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Bessie was a stunner, and she shone out of that picture like she was going to walk out of it, saying ‘Wotcher, Tom,’ and winking in that way she had. But she couldn’t. She’d stay there stuck fast in paint forever. A chimney sweep in Victorian London’s poverty-stricken East End, Tom Wasp is highly flattered to be asked to model for Valentine Drake, a painter in fashionable Chelsea, especially since his co-model is the beautiful and warm-hearted Bessie Barton, a red-headed stunner who becomes his friend. Grief-stricken when her body is found by mudlarks on the muddy banks of the river Thames, Tom vows to find her murderer. Tracking her pitiful past through London’s seamiest quarters, he discovers the monstrous shadow that hangs over her life, Moonman, from whose clutches Bessie had fled, only to fall into his murderous hands at last. But who is Moonman? Is he one of the Angels, the high-minded group of artists to which Valentine belongs? Or is the truth more terrifying still? Step by step Tom hunts down his quarry through the darkness, guided by his faith that there is goodness in this world as well as evil, and assisted by his chummy, the eleven-year-old Ned. Narrated by Tom himself, this unusual historical thriller whirls the reader from the squalor of London’s Victorian slums to the heady pleasures of its high-life, revealing both the evil and the goodness in both. Tom and Ned make a formidable team as they clean the filthy chimneys of life in this first book of the Tom Wasp series. Praise for Amy Myers ‘Victorian England hides a dark underbelly of misery and degradation along with a vicious murderer.’— Kirkus Reviews ‘Tom Wasp is one of the most engaging characters I’ve encountered in yeats’ - Ellen Keith, Historical Novels Review AMY MYERS has been a full-time writer since 1988, and has written a wide range of novels from historical sagas and contemporary romance to crime. She is married to an American and lives in Kent. Many of her novels have been published under the name of Harriet Hudson.
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