This ticks all my boxes. History, women’s history, mysteries and crime- I am now in need of the other Sinclair Mysteries and moving onto the Taylor & Rose series too.
Sold hook line and sinker.
And that’s before we add the air of Mr Selfridge in too!
Riches to Rags
Sophie Taylor-Cavendish the daughter of a decorated Military Commander was recently orphaned at the age of 14 which in the Edwardian era was considered grown up so get on with it. She drops the Cavendish and gets a job at Sinclair’s- a department store about to open that will blow minds everywhere about how to run a store.
Flashy Sinclair is running a special exhibition alongside the opening event, but when the prize of his collection, a jewelled music box sparrow that plays a different tune every time you turn the key, goes missing- somehow Sophie ends up in the frame for it.
Determined to prove her innocence she and new friends Lilian Rose, Billy Parker and Joe uncover a bone chilling plot that could send shockwaves through the world.
I just can’t stop thinking about the burglary. The whole thing seems so extraordinary.
Ok, I’ll be honest when I started reading this I was thinking oh this is lovely, a nice Edwardian Mystery, a bit of Poirot meets Mary Poppins. Then they threw in the Mr Selfridge bit and I was thrown back to evenings on the sofa heavily pregnant with Littlefae watching the first series of Mr Selfridge on the telly and I thought this is fantastic.
And then Katherine played one card after another that simply blew me away. The mystery and the history oh my word… what a wonderful mix of the organised crime, the social history and attitudes to women, children and working classes all amongst the build up to the First World War.
A reverent hush hung in the air, and she found herself almost tiptoeing as she crossed the shop floor, gazing around her at the immense chandeliers, the glittering looking glasses, the glossy walnut panelling. It smelled luscious…
The Edwardian era has always been a bittersweet era to study as the halcyon days of Empire for some against the grinding poverty and injustice for others and the retrospect that so many lives will be ended in one way or another in a few years to come. All of this echoes brightly throughout Clockwork Sparrow, Woodfine hasn’t made it all jolly holidays and glitz, the evil machinations of greed reverberates throughout this pretty powerful little novel.
The characters are a joy to read and hope and dream for so I cannot wait to get hold of the next adventure (I’m looking at Amy to tell me which comes next!!) and indulge in this heady world of mystery and history.
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine is published by Egmont.