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The Hourglass Factory: A Novel
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Published:
Pegasus Books 2016
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Description
Amid the drama of the suffragette movement in Edwardian London, the disappearance of a famous trapeze artist in the middle of her act leads a young Fleet Street reporter to an underworld of circus performers, fetishists, and society columnists.
London, 1912.

The suffragette movement is reaching a fever pitch, and Inspector Frederick Primrose is hunting a murderer on his beat. Across town, Fleet Street reporter Frances "Frankie" George is chasing an interview with trapeze artist Ebony Diamond. Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly-laced acrobat and follows her to a Bond Street corset shop that seems to be hiding secrets of its own. When Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, Frankie and Primrose are both drawn into the shadowy world of a secret society with ties to both London's criminal underworld and its glittering socialites.

How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory? From newsrooms to the drawing rooms of high society, the investigation leads Frankie and Primrose to a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/15/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781681771106
ASIN:
B012U3WSLS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lucy Ribchester. (2016). The Hourglass Factory: A Novel. Pegasus Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lucy Ribchester. 2016. The Hourglass Factory: A Novel. Pegasus Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lucy Ribchester, The Hourglass Factory: A Novel. Pegasus Books, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lucy Ribchester. The Hourglass Factory: A Novel. Pegasus Books, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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ec1439e6-7516-2301-184a-617ae596179e
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:01:30
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:42:07
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      • bioText: Lucy Ribchester was the winner of the Scottish Book Trust New Writer's Award 2013. Her travel writing has appeared in The Guardian and Scotland in Trust magazines and her short stories have been published by, among others, Vintage Script, Ether, and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. Lucy lives in Edinburgh.
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title
The Hourglass Factory
fullDescription
Amid the drama of the suffragette movement in Edwardian London, the disappearance of a famous trapeze artist in the middle of her act leads a young Fleet Street reporter to an underworld of circus performers, fetishists, and society columnists.
London, 1912.

The suffragette movement is reaching a fever pitch, and Inspector Frederick Primrose is hunting a murderer on his beat. Across town, Fleet Street reporter Frances "Frankie" George is chasing an interview with trapeze artist Ebony Diamond. Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly-laced acrobat and follows her to a Bond Street corset shop that seems to be hiding secrets of its own. When Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, Frankie and Primrose are both drawn into the shadowy world of a secret society with ties to both London's criminal underworld and its glittering socialites.

How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory? From newsrooms to the drawing rooms of high society, the investigation leads Frankie and Primrose to a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian
      • content: Provides the mounting suspense of a traditional whodunnit. Yet this is also a historical novel, including suffragette marches, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Jack the Ripper murders, all breathing life into Ribchester's London.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Independent
      • content: Fine flourishes from historical incidents in its prologue and epilogue make for a memorable start and finish.
      • premium: False
      • source: BookBrowse, Editor's Choice
      • content: Early 20th century London glitters in Ribchester''s hands. Her Edwardian world is colorful and risqué. Characters are described with sharp, physical details and they spring to life on the page. From the aging courtesan, holding court from her bed in her London mansion, to Milly the snake-charmer, from the houses of Parliament to the Bow Street magistrates court, The Hourglass Factory is a delight to the senses.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: Ribchester's energetic debut builds a quirky mystery around the 1912 suffrage demonstrations and hunger strikes in London...The novel's phantasmagoric world and complex themes, from gender and class inequity to the justification for violent activism, are fascinating.
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: This debut is both a satisfactory mystery and well-researched historical novel. Ribchester successfully captures the sights and smells of Edwardian England at a time of tumultuous social change and events—suffragette window smashing, the sinking of the Titanic, and even the Jack the Ripper murders. History and mystery buffs will enjoy this lively look at an era now popularized by Downton Abbey.
      • premium: False
      • source: A Life in Books?
      • content: A rollicking good read. A good old-fashioned piece of storytelling with a bit of suspense and some nifty plotting.
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: Authentic historical fiction and a gripping whodunit with murder at its core.
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews, starred review
      • content: Ribchester leaves nothing out, no stone unturned and no drama unexplored, which is a big gamble, but the novel feels expertly paced and plotted. The characters complement one another brilliantly, and the novel actually brings some sharp insights to the history of the women''s movement. How can one resist such a deliciously over-the-top, historically savvy novel? A romp with flair and substance.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 18, 2016
        Ribchester’s energetic debut builds a quirky mystery around the 1912 suffrage demonstrations and hunger strikes in London, which authorities met with mass arrests, later force-feeding the prisoners. Aspiring journalist Francesca “Frankie” George, who wears men’s clothes and chafes at her lowly newspaper job, senses an opportunity for advancement when asked to profile trapeze artist and suffragette Ebony Diamond. Instead, she discovers two deaths that seem to be failed attacks on the acrobat shortly before Diamond suddenly disappears. Frankie’s quest for answers threatens her life and leads her to Frederick Primrose, a weary detective inspector at the Scotland Yard squad tasked with controlling the suffragettes’ constant disruptions. Their converging investigations wend through harrowing prisons, seedy variety shows, a suffrage leader’s office, and a corset shop that is more than it seems. The novel’s phantasmagoric world and complex themes, from gender and class inequity to the justifications for violent activism, are fascinating. But Ribchester fails to give her idiosyncratic characters or her story’s myriad elements (the Titanic, Jack the Ripper, fetishism, poison ivy, snake charming, and the Tarot, among other things) the full development they deserve, making the book feel overcrowded and emotionally flat despite its imaginative strength. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from January 15, 2016
        Ribchester's debut: in shadowy 1912 London, an intrepid female reporter tries to interview a sexy, mysterious suffragette/trapeze artist only to be thrust into a complex intrigue involving corsets, bomb plots, and exotic dancers. Francesca "Frankie" George has fled marriage to the butcher's son to live her journalistic dream in the big city, but her editor only publishes the society column she writes each week with the input of Twinkle, an aging courtesan. When he asks her to interview the infamous Ebony Diamond, Frankie discovers that the beautiful trapeze artist and former suffragette has become the target of a murderer. Then Ebony disappears, and Frankie enlists help from Milly, an "Egyptian" dancer with her own snake; Liam, an errand boy; and, eventually, Inspector Frederick Primrose of the "suffragette squad." Soon they're confronting, in no particular order: militant suffragettes; a (possible) victim of Jack the Ripper; a secret club for powerful men who like to wear corsets; an escaped tiger; a man sent to prison for smashing windows; a militant moralist; a bomb plot to rival Guy Fawkes'; and Ebony herself, the shadow at the heart of all this drama. Ribchester leaves nothing out, no stone unturned and no drama unexplored, which is a big gamble, but the novel feels expertly paced and plotted. Despite all the drama, there are some very tender and slow unspoolings of character development and relationship, and these moments help anchor those more histrionic points. The characters complement one another brilliantly, and the novel actually brings some sharp insights to the history of the women's movement, its worth and its foibles, and the horrible realities of force-feedings and other jailhouse humiliations. How can one resist such a deliciously over-the-top, historically savvy novel? A romp with flair and substance.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

popularity
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Amid the drama of the suffragette movement in Edwardian London, the disappearance of a famous trapeze artist in the middle of her act leads a young Fleet Street reporter to an underworld of circus performers, fetishists, and society columnists.
London, 1912.

The suffragette movement is reaching a fever pitch, and Inspector Frederick Primrose is hunting a murderer on his beat. Across town, Fleet Street reporter Frances "Frankie" George is chasing an interview with trapeze artist Ebony Diamond. Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly-laced acrobat and follows her to a Bond Street corset shop that seems to be hiding secrets of its own. When Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, Frankie and Primrose are both drawn into the shadowy world of a secret society with ties to both London's criminal underworld and its glittering socialites.

How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the...
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