In 1953, the dark alleyways of Soho, London, teem with crooks, fortunetellers, cardsharks, and ladies of the night. But even the toughest racketeer has a soft spot for Rosie, the adopted daughter of the whole neighborhood and resident ray of sunshine in the local café. A doorstop orphan, her world is filled with a menagerie of neighbors come to nosh and gossip. But as her Uncle Bert and pillowy-plump Aunt Maggie work to make Rosie's adoption legal, she learns that the woman she has always known as "The Perfumed Lady" is not only a professional tart, she's also a gin addict and Rosie's mum. As the real story unfolds and Rosie becomes the target of a plot, the neighborhood's response will delight readers and leave them hungry for the future titles in this charming new series, which "Maeve Binchy fans will enjoy" (Booklist).
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Pip Granger's early childhood was spent in the back seat of her father's light aircraft smuggling brandy, tobacco, and books across the English Channel into 1950s Soho, where she lived above a café. She traveled in Europe and Asia in the 60s and 70s and taught children with special educational needs in the East End of London, before settling down in Bristol, England.From Publishers Weekly:
During Queen Elizabeth's coronation summer of 1953, Rosie, a seven-year-old waif living above an Old Compton Street caf‚ with the owners (a couple she calls Auntie Maggie and Uncle Bert), learns something about her unknown parentage in this captivating first novel. Granger, a native of London's bohemian Soho district, celebrates London low life a Dickensian rogues' gallery of pimps, prostitutes, con men, thieves and shady lawyers through the engaging voice of her endearing young heroine. "It's Edward VIII, miss," Rosie tells her teacher, eager to contribute to a class discussion about the new queen's family. "He was having it off with that Simpson woman, my auntie Maggie said so. Terrible it was. She was a divorced woman, miss, and still married to Mr. Simpson." As she talks of her school friends and neighbors, of a train trip, a beach holiday, a visit to a posh house as well as excursions closer to home, Rosie paints an earthy and entertaining picture of England a half-century ago. A high-speed chase, a kidnapping and blackmail provide the action, while the mysterious Perfumed Lady, the tart of the tale, supplies the tension. Readers expecting a conventional crime caper may be disappointed, but anyone who appreciates fine storytelling will eagerly await further word from Rosie in the sequel, The Widow Ginger, due next year. for fiction.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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