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A place of secrets : a novel
Rachel Hore
Adult Fiction HORE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In her U.S. debut, Hore (The Glass Painter's Daughter) painstakingly builds the foundation of a 300-year-old mystery centered around an 18th-century astronomer and the strange observation deck from which he viewed the stars. Jude Gower, a book appraiser for London's Beecham's Auctioneers, is contacted by an 18th-century-book enthusiast interested in selling his collection. She travels to Robert Wickham's estate in Norfolk, coincidentally home to her grandmother and sister, to review the tomes. Once there, she begins piecing together the history of the books, which include journals by Anthony Wickham, Robert's ancestor and an eccentric astronomer, who along with his adopted daughter, Esther, may have stumbled upon a planetary discovery. Sensing that this could increase the books' value, Jude digs deeper into the past, and unravels a world of Gypsies, ghosts, and possible murder at the scene of Wickham's folly-a decrepit observatory in the woods. By dredging up long-kept secrets, is she putting her family in danger, or helping prevent it? Though bogged down by details, the plot catches fire in the last third, making the payoff almost worth the patience it took to get there. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

At the country estate of Starbrough Hall, rare book appraiser Jude Glower busily evaluates a collection of materials assembled by 18th-century amateur astronomer Anthony Wickham. Catching Jude's attention are the personal journals of Wickham's adopted daughter, Esther, as they reveal her to have been a skilled scientist in her own right. At the same time Jude is distracted from her research by ongoing tensions with her older sister, Claire. It doesn't help that her young niece seems to be suffering from the very same nightmare that Jude endured as a child and that Claire blames Jude. Throw in a mysterious diamond necklace, Gypsies, a decrepit observational tower known as the folly, and a handsome writer whom both sisters find attractive, and you have the recipe for an entertaining historical mystery with a dash of romance. VERDICT A best seller in Britain with over 100,000 copies sold, Hore's U.S. debut will engage fans of -Susanna Kearsley or Kate Morton.-Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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