Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Glass of Time-Michael Cox

The Glass of Time
Michael Cox
Norton, Oct 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 0393067734

In 1876, her Parisian guardian Madame de L’Orme directs nineteen years old orphan Esperanza Gorst to obtain work as a lady’s maid at the home of widow Baroness Tansor. The teen succeeds though she remains ignorant of what the “Great Task” is all about. Still she tries to masquerade as a maid at Evenwood.

However, everyone can see through her disguise as she has all the qualities of a lady and none of a servant. The two Tansor sons, Perseus and Randolph court her while Esperanza becomes closer to her employer. Shockingly Esperanza realizes the Baroness still grieves the death of her fiancé Phoebus Daunt murdered by Edward Glyver over 20 years ago. While still putting on a pretense though all know otherwise, Esperanza still wonders why Madame sent her undercover inside of Evenwood.

The irony of the well written exciting Victorian thriller is those who read the first tale (see THE MEANING OF NIGHT) will know a lot more of what is happening than the bewildered Esperanza as that previous tale serves as a key to the GLASS OF TIME. Michael Cox displays his skills with that clever spin, but newcomers will enjoy THE GLASS OF TIME too because of how the author intertwines the previous plot into this story line. Readers will enjoy a great historical brilliantly enacted.

Harriet Klausner