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Two for Sorrow by Nicola Upson
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Feb 09, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

I was a bit disappointed with the last book in this series, so I was really hoping to enjoy this one. And I did - I thought it was great.
The heroine, Josephine Tey is back in London. She is researching a true crime novel about 'baby farmers'. These were women who would for a fee, take in unmarried pregnant women (the book is set at the beginning of the twentieth century), then when the baby was born they would pretend to get the baby adopted, but would in fact kill it. Josephine has a tenuous connection with one such case, a former teacher of hers was a prison warden in Holloway Jail when two baby farmers, Amelia Sachs and Annie Walters were executed. This former teacher, Celia Bannerman now works at the Cowdray Club, where Josephine stays when she is in London.
There is a particularly gruesome murder of an employee of Lettice and Ronnie, Josephine's good friends. This brings into the picture Archie Penrose, the policeman who Josephine has a close, but confused relationship with. The dead girl was a former prisoner at Holloway Jail, and it seems as if there might be a connection with the Cowdray Club.
There is a glamour to this book, and the first in the series which I felt was lacking in the second. The world of the theatre in which Josephine moves is exciting and Lettice and Ronnie in particular, as successful costumiers evoke the glitzy, glamourous life of the wealthy in the 1920s. This contrasts with the squalor of the crimes, and the poverty that was so close by. I loved this book, and can't wait for the next one.
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