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 . . .
About the Author
Tessa Harris is the author of the acclaimed Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, including Secrets in the Stones and The Anatomist’s Apprentice, as well asthe debut Constance Piper Mystery, The Sixth Victim. A graduate of Oxford University with a History degree, Tessa has also been a journalist and editor, contributing to many national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. She has also acted as a literary publicist for several well-known authors. Readers can visit her website at www.tessaharrisauthor.com.
"...the author paints the words/pictures with the skill of a master. The use of two very different protagonists is inspired, and her remarkable cast of characters kept me turning pages until the end." —Historical Novel Society
"Harris successfully dramatizes the desperation of Victorian women faced with untenable pregnancies, and her portrait of the unconventional partnership between Piper and Tindall feels fitting for its séance-loving era. Fans of paranormal Victorian mysteries will be rewarded. " —Publishers Weekly