In Victorian England, flower seller Constance Piper goes searching for the truth behind a new rash of murders in London’s East End . . .
In November 1888, the specter of Jack the Ripper instills fear in every woman who makes her living on the streets of London. But there are other monsters at large, those who shun fame and secretly claim their victims from among the city’s most vulnerable . . .
Options are few for unmarried mothers in Victorian England. To avoid stigma, many find lodging with “baby farmers”—women who agree to care for the infant, or find an adoptive family, in exchange for a fee. Constance Piper, a flower seller gifted with clairvoyance, has become aware of one such baby farmer, Mother Delaney, who promises to help desperate young mothers and place their babies in loving homes. She suspects the truth is infinitely darker.
Guided by the spirit of her late friend, Emily Tindall, Constance gathers evidence about what really goes on behind the walls of Mother Delaney’s Poplar house. It’s not only innocent children who are at risk. A young prostitute’s body is found in mysterious circumstances. With the aid of Detective Constable Hawkins, newly promoted thanks to Constance’s help with his last case, Constance links the death to Mother Delaney’s vile trade. But the horror is edging closer to home, and even the hangman’s noose may not be enough to put this evil to rest . . .
Praise for Tessa Harris and The Sixth Victim
“Constance is an unusual protagonist with a special gift. Harris’s treatment of the working class’s spirituality and belief in ghosts will attract fans of Sharyn McCrumb’s ‘Appalachian Ballad’ mysteries. Readers who follow Jack the Ripper theories may also enjoy.”
“A reinterpretation of Jack the Ripper with a supernatural touch . . . [Harris] still combines two perceptive points of view with a convincing portrait of London’s seamier side with a neat twist of an ending.”
And praise for her Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries
The Lazarus Curse
“Stellar . . . Harris’s prose and characterizations have only become more assured.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Anatomist's Apprentice
“Densely plotted . . . We await—indeed, demand—the sequel.”
—The New York Times Book Review