The Forty Elephants

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Alice Diamond has a tall order before her: to protect her family after her brother steals from the wrong man and the debt falls to her. There’s only one way she can think of to pay off the debt before the deadline she’s been given, and that’s to fall in with Mary Carr and her gang of girl pickpockets. She thinks she can do it easily, get in and get out once she’s done with them. Unfortunately, the life she’s found proves more seductive than she expected, and Mary Carr far more dangerous.

Bledsoe has spun a fascinating novel about crime in 1920s England, which is based on real people. I would have loved a substantial author’s note discussing her inspirations more, but even as it stands, the book delighted me. Alice is a sharp-edged heroine who can hold her own, and the secondary characters all felt alive and vibrant. While the romance was lackluster compared to everything else, that’s a small complaint when the rest of the book shone. This story is electric, and I wanted nothing more than what it offered.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date 23-Aug-2022
ISBN 9781665019897 Buy this Book
Issue August 2022
Category Historical Fiction