Book Review: An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch @CharlesFinch @MinotaurBooks

An Extravagant Death
A Charles Lenox Mystery #14
Charles Finch
Minotaur Books, February 2021
ISBN: 978-1-250-76713-4
Hardcover

In Victorian London, Prime Minister Disraeli has asked Charles Lenox to cross the Atlantic to take on a diplomatic mission that concerns international crime. Upon completion, a knighthood is in store. Charles has been rethinking his course in life, which, as a detective, often puts him in danger and separates him from his wife, Lady Jane. Besides, he loves to travel and this may be his last chance to visit America.

Blithely, he sets sail, and soon is the toast of New York high society, partly because of his own reputation, and partly because of  Lady Jane’s societal position, renown on both sides of the Atlantic. He meets everyone of importance and is moving on to visit Philadelphia when he receives a telegram from his New York acquaintances calling him back. A young woman has died in a mysterious fashion. But how? And why? Can he help?

Taking on this case puts Charles in touch with highest New York society, but also makes him a target of a cold-blooded killer. Can he discover this murderer before he becomes the next victim?

The case moves slowly a good part of the time, but I didn’t find the mystery as interesting or as entertaining as the in-depth look at Victorian mores in 1878. From both sides of the pond, the differences are astounding. Plus, the author has given the reader a look from the differing viewpoints of highest rank with the most money, to the servant class who sees to their every need. The depiction of Caroline Astor’s party is a revelation.

This is a big novel well worth your time. The writing is excellent, the characters fully fleshed and believable.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2021.
http://www.ckcrigger.com
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Yester’s Ride,
Hometown Burning and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery

Book Review: Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman @katharinewrites @crookedlanebks @partnersincr1me

Silence in the Library

by Katharine Schellman

July 12 – August 6, 2021 Tour

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Silence in the Library
A Lily Adler Mystery #2
Katharine Schellman
Crooked Lane Books, July 2021
ISBN 978-1-64385-704-6
Hardcover


From the publisher—

Regency widow Lily Adler didn’t expect to find a corpse when visiting a family friend. Now it’s up to her to discover the killer in the charming second installment in the Lily Adler mysteries.

Regency widow Lily Adler has finally settled into her new London life when her semi-estranged father arrives unexpectedly, intending to stay with her while he recovers from an illness. Hounded by his disapproval, Lily is drawn into spending time with Lady Wyatt, the new wife of an old family friend. Lily barely knows Lady Wyatt. But she and her husband, Sir Charles, seem as happy as any newly married couple until the morning Lily arrives to find the house in an uproar and Sir Charles dead.

All signs indicate that he tripped and struck his head late at night. But when Bow Street constable Simon Page is called to the scene, he suspects foul play. And it isn’t long before Lily stumbles on evidence that Sir Charles was, indeed, murdered.

Mr. Page was there when Lily caught her first murderer, and he trusts her insight into the world of London’s upper class. With the help of Captain Jack Hartley, they piece together the reasons that Sir Charles’s family might have wanted him dead. But anyone who might have profited from the old man’s death seems to have an alibi… until Lily receives a mysterious summons to speak with one of the Wyatts’ maids, only to find the young woman dead when she arrives.

Mr. Page believes the surviving family members are hiding the key to the death of both Sir Charles and the maid. To uncover the truth, Lily must convince the father who doesn’t trust or respect her to help catch his friend’s killer before anyone else in the Wyatt household dies.

Regency England has long been a favorite setting for many readers, myself included, of historical fiction, mystery, romance, even the occasional fantasy or science fiction. Why the period is so appealing I’m not sure unless, for some peculiar reason, it’s because it evokes a lofty ideal of gentility but that doesn’t really work because we also see the darker side of the times, the poverty, the class oppression. Whatever the attraction, I just know that I truly enjoy it and I was very happy to be introduced to this series.

The widowed Lily Adler is a young woman of substantial means which is the only reason she can maintain her single female lifestyle in a society that allows very few freedoms for women. Along with her wealth, she also happens to be intelligent and observant, qualities that are appreciated by some of the men in her life such as Captain Jack Hartley, friend of her deceased husband, and Bow Street Runner Simon Page. The same cannot be said of her unpleasant, dismissive father who has, without invitation, installed himself in her home. He insists Lily call upon his old friend, Sir Charles Wyatt, who is later found murdered and the search begins to determine who killed him. Lily assisted Simon on a previous case and he welcomes the help from her and Captain Jack but, alas, their collaborative investigation is still under way when another death occurs.

Appealing and vividly drawn characters (even Lily’s obnoxious father) and a decent plot create just the right circumstances for an engaging mystery. I recommend it to all lovers of historical mysteries.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2021.

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Praise for Silence in the Library:

“Schellman’s gracefully written whodunit is equally a tale of this is an immersion in a bygone era.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The fast-paced, engrossing story has a climactic confrontation worthy of Rex Stout or Agatha Christie.” —Library Journal, starred review

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop

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An Excerpt from Silence in the Library

Given the way she hadn’t hesitated to interfere in the Wyatt family’s affairs, Lily expected Lady Wyatt to politely rescind her invitation to ride the next morning. But she had insisted, saying her arm was sure to be better by morning. So after breakfast, Lily instructed Anna to lay out her riding habit. Though she had forgone her usual routine of breakfasting in her own room and instructed Mrs. Carstairs to lay breakfast in the parlor, Lily hadn’t seen any sign of her father. She didn’t mind. If she couldn’t be cozy while she dined, she was at least happy to be alone. And it gave her the opportunity to go over the week’s menus with her housekeeper and offer several suggestions for managing her father’s requests while he was with them. “And do you know how long might that be, Mrs. Adler?” Mrs. Carstairs asked carefully. “Mr. Branson was unable to say when I spoke to him last night.” Lily pursed her lips. “For as long as he needs, Mrs. Carstairs. Or as long as I can bear his company. My record on that score is fifteen years, however, so let us hope it will not come to that.” The housekeeper wisely didn’t say anything else. Lily’s pleasant solitude lasted until she was making her way back upstairs to change, when she found her path blocked by her father’s belligerent frame. Unwell he might be, but George Pierce was still a solid, imposing man, and Lily had to remind herself to square her shoulders and meet his scowl with a smile as he did his best to tower over her from the step above. “Good morning, Father.” He didn’t return the greeting. “I am going to breakfast,” he announced, eyebrows raised. Lily waited for a moment and then, when no more information was forthcoming, nodded. “I hope you enjoy it. Mrs. Carstairs is an excellent cook.” He sniffed. “And I assume your excessively early rising is an attempt to avoid my company?” “It is past nine o’clock, father,” Lily said. “Hardly excessive. And I have an appointment this morning, so if you will excuse me—” “What is your appointment?” He couldn’t curtail or dictate what she did with her time, Lily reminded herself. Even if having him in her home left her feeling as if her independence were being slowly stripped away once more, in practical terms he had no say in her life anymore. Answering his question was only polite. “An engagement with a friend—” “That sailor again, I assume?” Lily took a deep breath. “Captain Hartley was also invited, but no, the engagement is to ride with Lady Wyatt this morning. Which I assume you would approve of?” Seeing that she had momentarily surprised him into silence, she took the opportunity to push past her father. “You would like her, I think. She is charming and elegant.” “And her husband’s a fool for marrying again,” Mr. Pierce grumbled, but Lily was already heading down the hall and didn’t answer. Jack was coming just before ten to escort her to the Wyatts’ house, and Lily was in a hurry to dress and escape her father once again. Her room was empty when she walked in, but Anna had laid out her riding habit on the bed, pressed and ready, its military-style buttons glinting in the morning light amid folds of emerald-green fabric. Lily stared at it without moving. She had forgotten that her habit wasn’t suitable to wear when she was in mourning. She was still staring when Anna returned, the freshly brushed riding hat in her hands. When she saw Lily’s posture, Anna paused. “You don’t have another, I’m afraid,” she said gently. Lily nodded, unable to speak. One hand reached out to brush the heavy fabric of the habit; the other clenched a fold of the gray dress she wore. She had stopped wearing colors even before Freddy died—in those last months of his illness, she had traded all her pretty dresses for drab gowns more suited to nursing an invalid who would never recover. And even after full mourning was complete, she had lingered in the muted shades of half mourning long past when anyone would have required it of her, even Freddy’s own family. Laying aside the visual reminders of her grief felt too much like leaving behind her marriage. But that had meant more than two years of sorrow. And in the last few months, since she had come to London and taken control of her life once more, something had shifted inside her. “Yes, thank you, Anna,” Lily said quietly, her voice catching a little. She cleared her throat and said, more firmly, “I will wear this one.” *** She managed to leave the house without encountering her father again. When her butler, Carstairs, sent word that Captain Hartley was waiting in the front hall, Lily felt a pang of anxiety. Jack had loved Freddy like a brother. And he had never given any indication that he thought her mourning had gone on long enough. Jack was in the middle of removing his hat, and his hand stilled at the brim as he caught sight of her. Even Carstairs fell still as they watched her come down the stairs, the heavy folds of her green skirts buttoned up on one side to allow her to walk freely and a single dyed- green feather curling over the brim of her hat and flirting with her brown curls. Lily felt exposed as she descended the final few steps, though she was bolstered by the approval that softened Carstairs’s smile. She had never considered herself a shy person, but she could barely meet Jack’s eyes as she crossed the hall to give him her hand. For a moment neither of them spoke, and when she raised her gaze at last, Lily thought she saw the captain blinking something from the corner of his eye. “That was Freddy’s favorite color,” he said at last, his voice catching. Lily nodded. “I know.” Jack’s jaw tightened for a moment as he swallowed. But he smiled. “Well done, Lily,” he said quietly. “Good for you.” *** There was a lightness between them as they made the quick journey to Wimpole Street. As Jack waved down a hack carriage and handed her in, Lily found herself laughing at all of his quips or droll pieces of gossip, even the ones she normally would have chastised him for repeating. And Jack kept glancing at her out of the corner of his eye. “Do I look that dreadful?” Lily asked at last as he handed her down from the carriage in front of the Wyatts’ home. “Quite the opposite,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck as he released her hand. “Did you know, you are actually quite pretty?” “You mean you did not find me pretty before?” “I think I had forgotten to consider it one way or another,” Jack admitted, grinning. “What a shame everyone has left London already; you would cause quite a sensation.” Lily shook her head. “I know full well I am not handsome enough for that.” “Surprise can cause as much of a sensation as admiration,” Jack pointed out. “Captain!” Lily exclaimed in mock indignation. “You were supposed to argue with me!” They continued bantering as they mounted the steps to Sir Charles’s townhouse, only to fall silent and exchange a puzzled glance as they realized that the door was half-open, the sounds of raised voices echoing from within. Lily glanced at Jack, an uneasy sensation beginning to curl in the pit of her stomach. “Should we knock?” He shrugged and did so, rapping firmly on the wood of the door. There was no response, but it swung open a little more. After hesitating a moment, Lily bit her lip and said, “Well, we ought to at least make sure Lady Wyatt knows we’ve come. If it is no longer convenient to ride, she can certainly tell us to leave.” “And you were already happy to interfere yesterday,” Jack pointed out, though she could hear the unease lurking beneath his playful tone. “We might as well do it again.” “Very true.” Lily pushed the door the rest of the way open and strode in, Jack following close behind. The front hall was empty, but they could still hear voices not far away, now low and urgent, and the sound of quiet crying from somewhere just out of sight. The uneasy feeling began to spread through Lily’s chest and arms, and she reached out her hand in blind anxiety. She was relieved to feel Jack take it and press it reassuringly into the crook of his arm. She had just decided that they should leave after all when quick steps echoed down the stairs. A moment later Frank Wyatt came rushing down, checking himself at the bottom as he stared at them in surprise. His face was pale and his eyes red as he gaped at them, his easy manner vanished. “Lily? And Captain . . . I’ve quite forgot your name. You must excuse . . . what are you doing here?” “The door was open, and no one answered our knock,” Lily said, feeling a little ashamed of their hastiness in entering. “I apologize, Frank; we did not mean to intrude, but we had an appointment to ride with Lady Wyatt this morning. Is everyone well?” “Is everyone . . . No. No.” Frank gripped the banister with one hand, his knuckles white. “I am afraid that Lady Wyatt will not be able to ride today. My father . . .” He swallowed. “My father has died.” Lily stared at him, unable to make sense of his words. They had seen Sir Charles just the day before. If he had seemed a little older and weaker than she remembered, he had still been utterly vital and alive. “Died? But . . . how?” “In point of fact,” a new voice said quietly from behind them. “It seems Sir Charles Wyatt has been killed.” *** Excerpt from Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman. Copyright 2021 by Katharine Schellman. Reproduced with permission from Katharine Schellman. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

 

Katharine Schellman is a former actor, one-time political consultant, and currently the author of the Lily Adler Mysteries. A graduate of the College of William & Mary, Katharine currently lives and writes in the mountains of Virginia in the company of her family and the many houseplants she keeps accidentally murdering.

Find her online:

katharineschellman.com

Goodreads

BookBub – @KatharineSchellman

Instagram – @katharinewrites

Twitter – @katharinewrites

Facebook – @katharineschellman

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Heather Redmond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) BookShop.org Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs July 12 through August 8, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Book Review: The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange @theLucyStrange @chickenhsebooks

The Secret of Nightingale Wood
Lucy Strange
Chicken House, March 2019
ISBN ‎ 978-1-338-31285-0
Trade Paperback

While middle-grade The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange is a relatively recent release (2016 in the UK, 2017 in the US) the bittersweet story is set in 1919. The absolute resilience and fierce determination of 13-year-old Henrietta (Henry) exemplifies a young hero to applaud.

The Abbott family has suffered a tragedy at the same time that they receive a blessing. The shock and unimaginable pain combined with “hysteria” (a very common type of depression today) that Mrs. Abbott exhibits, call for complete rest. The forever-changed family, along with Nanny Jane, pack up and move to Hope House.

There, Dr. Hardy eagerly awaits his subject patient. He’s partnered up with a “cutting edge” doctor and cannot wait to try his brilliant new techniques such as giving folks tropical diseases so that the fever “cures” the brain or soaking someone in a scalding-hot bath.

Henry not only dislikes Dr. Hardy, she does not trust that his best interests are in making her mother better. She thinks Nanny Jane may agree, but her hands are tied and Mr. Abbott has been sent away for work. Henry is truly alone.

Until a tendril of smoke catches her eye. Henry walks into the dark woods, as if she’s being led. The last thing she expected to find was a wild-haired woman living in a rusted caravan. Henry cannot be sure if the ghostly figure is real or a figment of her imagination. But she is going to find out.

In her quest to save her mother from the asylum and the greedy hands of Dr. Hardy, Henry attempts to confirm her own sanity. As she seeks answers, she inadvertently solves a three-year-old mystery and motivates a few adults to support her in doing the right thing.

Absolutely appropriate for pre-teen and younger teenagers, the authenticity of such an altruistic adolescent captured the heart of this Old Adult reader. I may have even sniffled and shed a few tears.

Reviewed by jv poore, September 2020.

Book Review: Devil by the Tail by Jeanne Matthews @JMmystery @DXVaros

Devil by the Tail
A Garnick & Paschal Mystery #1
Jeanne Matthews
D. X. Varos, July 2021
ISBN 978-1941072974
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

What’s a 20-something Union war widow to do in 1867? Start up her own detective agency with a former Reb POW, of course!

Quinn Sinclair, who uses the name Mrs. Paschal professionally, and her wryly observant partner Garnick get two cases on the same day – one to help a man prove he didn’t kill his wife, another to help a lawyer find reasonable doubt that his client killed her ex-lover’s new bride. As the detectives dig deeper, they unearth facts that tie the cases together in disturbing ways.

This tantalizing tale of 19th Century Chicago comes complete with corrupt politicians, yellow-press reporters, gambling parlors, and colorful bawdyhouse madams. At every turn in the investigation, Quinn discovers more suspects and more secret motives for murder.

Not least among her worries, someone seems intent on murdering her!

Historical mysteries appeal to me a lot, depending on the time period, but I have to say I haven’t encountered many books focused shortly after the Civil War. The setting alone of Devil by the Tail gives this series debut a special element that is fresh and intriguing.

Ms. Matthews takes things a step further, really a leap further, by pairing a northern lady with a former Confederate POW, surely not an every day occurrence, and the compatibility of the two was the best part of the story. (In today’s world of hostility and mean spiritedness, we could use a healthy dose of their willingness to get past their differences.)

Well, having said that, I have to backtrack a little to say that the plot here, the work that Quinn Sinclair (using the name Mrs. Paschal) and Garnick are doing as private  detectives, is just as compelling as their choice to partner up. Since this is Chicago of the 1860’s, Quinn naturally has a lot of societal barriers in her way and I love her ability to find ways around them as well as Garnick’s’s willingness to aid and abet her rebellion against the rules.

When Garnick and Paschal accept a job looking into the case of a man wrongfully accused (so he says) of killing his wife, they have no idea how murky things are going to get, especially when a second case, to prove reasonable doubt that a woman murdered her ex-lover’s bride, starts to look like there may be a connection between the two crimes. The seedy underbelly of 1867 Chicago with its brothels and yellow journalism is on full display and adds greatly to the reader’s fun. On top of the detectives’ professional work, there’s also the interesting question of what will happen in Quinn’s unpleasant dealings with her inlaws.

Ms. Matthews is well known for her vividly descriptive settings and her impeccable research, not to mention the authenticity of her language, and I enjoyed Devil by the Tail so much that it’s going on my list of best books read in 2021.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2021.

Book Review: The Stills by Jess Montgomery @JessM_Author @MinotaurBooks @TLCBookTours

The Stills
The Kinship Series, Book 3
Jess Montgomery
Minotaur Books, March 2021
ISBN 978-1-250-62340-9
Hardcover

From the publisher—

Ohio, 1927: Moonshining is a way of life in rural Bronwyn County, and even the otherwise upstanding Sheriff Lily Ross has been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to stills in the area. But when thirteen-year-old Zebediah Harkins almost dies after drinking tainted moonshine, Lily knows that someone has gone too far, and―with the help of organizer and moonshiner Marvena Whitcomb―is determined to find out who.

But then, Lily’s nemesis, the businessman George Vogel, reappears in town with his new wife, Fiona. Along with them is also her former brother-in-law Luther Ross, now an agent for the newly formed Bureau of Prohibition. To Lily, it seems too much of a coincidence that they should arrive now.

As fall turns to winter, a blizzard closes in. Lily starts to peel back the layers of deception shrouding the town of Kinship, but soon she discovers that many around her seem to be betraying those they hold dear―and that Fiona too may have an agenda of her own.

The Prohibition Era is a fascinating time in US history, one  that today makes us wonder what on earth “they” really thought about this bound-to-fail experiment in controlling people or, rather, in denying people something they want. As  we know, it became a lesson in man’s ability to find a way around the rules but also caused a great deal of crime and economic pain.

Moonshining had been around, particularly in the Appalachians, for many years but came into its own during Prohibition, kind of a cottage industry, and Lily Ross was well aware that even some of her friends were involved. Being a woman of some wisdom, she looked the other way when she could, knowing that moonshining was a way to earn some much needed money in her poverty-driven county, but has to pay attention when a young boy falls ill from a bad batch. Besides looking into the source, she also becomes aware that a criminal from her past has come back to town. George Vogel almost certainly has some sort of illicit plan in mind but his wife, Fiona, is no shrinking violet either. These two each demand the sheriff’s attention and, before all is said and done, a man is murdered.

Ms. Montgomery always comes up with a complex plot that demands the reader’s attention but it’s the strength of her characters, especially the women, that keeps bringing me back. This time, we don’t get as much time with Lily’s circle of friends as I would have liked but Lily and Fiona, two very different people, are a pair worth watching. It’s easy to like and admire Lily; Fiona, not so much, but she’s every bit as intriguing as the sheriff and I was spellbound by them both. These women and their surroundings, their time in history, make this a compelling story.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2021.

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Macmillan
Books-A-Million // Amazon // Indiebound

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About the Author

JESS MONTGOMERY is the Literary Life columnist for the Dayton Daily News and former Executive Director of the renowned Antioch Writers’ Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Based on early chapters of her novel The Widows, Jess was awarded an Ohio Arts Council individual artist’s grant for literary arts and the John E. Nance Writer-in-Residence at Thurber House in Columbus. She lives in her native state of Ohio.

Connect with Jess
Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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Book Review: The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb @StMartinsPress

The Devil Amongst the Lawyers
A Ballad Novel #8
Sharyn McCrumb
Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, June 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-55816-1
Hardcover

Set in 1935 in a small town in the Appalachian mountains, a young schoolteacher is accused of murdering her father. Since Erma Morton, the suspect, is reported to be beautiful and people love a good murder story with an attractive woman at its center, journalists from all the big city newspapers flock to town to report on the trial. The question is, are they going to write the facts, or just the myths of hill country life?

That’s where Carl Jenkins, a more local small town reporter with big ambition comes in. He wants the truth, but with Erma not talking and her enterprising brother running the show, the truth may be difficult to pinpoint.

Extraordinary steps must be taken, and Carl enlists his young cousin, Nora Bonesteel, to help him. After all, people will talk with a twelve-year-old girl when they won’t an adult man. And Nora is gifted with the “sight.” If anyone can discover whether Erma killed her father or not, it is Nora.

I was disappointed with the story, in part because it starts out repeating the tale of the 1916 hanging of an elephant in Kingsport, Tenneesee. A true story, sickening, that I’ve read about before. I skipped it this time.

Perhaps the inclusion of the incident colored my view, but from that beginning I never really got into the “meat,” if meat there was, of the plot. I didn’t relate to or care abut the characters, with the exception of Carl and Nora. The story moved slowly and a great deal of the novel was given over to flashbacks concerning another journalist, Henry Jernigan.

But read the novel for yourself. See what you think. After all, Sharyn McCrumb writes wonderfully literate books. This one will plunge you deeply into 1935 mountain folk life.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, January 2021.
http://www.ckcrigger.com
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Yester’s Ride,
Hometown Burning and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery

Book Review: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper @TeaCooper1 @ThomasNelson @TLCBookTours

The Girl in the Painting
Tea Cooper
Thomas Nelson, March 2021
ISBN 978-0-7852-4033-4
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

A young prodigy in need of family.

A painting that shatters a woman’s peace.

And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship. Having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel her story before it’s too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel presents a mystery that spans continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

Immigration is a heavily-weighted word these days and has always held significant meaning in America’s history and it is no less so in Australia. That country’s beginnings are rooted in the creation and development of a penal colony and its early, mostly white, settlers frequently either had a prison-based past or had run to this remote land to escape secrets. Once again, Ms. Cooper makes use of multiple timelines, bringing divergent yet connected stories together, and does so to good effect.

In 1906, the Quinn siblings are successful business leaders who are generous in sharing their good fortune and plucking Jane Piper from an orphanage is exactly the sort of thing they like to do to help someone else make the most of their own abilities and strengths. Jane’s prodigious mathematical talents position her to become useful to the kind brother and sister but it’s something from Elizabeth’s past that triggers Jane to learn more about the Quinns and the secrets Michael has been keeping to himself for decades. By now a trusted partner, Jane is driven to look for the hidden truths that lie in the Quinns’ own emigration as children from England to Australia all those years ago and the mysteries she unearths are compelling history in themselves.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2021.

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Thomas Nelson // Amazon

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About the Author

Tea Cooper is an Australian author of historical and contemporary fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.

Connect with Tea:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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