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by Constable, 11 August 2016. ISBN: 978-1-4721-1826-4
in the Stones
opens with a brief explanation of events occurring in India in 1775. The action
then switches to 1784 in Oxfordshire, England, where Dr Thomas Silkstone is
wounded in a duel, to the great distress of Lady Lydia Farrell, the lady whom
Silkstone loves and who, as she fears he is dying, realises that she loves him
in return. Lydia’s hesitation is forgiveable as she has been unfortunate
regarding the past men in her life. Her late husband was a ruthless man with
low morals and Sir Montagu Malthus, with whom she resides at Boughton Hall has
convinced her that she is his illegitimate child. Lydia’s only constant source
of happiness has been her seven-year-old son, Richard. Sir Montagu is a
vicious, cruel man who had Lydia committed to Bedlam, from which she has only
just been released. He is hated by the local community because he is determined
to enclose the common land and rob them of their livelihoods.
Lydia leaves Thomas at a local inn he is out of immediate danger but very weak.
Returning to Boughton Hall she discovers Sir Montagu brutally murdered in his
study and, for a while she is suspected of the crime. To make matters even
worse, a few days later Lydia is riding by her late husband’s grave and finds
that it has been desecrated. The grave has been opened and her husband’s
finger, which wore a large diamond he acquired in India, has been cut off and
the diamond stolen.
rises from his sickbed to investigate the murder and protect Lydia. His
investigation takes him to London and he soon finds that he is following a
trail of ferocious murders which seem to be linked to the mysterious Indian
diamond. Gradually Thomas unravels a tale of past greed and treachery and a
campaign of revenge that threatens the life of the woman that he loves.
has a superb historical background with deft touches that bring the period to
life. The sympathetic characters are very likeable and the villains are truly
evil and depraved. This is the sixth book in the Doctor Thomas Silkstone series
and, in my opinion it is not the best place to start. I felt that I would have
been able to understand the subtleties of the plot and the character motivation
more fully if I had read the preceding books and I would recommend readers to
start earlier in the series. That said,
Secrets in the Stones has an intriguing and well-imagined plot, with
likeable protagonists and rich period detail, and it is a very enjoyable read.
studying History at Oxford University, Tessa began her journalistic career on a
newspaper in her home town of Louth, in Lincolnshire. As a journalist she contributed
to several national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. She also
acted as a literary publicist for the English TV presenter and novelist Pam
Rhodes. In 2005 she was made editor of Berkshire Life magazine.
Carol Westronis a successful short
story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly
Dames.Her crime novels are set both in contemporary
and Victorian times.The Terminal
Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published
July 2013. Her latest book The Fragility
of Poppies was published 10 June 2016.