cover image The Angel Makers

The Angel Makers

Tessa Harris. Kensington, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0657-7

Constance Piper, a flower girl in London’s East End, shares narrative duties with Emily Tindall, her old Sunday school teacher, who was brutally murdered and now guides Constance from beyond the grave, in Harris’s solid sequel to 2017’s The Sixth Victim. Shortly before Christmas 1889, Constance’s friend Catherine Mylett is found dead in what may be a homicide. Cath, a prostitute, recently gave up her newborn baby for adoption, but the infant died shortly thereafter. Constance discovers that Cath visited the adoptive family the night of her own death. Miss Tindall then draws Constance’s attention to other vulnerable infants, including one found strangled on a London street. She suspects that an illegal “baby farmer” known as Mother Delaney may be involved in all the cases, even Cath’s. Harris successfully dramatizes the desperation of Victorian women faced with untenable pregnancies, and her portrait of the unconventional partnership between Piper and Tindall feels fitting for its séance-loving era. Fans of paranormal Victorian mysteries will be rewarded. Agent: Melissa Jeglinski, Knight Agency. (June)