Saturday, 13 January 2018

Guest Review: Diamonds And Dust by Carol Hedges

Diamonds And Dust (The Victorian Detectives Book 1) by Carol Hedges
Published by Little G Books in January 2016.

Where to buy this book:

Guest review by Liz Lloyd
I was delighted when fellow book blogger Liz Lloyd contacted me to offer today's Guest Review for Literary Flits. Liz is a retired teacher/librarian now volunteering at a local museum and writing occasional articles for Family History magazines. The rest of her time is spent reading everything except horror. She commutes between southern England and Portugal following the sun. Liz is particularly keen to showcase indie writers on her book blog, Lost In A Good Book, as they often tell the best stories but she also reviews books by favourite authors such as Kate Morton and Kate Atkinson as well as non-fiction writers such as the historian Lucy Worsley.

Liz's rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

Diamonds & Dust is a page-whizzing narrative, with an intricate and absorbing plot that entices you through the teeming streets of Victorian London. If Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all washed up on a desert island, they might have come up with something like this.

Liz says: “Diamonds and Dust” plunges straight in to the murky night of Victorian London and a dastardly murder. The early descriptive paragraphs of the misty dark river and alleyways, written in the present tense, take you straight to “Bleak House” and you are quickly caught up in the mystery and fear.

Eighteen year old Josephine King is left with the task of solving the murder of her recently discovered guardian and uncle in an inhospitable environment, summoning the strength of character she acquired from years living in an orphanage. Her unlikely allies are a brothel-keeper and a ragged crossing sweeper called Oi.

As the police make no progress, Josephine discovers that the murder may be connected to a collection of valuable jewels. There are incredible headlines in the newspapers of, “A Fearful monstrous Hound striking terror,” and no-one feels safe on the streets at night. While Josephine puts herself at risk, striving to discover the murderer, Isabella Thorpe, a tragic acquaintance, fights to maintain her sanity, destined to be given in marriage to a depraved bully.

Every scene is filled with period detail, painting a picture of the surroundings without detracting from the fast-moving plot. In one delightful vignette Josephine even meets Charles Dickens though she is not impressed by him! The characters such as Pennyworth Candy and Trafalgar Moggs have such perfect names and in this moral tale all receive their just desserts as the result of two determined women, even if the police take all the credit.

Thank you Liz!

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  1. Thank you Liz for this lovely review, and thank you Stephanie for hosting her!

    1. You're very welcome! Thanks for popping by :-)