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Author(s): Elizabeth Gaffney

Location(s): New York City (NYC)

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): 1860s



New York. 1868. Irish Beatrice is a “hot-corn Girl”, selling corn on the cob to passers-by and picking their pockets.
German Georg, arriving in Manhattan on the run from a scandal – or perhaps a crime – back in his native Hamburg, becomes a stableboy, tending circus-owner Barnum’s menagerie, until he is framed for an arson attack.
He falls into the hands of the Whyos, Beatrice’s gang, with whom he is reborn as an Irish labourer before being led to take a job as a sewerman, unaware of the part in crime they have in mind for him. Happy in his new job, as he falls in love with Beatrice, whom the Whyos have selected to teach him to pass as an Irishman, all seems well, until the gang’s leader chooses Beatrice as his First Girl and their criminal plans begin to become clear…(Arrow Books)

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Lead Review

A tension-filled crime novel, a thrilling historical explanation, and a wonderfully surreal vision (Sunday Telegraph)

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