|On The Shelf
Our pick of the NOT-TO-BE-MISSED books
Point of Honour
by Madeleine E. Robins
In a Regency London that isn't quite the one known today, young women of family whose reputations have been ruined are known as the Fallen. Young Sarah Tolerance is one such: a daughter of the nobility who ran away with her brother's fencing-master. Now that the fencing-master has died, everyone expects her to earn her living by wrongdoing, but Sarah is unwilling. Instead, she invents a new role for herself, and a new vocation: 'investigative agent'. For Sarah, with her equivocal position in society, is able to float between social layers, unearth secrets, find things that were lost, and lose things too dangerous to be kept. Her stock in trade is her wits, her discretion, and her expertise with the small sword – for her fencing-master taught her that as well. She will need all her skills soon, when she is approached by an agent of the Count Verseillon, for a task that seems routine: reclaim an antique fan he once gave to 'a lady with brown eyes'. The fan, he tells her, is an heirloom; the lady, his first love. But as Sarah Tolerance unravels the mystery that surrounds the fan, she discovers that she – and the Count – are not the only ones seeking it, and that nothing about this task is what it seems.
The Boy in the Suitcase
by Lene Kaaberbol, Agnete Friis
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can't say no when someone asks for help – even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive. Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realises that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.