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City of Light
ISBN 0385337647 / 9780385337649 / 0-385-33764-7
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Louisa Barrett is the headmistress of Macaulay School for Girls in Buffalo, New York, at the turn of the century. A passionate, highly intelligent woman, she remains unmarried but welcomes the general misconception that she is in a relationship with the radical, outspoken Francesca Coatsworthy. The husband of Louisa's late best friend is the head of the hydroelectric power project at Niagra Falls. He is turning water into light and trying to persuade the conservationists that diverting water from the Falls will not ruin its beauty. When one of the chief engineers disappears through a hole in the ice and racist graffiti appears on the town walls, Louisa is unwillingly drawn into the drama around the Falls. But Louisa has a secret and one she must protect at all costs. The layers of intrigue build to a revelatory climax. This is a compelling tale brilliantly told. Louisa Barrett is a heroine in the style of Elizabeth Bennett, headstrong, loveable and convincing as an amateur sleuth. A gripping, literary thriller. --Hannah Griffiths [via]