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Monday, February 15, 2021

The Silver Collar by Antonia Hodgson

1728 London a place for only the brave and the spirited. Thomas Hawkins and Kitty Sparks have found their peace with each other, running a rather unusual shop - selling condoms and dildos (allowed) and bawdy tracts and books (not allowed). It is a roaring success and Kitty is the sole owner and a rather wealthy woman. Enter Gonson a puritanical (supposedly) man who is out to close the shop and get rid of Thomas with an eye to the main chance Kitty. Thomas has a fiery temper which does not bode well for either of them whereas Kitty hopes to handle the situation diplomatically for the benefit of both. They did not envisage Kitty's sordid past history to come into the scene. When Thomas is attacked on the streets and discovers a price on his head, the puzzlement leads to an investigation and to the Lady Vanhook and an escaped slave Jeremiah. The lady seeks to destroy anything which is of import to Kitty and then Kitty herself. Strands of historical crime fiction, history and detection all woven into a story of interest. Sent by Hodder & Stoughton for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.