Alex Hart has worked as the manager of Mallow Court, an Elizabethan House, for three years. She took the job after leaving her Phd in Medieval History after the relationship she was in fell apart. Mallow House has become her place of safety where she can hide herself away. Whilst curating a Costume Exhibition, Alex discovers a jewelled mechanical locket in the pocket of an old jacket, and as she tries to discover its provenance her own life begins to turn around. After being single for three years she finds a chocolate eyed, dark haired barrister and a mesmerising clock maker come into her life. As pages of a diary from the London Blitz of 1940 appear, and strange occurrences begin to happen at Mallow Court, Alex digs deeper into the mystery of the locket and finds that the past could also change her future.
I do love a book that has a dual plot line, history and contemporary, that collide in a mystery. This is a well written book with a detailed and knowledgeable look at ambulance drivers in London during the bombings of 1940. The descriptions are evocative of the time and I have to admit I had never really thought of the looting that took place in the bombed buildings.
In the present the plot follows Alex’s discovery of the history of the locket and of her own personal history. The characters, past and present, are well developed and are very eclectic; Alex’s Yoga teacher father, Tim, a London Barrister, a female vicar, an old man who still lives the days through the blitz and many more to keep the readers interest.
The cover of this book is very twee and pretty and doesn’t really represent the story within. We all know the saying ‘You should never judge a book by its cover‘ and in this case its true. If I had seen this cover in a shop I probably wouldn’t have paid it much attention which would be a shame as it is a good book.
I found this an engaging and interesting read and I felt invested in the characters lives. There is a lot of mystery along the way with the plot shifting in direction several times. It is a perfect mix of history, romance and mystery.