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Black Silk and Sympathy : The captivating first novel in a new historical fiction series from the popular bestselling author of FROM THE ASHES, for fans of Jackie French, Tea Cooper and Kirsty Manning - Deborah Challinor

Black Silk and Sympathy

The captivating first novel in a new historical fiction series from the popular bestselling author of FROM THE ASHES, for fans of Jackie French, Tea Cooper and Kirsty Manning

By: Deborah Challinor

Paperback | 3 April 2024

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A dazzling new series from bestselling historical fiction author Deborah Challinor, exploring the fascinating world of Victorian funeral customs and featuring Sydney's first female undertaker.

'Men have been undertakers for hundreds of years. Not women, men. You don't belong.'

Sydney, 1865. Seventeen-year-old Tatiana Caldwell travels from London to make a new life. Her path leads her to Crowe Funeral Services, where she apprentices under the tutelage of Titus Crowe, the enigmatic owner.

Tatty finds herself drawn to the fascinating conventions of the funeral trade - plumed horses and processions, mutes and mortuary trains, flowers and finery - as well as the more visceral new practice of embalming. Soon she marries, and after the sudden death of her husband, Titus, she becomes Sydney's first female undertaker.

Her hard-won stability is shattered when Elias Nuttall, a ruthless rival in the funeral trade, accuses Tatty of murdering her husband. Facing public scorn and legal peril, Tatty gathers an unlikely band of allies in a battle to clear her name.

Black Silk and Sympathy is a riveting and realistic journey through the front parlours and dark alleys of 1860s Sydney, from the Botanic Gardens in the morning to the cemetery at midnight.
Industry Reviews
'In this expertly crafted novel, Challinor delivers a captivating tale of resilience, reinvention and determination ... [with] a thrilling twist' - Books+Publishing

'A master storyteller' - Better Reading

'Perfectly blends fact and fiction' - NZ Herald

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