The Hourglass Factory

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About The Book

1912 and London is in turmoil…

The suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut-throat world of newspapers is hard enough. Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret.

Then Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, and Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks. How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory?

From the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined…

A Val McDermid New Blood Pick, Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
An Alex Gray New Crimes Pick, Bloody Scotland

About The Author

Lucy Ribchester was born in Edinburgh in 1982. She studied English at the University of St Andrews and Shakespearean Studies at Kings College London. In 2013 she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for the opening chapters of The Hourglass Factory. Her short fiction has been published in journals in the UK and US, and she writes about dance and circus for several magazines and websites including The List, Fest and Dance Tabs. The Hourglass Factory is her first novel.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (January 2015)
  • Length: 512 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471139307

Raves and Reviews

‘Rollicking whodunit adventure…terrific’

– Ian Rankin

‘Its energy, crackle and humour is infectious'

– ELIZABETH BUCHAN, DAILY MAIL

‘Page-turning commercial historical fiction...a serious one to watch’

– VIV GROSKOP, RED MAGAZINE

‘Its fast-paced plot fizzes with intrigue… this story is too good to miss. With a motley crew of characters and a helping of period detail, it is a fantastically fun page-turner that pulses with all the energy of London streets’

– THE LADY

‘Unexpected plot twists, glamorous underworlds…a really mesmerising piece of historical fiction’

– HELLO! MAGAZINE

‘Set in London two years before the start of The Great War, it’s a world where newspapers are produced in smoke-filled rooms up rickety stairs’

– SUNDAY POST

‘An entertaining romp’

– THE LIST

A sexy fast-paced historical murder mystery…a thrilling combination of corsets, Emmeline Pankhurst and female journalists…’

– THE HERALD

‘This whodunit teems with larger-than-life characters…Yet this is also, in part, a historical novel, with landmark events (often not seen as being contemporaneous to one another)…all breathing life into Ribchester’s London’

– GUARDIAN

‘A tale of murder, subversion, class and the fight for equality…A most enjoyable read’

– NAOMI FRISBY, THE WRITES OF WOMAN

‘A glorious tome encapsulating the London of 1912 set amidst suffragettes and circuses’

– THE MITFORD SOCIETY

‘A fascinating historical mystery from a talented new author…fascinating historical detail and brilliant description’

– WE LOVE THIS BOOK

‘Lucy Ribchester’s The Amber Shadows is a spooky and complex psychological thriller set in Bletchley Park during the second world war. Atmospheric and engaging’

– Ian Rankin on The Amber Shadows

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