Lucy Ribchester is the Edinburgh-based author of the recently-published The Hourglass Factory, her first novel. As well as being shortlisted for this year’s Costa Short Story Awards, Lucy is a previous recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. The Hourglass Factory tells the story of Frankie George, a young reporter who becomes entangled in the messy, passionate worlds of the circus and the suffragettes when she meets Ebony Diamond, a mesmerising trapeze artist who uses her skills to fight for votes for women.
About The Hourglass Factory
a sexy fast-paced historical murder mystery…a thrilling combination of corsets, Emmeline Pankhurst and female journalists…” The Herald
“There hasn’t been such a pure, enjoyable take on the women’s rights movement since Glynis Johns sang Sister Suffragette in Mary Poppins. A corking debut novel…full of information about the suffragettes and great fun.” Sunday Express
“this whodunnit teems with larger-than-life characters…Yet this is also, in part, a historical novel, with landmark events (often not seen as being contemporaneous to one another)…all breathing life into Ribchester’s London.” The Guardian
“a ripping yarn….Clever and fun, humane yet deeply readable….The Hourglass Factory is that rare thing—an entertaining novel that you come out of feeling smarter than you were when you went in.” Martin Cornwell, Quadrapheme
1912 and London is in turmoil…
The suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut-throat world of newspapers is hard enough. Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret.
When Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks. How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory?
From the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined…
“A big debut…its energy, crackle and humour is infectious” Daily Mail
“…a tale of murder, subversion, class and the fight for equality. Set against a backdrop of the suffragette movement and a significant period of change, the novel covers a number of ideas and themes without ever relinquishing the plot…. A most enjoyable read.” Naomi Frisby, The Writes of Woman
“The Hourglass Factory is a glorious tome encapsulating the London of 1912 set amidst suffragettes and circuses. Publishing houses are calling this the Year of the Suffragette and Ribchester can certainly take her place as queen of the genre.” The Mitford Society
“**** …this story is too good to miss. With a motley crew of characters and a helping of period detail, it is a fantastically fun page-turner that pulses with all the energy of London’s streets.” The Lady Magazine
“A fascinating historical mystery from a talented new author…fascinating historical detail and brilliant description.” Kristy Rabbitt, We Love This Book