The Lost Jewels : A Novel
Author(s): Kirsty Manning
From the author of The Song of the Jade Lily comes a thrilling story of a family secret that leads to a legendary treasure.
Why would someone bury a bucket of precious jewels and gemstones and never return?
Present Day. When respected American jewelry historian, Kate Kirby, receives a call about the Cheapside jewels, she knows she’s on the brink of the experience of a lifetime.
But the trip to London forces Kate to explore secrets that have long been buried by her own family. Back in Boston, Kate has uncovered a series of sketches in her great-grandmother’s papers linking her suffragette great-grandmother Essie to the Cheapside collection. Could these sketches hold the key to Essie’s secret life in Edwardian London?
In the summer of 1912, impoverished Irish immigrant Essie Murphy happens to be visiting her brother when a workman’s pickaxe strikes through the floor of an old tenement house in Cheapside, near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The workmen uncover a stash of treasure—from Ottoman pendants to Elizabethan and Jacobean gems—and then the finds disappear again! Could these jewels—one in particular—change the fortunes of Essie and her sisters?
Together with photographer Marcus Holt, Kate Kirby chases the history of the Cheapside gems and jewels, especially the story of a small diamond champlevé enamel ring. Soon, everything Kate believes about her family, gemology, and herself will be threatened.
Based on a fascinating true story, The Lost Jewels is a riveting historical fiction novel that will captivate readers from the beginning to the unforgettable, surprising end.
"Based on the true story of the Cheapside Hoard, The Lost Jewels is a gripping mystery that skips between Edwardian and modern-day London. Intricately detailed and impeccably researched, the story grabs you from the very first moment, racing through history to uncover the bonds between generations of women and their connection to the infamous jewels. Thrilling, decadent and the perfect escape into another world. I adored this book.”
"A brilliant story, brilliantly told."
"Manning expertly guides readers back and forth from present day to 1912 London with stops in 1630 Golconda, India, and 1666 London. Like a skilled lapidary, she shapes and polishes the narrative to gradually reveal character facets and the stories that gems carry over time—vignettes describing love, loss, sacrifice, and remembrance. Characteristics of the gems themselves are carefully etched to reveal surprises, answers to riddles, and moments of deep emotion. Plotline layers unfold, illuminating shades of dark and light. This is indeed a treasure."