cover image The Little Shop of Found Things

The Little Shop of Found Things

Paula Brackston. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-07243-6

This first in a series from Brackston (The Witch’s Daughter) is a magnetic time-travelling adventure following a woman who travels back to 17th-century England at the request of a ghost. Xanthe Westlake and her mother, Flora, new owners of a small antique shop in Marlborough, England, attend an antique sale where she wins a bid for a chatelaine, an antique clip usually worn by the lady of the house. Xanthe has a talent for psychometry—she can discern details about who owned an item—and she feels this particular chatelaine speaking to her. At the demand of Margaret Merton, a ghost at the antique shop, Xanthe uses the chatelaine to travel back in time to the 17th century to save Alice, a maid and Margaret’s daughter, who has been arrested for stealing part of the chatelaine from her employer, Mistress Lovewell. Margaret threatens to harm Flora if Xanthe doesn’t help prove Alice’s innocence, so Xanthe works tirelessly in 1605 England to find the missing pieces of the chatelaine and exonerate Alice. Xanthe gains entry into the Lovewell household and attracts the attention of talented builder Samuel Appleby, a brooding man who helps Xanthe in her quest to free Alice. Brackston wonderfully blends history with the time-travel elements and a touch of romance. This series debut is a page-turner that will no doubt leave readers eager for future series installments. (Oct.)