In Victorian England, flower seller Constance Piper goes searching for the truth behind a new rash of murders in London’s East End . . .
In November 1888, the specter of Jack the Ripper instills fear in every woman who makes her living on the streets of London. But there are other monsters at large, those who shun fame and secretly claim their victims from among the city’s most vulnerable . . .
Options are few for unmarried mothers in Victorian England. To avoid stigma, many find lodging with “baby farmers”–women who agree to care for the infant, or find an adoptive family, in exchange for a fee. Constance Piper, a flower seller gifted with clairvoyance, has become aware of one such baby farmer, Mother Delaney, who promises to help desperate young mothers and place their babies in loving homes. She suspects the truth is infinitely darker.
Guided by the spirit of her late friend, Emily Tindall, Constance gathers evidence about what really goes on behind the walls of Mother Delaney’s Poplar house. It’s not only innocent children who are at risk. A young prostitute’s body is found in mysterious circumstances. With the aid of Detective Constable Hawkins, newly promoted thanks to Constance’s help with his last case, Constance links the death to Mother Delaney’s vile trade. But the horror is edging closer to home, and even the hangman’s noose may not be enough to put this evil to rest . . .
Out June 2018
From the author’s website: “After studying History at Oxford University, I began my journalistic career on a newspaper in my home town of Louth, in Lincolnshire. I progressed onto a London newspaper, where I became women’s editor. From there I moved to become a feature writer on Best magazine. After two years I was made editor of a regional arts and listings publication. This was followed by another two years as deputy editor on Heritage magazine. Motherhood meant a spell as a freelance, contributing to several national magazines, such as Country Homes & Interiors, Perfect Home and Woman’s Journal, as well as newspapers such as The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian. During this time I also worked as a literary publicist and for a documentary-making company. In 2005 I was made editor of Berkshire Life magazine.
In 2000 I won a European-wide screenplay writing competition run by the London Screenwriters’ Workshop and the resulting screenplay was optioned by a film company. The script was set in 18th century London and my subsequent research led to the invention of Dr. Thomas Silkstone, an American anatomist and the world’s first forensic scientist.
Author Tessa Harris also made him one of the main characters in her book The Dead Shall Not Rest which uses a fictional character Thomas Silkstone to examine the beginnings of forensic science, anatomy and surgery. The book, which is well referenced, emphasizes the difficulty and need of anatomists of the time gaining access to bodies to dissect, and the illegal trade in dead bodies that eventuated due to this.”
I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Once again, what a beautiful cover! Love, love, love it!
Ohhh Jack the Ripper vibes! I love Tessa Harris’ writings! Constance Piper series is growing into an excellent series that I’m really enjoying.
Love the supernatural aspect of this book and all the historical references are remarkable and well researched. The book reads well and is fast-paced to keep the reader engaged to the end. The character development is strong grows at a steady pace. Flower seller, Constance Piper, is a character determined, out-spoken, sometimes too curious for her own good. The setting is Victorian London, a setting I love to read about.
There’s a lot going on, an excellent mystery behind a mystery and many plot twists and turns creating constant tension.
A great book, one that I highly recommend! P.S. start with book one of the series though before tackling this one.
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