Saturday, January 2, 2021

THE THIEF OF BLACKFRIAR'S LANE by Michelle Griep, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise and Rebecca Maney

As always, Michelle Griep pens a top notch Regency tale.

In 1855 London, a rookie constable, Jackson Forge, tries to prove his mettle and discovers the seedy underside of Blackfriars Lane. All is not what it seems when he meets Kit Turner, who he perceives as a swindler and a thief, she leads him a merry chase until they team up in the search for three men who go missing.

Ms. Griep writes a convincing story with colorful, realistic characters and puts us in the story with lots of action and an underpinning of faith that teaches us lessons.

“I have lived long enough to know that most of life dwells in the murky grey between right and wrong. Misfortunes will come and go, but through it all, our main duty is to keep loving God and keep loving man.”

“The question is not if you will fail. Rather, will you let God redeem your failure for good, turning your end into His beginning.”

“Things can change. You can change. God can make all things new.”

Reach back in time to London and navigate the twists and turns of intrigue with Kit and Jackson in this fascinating tale.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread.

"You are a thief, girl. A light finger. The worst sort of stain on humanity. . . . I wonder if you will not end up a jailbird in years to come . . Time will tell, I suppose."

Falsely accused of stealing from an employer, Kit Turner took to the streets as a very young woman. Instead of allowing her questionable past as an orphan to diminish her spirit to survive, she became a champion for those less fortunate, walking a razor thin line, using her well honed street smarts to navigate deals on the right side of the law. After a chance meeting along Blackfriars Lane with a handsome new constable, the two form a highly unlikely partnership while trying to solve the mystery of the missing cabbie.

Jackson Forge hopes that becoming a constable will go a long way towards assuaging his own guilt while righting the many wrongs happening on the dangerous streets of London; instead, a few false moves put his dream in jeopardy until he snags the sneaky, slippery Kit Turner, and talks her into dealing on his terms. When the unthinkable happens and Kit feels betrayed, Jackson has a decision to make; feeling the impact of his father's words of advice, "it is far better to be a failure at what you love than a success at what you hate", Jackson returns to the mission which has become highly dangerous at best, and life threatening at worst, while hoping to re-solidify his partnership with Kit in more ways than one.

Enjoy this shades-of-Sherlock type story, understanding that while it may take a few chapters into the story to get your bearings, you can expect to enjoy a treasure trove of clever dialogue such as this; "I am not certain Miss Turner, if you and your skills are an answer to prayer, or if you are merely a temptress designed for my downfall". 
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 
BackCover Blurb:
There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint
Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.
Barbour Publishing, January 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:


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