Saturday 8 June 2019

Death and the Harlot: A Lizzie Hardwicke Novel, by Georgina Clarke (2019)

A gripping historical crime debut from an exciting new voice.

‘It’s strange, the way fortune deals her hand.’

The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive.
Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult. Desperate to be rid of him and prove her innocence Lizzie turns amateur detective, determined to find the true killer, whatever the cost.
Yet as the body count rises Lizzie realises that, just like her, everyone has a secret they will do almost anything to keep buried…

A brilliant piece of writing from Georgina Clarke.
An unlikely  partnership between a bow street runner and a prostitute is needed to find a cold blooded murderer. Lizzie is a sharp witted and sassy heroine who has no difficulty in jumping into the fray in order to find justice for her friend.  Constable William Davenport plays Watson to her Holmes and comes in handy when some brawn is needed. He's an astute and likeable character.  He also has tragedy in his past which instantly evokes sympathy for him. I loved how his friendship with Lizzie developed in this book and I can't wait to see how it evolves as the series progresses. 

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