Slate.com has a new book forum, I am also the T.C. on page two. Excerpt from my contribution:
Clare Clark’s The Nature of Monsters is a flat-out fun read. Set in 1718, the story blends influences from Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Hitchcock, Michel Foucault (the potentially monstrous nature of scientific knowledge), and Daniel Defoe. Imagine a veiled apothecary who appears to practice black magic, holds captive a woman who is virtually mentally retarded, and has strange dealings with a free-thinking bookseller. Should you, as a pregnant woman without a husband, stay in his house or flee? The tone of the book is serious, and the style is borrowed from the 18th century. Things are most dangerous precisely when they appear most safe.
But is it underrated? You’ll find more recommendations at the link.