An Hour Unspent
By Roseanna M. White
Bethany House, Sept. 2018
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge–and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger–and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.
A thoroughly enjoyable book, An Hour Unspent continues the Shadows over England series that follows a family of street urchins (think a nice version of Charles Dicken’s Fagin gang) who steal to provide for themselves. They’ve gained such a reputation as clever thieves that they are recruited by a mysterious “Mr. V” who needs their special skills as WWI begins to rage around the European countryside.
The first book in the series followed Rosemary, an uneducated but passionate reader who poses as a librarian in the home of a potential traitor to the British crown. Her job–to find proof of his ties to Germany. But what she uncovers is a lot more surprising…
The second book followed her “sister” Willa, an untrained but gifted violinist who plays by ear. Her task is to steal a cypher from a famous violinist and the son of a brilliant cryptographer. He immediately falls head-over-heels for her, and proposes marriage, but Willa’s only in it for the mark.
The third book follows their “brother” Barclay Pearce as he befriends a clockmaker and his daughter. When the clockmaker disappears, Barclay’s dark past comes in handy, and he must decide what he values most.
Roseanna White’s characters are brilliantly written and delightfully well-crafted. There is a lot of quick wit and unexpected plot twists that keep you on your toes, while still providing a happy ending and a satisfactory smile on the face of the reader. Highly recommended for people who like classics and historical fiction. It’s a nice twist on both.
Click here to view A Name Unknown (Book 1) on Amazon.
Click here to view A Song Unheard (Book 2) on Amazon.
Click here to view An Hour Unspent (Book 3) on Amazon.
I would recommend all books in the series, although I would suggest starting with Book 1 if you plan to read it. Book 2 and 3 provide spoilers even though they follow different main characters.