The Hourglass Factory - Lucy Ribchester - a Victorian mystery



From Goodreads:

1912 and London is in turmoil...The suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut-throat world of newspapers is hard enough. Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret. 
Then Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, and Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks. How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory? From the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined.


My thoughts

The Hourglass factory is set in an era I enjoy reading about, historical fiction set in the early 20th century can immerse the reader in a plethora of sights, sounds and smells and this book sets the scene nicely. It's 1912 and in Fleet street London, budding reporter Frankie George is battling to make her voice heard in the male dominated world of newspaper journalism. When she is sent to get an interview and photograph of Ebony Diamond a suffragette trapeze artist she enters a world of corset manufacturing, circus tricks and secrets.

Its a jolly good old romp through Victorian London at a time of great change, a mystery coupled with social commentary.

What I was hoping for was something a little like Tipping the Velvet sadly it failed to meet expectations on that score, it reminded me more of Silent in the Grave which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it meant my expectations had to be adjusted somewhat.

If you like this kind of Victorian mystery you'll probably enjoy the Hourglass Factory. However for me the characters were just a little 2 dimensional and the book deliberately tries to be a little provocative without the real depth and grit I prefer in my historical fiction.

My thanks to Netgalley for providing my advance copy for review.

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