Having just finished Luanne G. Smith’s THE RAVEN SPELL, I was amused to find myself again transported back in time to London of the past, to a teenaged girl left to manage a shop in Susan Stokes Chapman’s novel PANDORA. However, we are in the late 1700s not the late 1800s, and the shop that Dora manages is full of antiques rather than curiosities.
Until, you being to realize that these “antiques” are in fact fakes, and that Dora’s uncle Hezekiah is running a profitable black market enterprise. Or it was profitable once. Just as in THE RAVEN SPELL, Dora’s parents are dead. Just as in THE RAVEN SPELL her parents were charismatic people who ran a legit enterprise that was genuinely profitable. But business is falling off at the Hezekiah’s shop, which turns him mean and vicious.
One day, Dora realizes that something genuinely valuable has arrived in the basement under the shop. It turns out to be a magnificent (and very large) Greek storage jar. But why isn’t her uncle selling it from their shop? Why is it in the basement? And why does her uncle spend so much time down there?
Be prepared to be thrilled not only by the balls and parties of the bon ton but by a genuine murder mystery wrapped up in the stolen antiquities trade. Five stars.