STORY: When a girl is murdered at a factory in one of London’s rookeries, Sergeant Thaddeus Knight of the Metropolitan Police comes in to investigate. But it’s not just the factory owners that Thaddeus wants information on–the devilishly intriguing Poppy O’Reilly is a puzzle he’d like nothing more than to solve.
Protecting her young daughter is the most important thing to Poppy, and Thaddeus threatens the false identity she’s carefully constructed. The last thing she should do is allow Thaddeus close to her family, yet she can’t stay away from him. With danger around the corner, will the secrets of a scarlet woman lead to their undoing?
REVIEW: April 1832, Spitalfields London
When Sergeant Thaddeus Knight with the Metropolitan Police finds a young girl who had been beaten severely and stabbed, he rushes to get her to the hospital. She refuses to say who did that to her but sketches the letter “L” just before she dies in his arms. This is reminiscent of another young woman seven years earlier who died in the same way. This second death only heightens Thaddeus’s determination to find the murderer. However, his boss, Inspector Whiting, is not supportive of his work and says that it is not worth their time. Whiting thinks that crimes such as one Thaddeus solved when he found some jewels stolen from a countess are more important that the murders of young girls from Spitalfields. Furious at Whiting, Thaddeus is still determined to find the murderer.
Thaddeus loves his job much to the chagrin of his family. As the second son of a second son of a Duke and a very well-educated man, he could have a much better and safer job but will not leave his job with the Police.
Poppaea (Poppy) O’Reilly works on a loom at the Larker Textile Factory. Her hours are very long – from early morning to late at night. However, she is determined to do whatever it takes to give her baby daughter a good life and, hopefully, send her to a finishing school one day. When she found herself pregnant and unmarried, Poppy changed her last name and moved to London. The father would have nothing to do with her and she was ostracized by her townspeople. She is very ashamed about what happened to her.
While Thaddeus is investigating the murder of the women who had worked at the Larker Textile Factory, he meets Poppy and is intrigued by her beauty, her spirit and her positive attitude toward life. They find that they have a love of books so when she sees the wonderful library he has in his home, she is enthralled.
When Poppy and her friend, Abigail, discover some questionable activities at the Textile Factory that the Larkers are doing, life becomes very perilous for her. Knowing what Poppy has uncovered and their growing attraction to one another finds Thaddeus doing all he can to solve this mystery.
It was very enlightening to read about the difficult life that people in this rough area of London had lived and their determination to make the best of their lives was inspiring. I think readers will enjoy both the romance and the mystery combined in this novel.
Connie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the author