From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Myers's entertaining second Tom Wasp Victorian historical (after 2007's Tom Wasp and the Murdered Stunner
), Tom, a multitalented London chimney sweep, visits his friend Eliza Hogg, curiously called the knocker, at Newgate prison, where she's to be hanged the next day for killing her abusive soldier husband. Eliza gives Tom a pawn ticket for a mysterious china doll, which burglars later steal after ransacking Tom's lodgings. Suspense builds with the murder at palatial Claremont House of housemaid Dinah Johnson. Dinah's parents, leaders of the Rat Mob gang, want her killer found, and hire Tom as an undercover detective. Lending protection is the comical Mr. Chuckwick, a man of many disguises. Meanwhile, the rival Nichol Gang targets Tom and Ned, Tom's 12-year-old apprentice, perhaps because Dinah knew the identity of their own putter-up or mob leader. Fans of witty, lighthearted whodunits will be rewarded, though some may find the geopolitical significance of the doll stretches credulity. (May)
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