Frankie George, a tomboy upstart, is working as a trainee journalist in a world dominated by men. Every morning she bicycles to work through the cobbled streets of the East End, where Ribchester brings the bustling community of daily workers, street urchins and misfits to life. Frankie has been sent to photograph Ebony Diamond, a trapeze artist, tiger tamer and suffragette, famed for her miniscule waist. However, where there is trouble, Ebony is never far away. But now she’s the one in trouble and Frankie has landed a gem of a story when Ebony disappears in the middle of a performance. Pulled into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset enthusiasts, suffragettes and circus freaks, Frankie follows the trail of a murderous villain from Fleet Street to the headquarters of the suffragettes. How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory?
Lucy Ribchester’s debut novel 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.