The Silversmith's Wife by Sophia Tobin
Simon & Schuster, 2014. ISBN: 9781471128097.
(Age: Senior students - Adult) The Silversmith's Wife is set in the late eighteenth century London and follows the intricacies of a crossed web of lovers which begins to untangle only with the brutal murder of the Silversmith, Pierre Renard. Found by the night watchman his murder is dismissed as a petty theft, unworthy of serious investigation, however, by request, Digby agrees to look further into the death. He makes many discoveries about the man Pierre Renard however the crucial titbit, the culprit, remains a mystery to Digby.
The Silversmith was a cruel man to his wife who had been pushed into the marriage by her family and in the process has lost all that was dear to her, including her spirit. The portrayal of women from this time is always with a differential approach, this novel is no different making out the Silversmith's wife to be of little worth, a trophy of sorts and unable to be trusted in business.
Interspaced with journal entries written by Pierre Renard himself and broken by accounts from those involved in the investigation and in his previous life the mystery of his murder is slowly uncovered as the complicated web of his affections unravels. Historical drama is the easiest description to apply to this novel and despite being classed as an adult novel I would recommended for seniors with an interest in eighteenth century life. The adult themes present, such as rape and murder, are portrayed mildly enough for senior students. Some crass words have been implemented throughout the novel for effect.