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“Everyone, please take shelter behind the hedges,” Felicity Carrol announced.
Her homemade bomb was about to explode.
The dozen servants obeyed without hesitation. It was nearly ten at night, and they had already rescued what furniture and art they could from the east wing before Felicity told them to leave the rest to the flames. With help, she had first rescued the chemicals and scientific equipment from her laboratory, which was the source of the fire currently consuming the house.
When Felicity determined that the blaze could not be contained and would spread, she came up with a plan to save the rest of Carrol Manor. In the kitchen, she combined the perfect amounts of glycerin with nitric and sulfuric acids. She added torn paper and porridge oats to absorb the unstable mixture. With cautious movements, she packed the volatile paste into an Italian ceramic urn she had always disliked. As she did so, she reviewed the formula in her mind. Many times, pride in her knowledge and abilities suppressed any doubt about her experiments. She loathed that aspect of her personality—taking pleasure in what she could accomplish. For instance, she would bet no other young woman in England, well, in all of Surrey anyway, was capable of constructing a bomb in their kitchen. Despite the delicate work, Felicity wanted to laugh. Besides herself, what young woman would even want to pack an urn with dynamite?
An English lord is murdered at the British Museum. Scotland Yard believes he was killed by a robber who stole a priceless antiquity. Felicity Carrol launches her own investigation because the victim was her mentor and friend. Felicity is educated, wealthy and has no interest in playing the role of a proper young woman in Victorian Britain. Using scientific methods, deductions, and grit, her enquiry reveals that fate of the country may be in danger if she fails. “Readers who hunger for more portraits of independent women determined to make their ways in a stultifying society will take the heroine to heart.”—Kirkus Reviews