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Brilliant follow up to the Scarlet Widow - Beatrice Scarlet. Beatrice (the daughter of an apothecary) moved to the colonies (America), 3 years after her husband died and her son goes missing she is asked to leave and taking her daughter they go back to London to work in a refuge for fallen women. She gets caught up in a mystery of 7 missing girls who had been picked to work in a tobacco factory belonging the the benefactor of the refuge She was told that the women they were witches and the devil had spirited them away. She doesn't believe this and begins to investigate using the skills her father taught her before he died and is drawn into a web of murder and depravity. Masterton's depiction of Victorian London makes you glad you never lived in that era and Emma Gregory's brilliant narration brings it all to life.
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The Coven is masterfully written and well narrated; it is set in London in 1758 and is an excellent follow up to the Scarlet Widow. As the second book in the Beatrice Scarlett series it could quite easily be listened to as a stand-alone book as things that happened previously are merged into this novel.
After the death of her husband Beatrice has no income and her only son Noah has gone missing. She then has little option but to take up the position offered to her by the church and so Beatrice reluctantly leaves America and her hopes of finding Noah and moves to London to work in a church refuge for fallen women.
She takes her daughter with her and as they try to build a new life some of the women from the refuge go missing, Beatrice is informed that these women formed a coven and made sacrifice’s to the devil. Just to be clear, even though the title is “The Coven,” this is certainly not a story about witches.
Beatrice is convinced someone she knows is responsible for the girls disappearance and begins to investigate using the apothecary skills her father taught her. She then finds herself drawn into the disappearance and is witness to murder, rape and other horrors.
It’s a graphic and gripping tale and certainly not for the faint hearted, there are quite a few graphic sexual and murder scenes, so if you are easily offended then this probably isn’t an audiobook for you. Overall this is an intriguing audiobook and well worth my monthly credit.