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Lucy Ribchester Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Hourglass Factory (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amber Shadows (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Lucy Ribchester is an English writer from Edinburgh who is best known for the writing of historical mystery/suspense novels. Her most popular works have been “The Hourglass Factory” and “The Amber Shadows”. Her debut novel was The Hourglass Factory that was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. Ribchester was born and bred in Edinburgh attending the University of St Andrews, before proceeding to Kings College London, where she majored in Shakespearean Studies. Lucy has always been interested in writing from her childhood and loved to rewrite novels that she had read. During her school years, she would try to go deeper to capture the imagination in a story, and wrote many pastiches of the works of Christopher Pike and Enid Blyton during her school holidays. Having always loved literature and history, she made the easy transition into writing plays when she went to college. However, while studying history at Kings College, she learned that she loved to write imaginative stories in the mold of Sherlock Holmes rather than write persuasive arguments from the facts and opinions in Renaissance drama. Over the years, she has won several awards the most significant of which was the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for her debut novel “The Hourglass Factory”. She also writes short stories that have been featured in several magazines in the US and the UK.

Lucy Ribchester has always loved reading mystery and crime fiction and she knew that she would love to write something in the genre once she made up her mind to become a professional author. She had a very eclectic taste in literature and picked much of what she knows from a variety of authors. However, some of her favorite authors that have influenced her style include the playwright Liz Lochhead, Sarah Waters, Jed Rubenfield, Anais Nin, Angela Carter, and Agatha Christie. In fact, her debut novel is loosely based on Liz Lockheed’s “Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off”. Linda Cracknell from the Scottish Book Trust who is a mentor and inspiration was a great help particularly in the writing of short fiction. As a new author, she found the crime fiction format an easy one to adhere to as she found pacing and structuring of a novel quite challenging. The mystery novel with its steady framework made it easy for her to run riot with her imagination, yet allow her to lead the story to its logical conclusion. While she at first struggled with finding her voice, publishing was a breeze as her novel “The Hourglass Factory” was accepted within days of being submitted to the publisher. For Ribchester, finding an editor had been the hard part as she took almost five years of rewrites before she could get an agent interested. In between, she won the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, which perhaps made publishing so much easier.

Ribchesters novels are about larger than life characters who deal with a range of issues ranging from fetishism, snake charming, circus life, journalism, police work, and politics. However, these are at their core detective novels in the traditional whodunit format with the mounting suspense and dual structure typical of such novels. Nonetheless, these are also historical novels as they involve landmark events in the post-World War II and pre-World War I eras. Some of these include the Ripper serial murders in London the sinking of the Titanic, the suffragette marches, and the tension about loyalty brought about by the war on the continent. The novel are written in a Hitchcockian thriller format as the lead characters find themselves in a web of murder, secrets, deceit, trickery and mysterious happenings and characters. The author paints a vivid picture of what life in wartime mean for women. Unlike what popular culture has come to depict, it is not all about hardworking women in starry-eyed romances with brave and handsome soldiers. She flips the tale to show that sometimes the women’s lives are ruined for their efforts in defending their country, soldiers abandon and cheat their wartime lovers and walked off, leaving behind broken lives and hearts.

“The Hourglass Factory” is set in a tumultuous 1912 London, where the suffragette movement is at its height. Meanwhile, Frankie George is finding the going tough in the murky world of news collecting. He has been charged with tracking down and interviewing Ebony Diamond, a trapeze artist that has taken London by storm. Following the artist across London, her quest leads her to a Mayfair corset shop that hides a litany of dark secrets. Then things get complicated when Ebony Diamond goes missing while performing, and Frankie finds herself deep inside the world of circus freaks, suffragettes, corset fetishists, society colonists and tricksters. Just how did the trapeze artist go missing, was there someone who had threatened her, and what mysterious happenings went on behind the closed doors of Hourglass Factory. Her investigation lead her from the drawing rooms of the elite of London to the newsrooms of Fleet Street, as she follows the trail of a murderous villain with a heart too dark to imagine.

“The Amber Shadows” is Lucy Ribchester’s second historical mystery novel. The novel is set in World War II Britain, where Honey Deschamps is a Bletcheley Park typist working for the British army. Deschamps transcribes German Army signals on a type x machine as her contribution to help her home country defeat the Nazis. In the meantime, Hitler is marching his armies into Leningrad, where they are pillaging and destroying Russia’s most coveted possessions. One of the most prized of these possessions is the eighth wonder of the world – “The Amber Room”. As the British begin getting the reports of the massive value of the artifacts stolen, a stranger claiming to work in the block next to hers approaches Honey. The man who calls himself Felix Plaidstow has a Russian postmarked package with her name and address. Soon more mysterious packages come with pieces of amber in them. She does not know what to make of it, as she does not know if the packages are a desperate cry for help or maybe someone in the British intelligence is setting a trap for her. She turns to the enigmatic and handsome Felix Plaidstow, only for her brother to turn up brutally killed in a nearby wood.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Lucy Ribchester

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