Outcast Girls
by Clare, Alys

Lily Raynor goes undercover in a girls' boarding school in 1881 London to investigate runaway pupils and their connection to a shadowy group of powerful men, in the second novel of the series following The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits.

Alys Clare lives in the English countryside where her novels are set. She went to school in Tonbridge and later studied archaeology at the University of Kent. She is also the author of the Hawkenlye, Aelf Fen and Gabriel Taverner historical mystery series.

Clare‚??s second foray into the Victorian past discloses new information about her unusual heroine. Private investigator Lily Raynor, who solved a complicated mystery in The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits (2019), is barely eking out a living for herself and her employee, Felix Wilbraham, when she‚??s offered a job by Georgiana Long, a teacher at Shardlowes, a school for women in the Fens. The school is supported by the Band of Angels, a shadowy philanthropic organization founded by the MacKillivers, a pair of Scottish twins, one of whom has a mental illness. Several of the Shardlowes girls, many of them mentally or physically challenged, have gone missing from the school. Eager to avoid a scandal, Miss Long asks Lily to pose as a nurse at the school. Lily trained as a nurse, a profession she loved yet left after a mysterious incident in India. She goes to Shardlowes feeling a good deal of trepidation, but she fits in easily and soon begins to uncover disquieting facts about the missing pupils while Felix, with the help of his journalist housemate, tracks down the first girl to go missing, Esme Sullivan, whose body turns up in the water in Portsmouth. Traveling to Scotland, Felix discovers things that make him fearful for Lily, who‚??s uncovered information that puts her in grave danger when another child is stolen. The experience that formed her in India makes her determined to reveal the truth. Mystery and social commentary combine in a heartbreaking and sadly relevant tale. Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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