One of our recommended books is The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell

THE HOUSE ON VESPER SANDS


London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances?

On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious.

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London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances?

On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters—despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.

By turns smart, surprising, and impossible to put down, The House on Vesper Sands offers a glimpse into the strange undertow of late nineteenth-century London and the secrets we all hold inside us.

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  • Tin House
  • Hardcover
  • January 2021
  • 408 Pages
  • 9781951142247

Buy the Book

$26.95

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About Paraic O’Donnell

Paraic O'Donnell is the author of The House on Vesper SandsParaic O’Donnell’s first novel, The Maker of Swans, was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award. The House on Vesper Sands was a Best Book of the Year in The Observer and The Guardian. Paraic lives in Wicklow, Ireland with his wife and two children, and can usually be found in the garden.

Praise

An Irish Times and Guardian Book of the Year
A January Pick for Indie Next, Apple Books, and Library Reads

The House on Vesper Sands manages to do a hundred marvelous things at once: funny, eerie, tender, haunting and unsettling, smokily atmospheric, and fantastically enjoyable.” —Helen Macdonald, author of Vesper Flights

“The most vivid and compelling portrait of late Victorian London since The Crimson Petal and the White.” —Sarah Perry, author of Melmoth

“Riveting. . . . Positively bursts with inventiveness.” —Benjamin Dreyer, author of Dreyer’s English

“Diabolical and delicious, this is the most enjoyable mystery I’ve read in years.” —Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens

“Stellar. . . . Fans of Sarah Perry (not to mention Dickens and Wilkie Collins) will be captivated by this marvelous feat.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Chilling. . . .  An atmospheric mystery that casts a keen eye on power imbalances and gender inequality.” Foreword Reviews

The House on Vesper Sands is not a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but Paraic O’Donnell’s sophomore effort is the next best thing. . . . O’Donnell brings his story’s humor and darker themes into richly rewarding alignment.” —Shelf Awareness

“Dickens is whirling enviously in his grave. . . . Read by a fire on a cold winter evening.” Irish Times