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Pandora    by Susan Stokes-Chapman order for
by Susan Stokes-Chapman
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2023 (2023)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Susan Stokes-Chapman's historical fantasy, Pandora, is set in 1799 London. Its lead is talented (but unknown) jewelry artist Pandora Blake, who lives with her unpleasant uncle Hezekiah and assists him in an antiquities emporium. It was renowned when her parents ran it, but they died, and it has lost ground ever since.

Dora's beloved magpie Hermes brings scraps of items to her attic room, where she works the jewelry designs that she hopes will let her escape her uncle's orbit. He sells counterfeits, but recently acquired a mysterious Greek vase, which he keeps locked in the basement. Soon Dora meets young scholar Edward Lawrence, who has had his work repeatedly rejected by the Society of Antiquaries.

Together, they investigate the unusual vase. When Edward decides to publish their findings (which might get Dora into very serious legal difficulties) she feels betrayed. Meanwhile, several who had handled the vase, have died. The violence escalates to a crescendo of a conclusion, in which Dora discovers what really happened to her parents and what they left for her to find.

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