to the top of the lists." Scotland on Sunday

"Sumptuous, near edible account of Regency rogues...[with] a plot stuffed with incident and character, with period details impeccably rendered...richly, elegantly written" Philip Oakes, Literary Review

Andrew Taylor's superb The American Boy... a masterly Gothic thriller" The year's best historical books - Independent

"Andrew Taylor's magnificent The American Boy... is the perfect book to read under the blanket on the sofa while the days are short" The year's best thrillers - Daily Telegraph

Without question, the best book of 2003, and possibly the best book of the decade, is Andrew Taylor's historical masterpiece, The American Boy ... a truly captivating novel, rich with the sounds, smells, and cadences of nineteenth-century England." Manda Scott, The books of the year - Glasgow Herald

"Absolutely unputdownable. It has a very strong narrative with a mystery plot whose successive surprises are brilliantly handled. It is a superb evocation of the period and the author has real insight into the mores, language, and conventions of the age - which is

North American Reviews
"A cunning facsimile of a 19th-century Gothic melodrama"
Marilyn Stasio, New York Times

"...a grand historical setting, brilliantly drawn characters and a plot so devious I found myself believing it was true... The novel can be compared to An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears, but it's better... a gorgeously realised, irresistible novel." Margaret Cannon, Toronto Globe and Mail

"Brilliantly intricate.. A stunning mystery: intelligent, ambitious in its construction, moving and, as befits its Poe-ish origins, genuinely frightening... creates its own vividly unsettling world." Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post

"A remarkable thriller, elegantly written... a book that creates its own atmosphere with opening to any page - a work of superlative fiction." Brian Richard Boylan, Denver Post

"A labyrinthine mystery... Taylor, a master of period speech and manners, stages each of his hero's missteps and reversals with perfect timing." Anna Mundow, Boston Globe

"Familiar conventions get a fresh coat of paint in this historical novel full of pithy observations that offer a nod to Jane Austen and colorful characters straight out of Dickens. Taylor constructs an entertaining, sometimes enchanting, world." People Magazine

"A moody, delightfully Gothic thriller... The period details are pitch-perfect." Jarrret Smith, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A timeless story about arrogance, obsession and justification." Amy Rabinovitz, Houston Chronicle

"Andrew Taylor has always had a wonderfully sly way of dealing with his main characters... Dickens, Charles Palliser ... and the later Poe are clearly among Taylor's influences... But the real homage seems to be to Wilkie Collins... You couldn't ask for better literary company than that." Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune