Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges
When a horrific murder takes place on a dark night in 1860's London, it changes two women for ever. New light is cast upon past lives they thought they knew so well, and suddenly their futures become intertwined.
The death of her uncle will leave eighteen-year-old Josephine King an orphan, an heiress and the owner of a priceless diamond, The Eye of the Khan. For Lilith Marks, a chance finally arises to end her life as a highly paid prostitute and to prove herself as a serious businesswoman.
Set against the backdrop of the great gas-lit city, the two women are drawn together in their quest to discover just who killed the man they both loved.
This book made my heart race as I found myself screaming at the heroine Josephine not to leave her room to investigate a noise, but like all heroines, she did.
Josephine has just found herself some luck in life after a bad few years and now it looks like everything could be taken away again.
When you read that someone has a precious and unusual diamond you know that someone else is going to want to take it from them although I did think that Josephine was particularly careless with hers. I suspected everyone in the book and trusted no one but I was wrong until near the end when it all came together.
The author has obviously put in a lot of research into this book, with Victorian street names and descriptions of homes and traditions. I was transported by the sights and smells back to Victorian London, a place I'm so glad I was not born into as it seems whether rich or poor, women seemed to have a raw deal. There were lots of facts I didn't know until reading this, like the need to pay for a boy to brush the street in front of you as you crossed the road.
Poor Isabella as her mother calls her is being forced into marriage with a horrible man but her parents don't seem to care what he's like or what he gets up to as long as their daughter is married. Isabella is having control of her life by not eating and seeing an artist in secret. I can see no good coming from that liaison. Although Isabella and the Thorpes were part of a back story I would like to have known more about what happens to poor Isabella in the future, perhaps we will have a sequel.
|Author, Carol Hedges.|
There are a few nods in the story to classic writers and books which I thought was a lovely touch by the author. I hope you have fun finding them out. I would describe this book as a historical crime novel with a touch of the supernatural,something for everyone.
I also have to say I loved the front cover it's very elegant and I'm sure wouldn't have been out of place in Josephine's library.
Well done Ms Hedges!
For Kindle Amazon uk As I've said before,for less than a posh cup of coffee (what's not to like?)
Paperback The Book Depository Free shipping worldwide
...and from many more places