cover image Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge

Maude Horton’s Glorious Revenge

Lizzie Pook. Simon & Schuster, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-9821-8054-6

Pook (Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter) delivers a brilliant historical about a woman’s search for the truth behind her sister’s death during an Arctic expedition. After a tantalizing prologue, Constance Horton, 20, disguises herself as a cabin boy to join the Makepeace on its 1849 journey to the Arctic in search of missing explorer Sir John Franklin, who sought the fabled Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Two years later, Constance’s sister, Maude, receives a letter stating only that Constance died by “misadventure.” Maude refuses to accept such a vague explanation, even though the British Admiralty is reluctant to provide her with further details about the accident. Eventually, a clerk surreptitiously hands over the diary that Constance kept while aboard the Makepeace. In it, Maude finds entries that cast suspicion on expedition scientist Edison Stowe. She cozies up to Stowe, accompanying him on a new—and rather grisly—business venture in order to extract whatever details she can about Constance’s death. Pook’s masterful pacing and meticulous attention to historical detail make this sing. Fans of Stuart Tarton’s high seas whodunits will be rapt. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Agency. (Jan.)