Friday, 27 March 2015

'The Penny Heart' by Martine Bailey

Release date:21st May 2015 
Published by: Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN No: 978 1444769852

Manchester 1809. Would-be industrialist Michael Croxon chases young street hawker Mary Jebb into a wretched warren after she cons his brother out of his money. In an unguarded moment he develops a suppressed attraction to the girl. After he bears witness in court against her, Mary sends him a Penny Heart token from the prison hulks bearing a strange verse, the reverse announcing that she will be transported for 7 years.
Two years later, in order to build a manufactory, Michael has married awkward Grace Moore, who is overjoyed at her luck, but soon disappointed to learn it was only to gain her land. Meanwhile, Mary escapes from Botany Bay to be shipwrecked on the wild coast of New Zealand, where she loses her lover and the last of her scruples.
Using her conning skills, Mary returns home and adopts the identity of 'Peg', the Croxon's cook at their lonely Hall. After Mary helps Grace compile a book of husband-pleasing recipes, Grace's new womanly wiles seem to earn Michael's affection. But when Grace discovers two matching Penny Heart love tokens that tell of banishment to the ends of the earth, she enters a world of deceit and double-crossing, and uncovers a tale of revenge that culminates in murder.

Copyright: Hodder and Stoughton Synopsis

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