Are you in the mood for a historical mystery to keep you guessing? Well look no further! I’m excited to invite you to the blog tours for two of our February mystery novels: DANGEROUS WOMEN (Berkley Hardcover; February 16, 2021) by Hope Adams and THE DIABOLICAL BONES (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; February 16, 2021) by Bella Ellis.
In 2009, debut author Hope Adams visited the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to see “Quilts,” an exhibition displaying many beautiful patchwork tapestries. One quilt in particular caught her attention: The Rajah Quilt, which she learned was stitched by female convicts in 1841 aboard a transcontinental voyage via the ship, the Rajah. The Rajah transported thousands of women, convicted of petty crimes, from London to van Diemen’s Land (modern day Tasmania) in the 1840s. On this 1841 trip, a group on board under the guidance of chaperone Keziah Hayter, formed the tapestry. The quilt now hangs in the Museum of Australia, in Canbarra.
In DANGEROUS WOMEN (Berkley Hardcover; February 16, 2021) Hope Adams brings the legacy of the quilt and these female prisoners to life—and adds a murder mystery. Keziah Hayter is accompanying nearly two hundred female convicts from Millbank Penitentiary in London to Australia. These women have all been convicted of petty crimes such as theft of food or clothing to provide for their children, or escape from violent husbands or family. Despite the long journey ahead of the women, moving to a new land means a new start. But when one woman, a mother traveling with her son in tow, is mortally wounded, things suddenly become more dangerous: a killer is on this ship, and they are all trapped.
Since she was a child, Bella Ellis has been a fan of the Brontës, one of classic literature’s most famous families. It was her love for them that inspired her to pen The Vanished Bride (2019), the first installment of her Brontë Sisters Mystery Series, which imagines the brilliant writers as part-time amateur sleuths. In the second installment of the series THE DIABOLICAL BONES (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; November 10, 2020), the sisters thought their detecting days were behind them, but they are suddenly pulled back in by a terrifying new discovery. On a bitterly cold February evening, their housekeeper Tabby tells them of a grim discovery at Scar Top House, an old farmhouse belonging to the Bradshaw family, positioned at the very top of the moor. The old home is being enlarged to meet the newly enriched family’s elevated status, and a set of bones has been found bricked up in a chimney.
Tabby is convinced it’s a bad omen for all of them. The rattled housekeeper gives them a warning, telling the sisters of a chilling rumor attached to the family. The villagers believe that, on the verge of bankruptcy, Clifton Bradshaw sold his soul to the devil in return for great riches. But Anne, Emily, and Charlotte cannot ignore the discarded bundle of bones and the poor soul attached to them. They quickly visit Scar Top House to retrieve the bones and send the deceased’s soul to Heaven, but they stumble upon a much larger terror lurking. They soon learn that true evil has set a murderous trap and they’ve been lured right into it.