Romance author Joan Smith graduated from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and the Ontario College of Education. Besides writing over a hundred romance novels, she has also taught French and English in high school and English in college.
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When Sir Julius Cheever’s son, a notorious rake, goes missing, and a blackmailer begins terrorising London’s most dissolute fops, it seems plausible that the two events are connected. Divided by politics but united in a desire to see justice done, Christopher Redmayne and Jonathan Bale must combine forces once again.
But how can they hope to find those who exploit the scandal of others, when the victims themselves will do anything to maintain their anonymity? And what of Sir Julius’s son? Most feel he must have been the victim of his own, debauched appetites, but a few talk of his repentance. So where is the repentant rake? And, with only lies, rumours and gossip to work with, can Redmayne and Bale ever hope to find him?
When magistrate Patrick Colquhoun orders a habitual thief and ne'er-do-well transported to Botany Bay, he doesn't realize a fourteen-year-old boy has been left behind to follow in his father's footsteps—not until young John Pickett is hauled into Bow Street for stealing an apple from the produce market at Covent Garden. Feeling to some extent responsible for the boy, Mr. Colquhoun prevails upon Mr. Elias Granger, a prosperous coal merchant, to take him on as an apprentice.
For the next five years, John Pickett hauls coal in exchange for room and board. The work is dirty and hard, but the drudgery is lightened by the occasional deliveries to Bow Street, where Mr. Colquhoun usually tosses Pickett a coin for his pains. An even more pleasant diversion exists in the form of Mr. Granger's pert daughter Sophy, with whom Pickett tumbles headlong into love.
And then one day nineteen-year-old John Pickett stumbles by accident into a criminal investigation that will bring him once again to the attention of Bow Street for an entirely different reason, and will change the course of his life . . .
Independent Mystery Bookseller Association Bestseller!
When their list of suspects grows to include a member of the mysterious magic Collector's Club, they uncover a spy. But who is he working for? And what does his employer want?
As danger circles, secrets are revealed, and India struggles to keep her own secret hidden from Matt. But when her grandfather introduces her to a man who can change her life, India must decide if she wants her life to change at all.