To 'walk in Pimlico' is, according to the Penguin Dictionary of Historical Slang, the colloquial expression 'to be handsomely dressed'. Comedian, clog dancer, comic vocalist, actor and all-round funny fellow Corney Sage is treading the boards at the Constellation in Whitechapel when he stumbles across the body of an actress outside the theatre and catches sight of the killer as he escapes. Corney was not the only witness. Fellow actress Lucy Strong also saw what happened and when the murderer returns to the scene of the crime that same night, both fear for their lives. Corney and Lucy flee London separately, keeping in touch with each other through a series of advertisements in the trade paper, the Era.
Certain they have escaped the same fate as Bessie, they settle into their new lives away from London.
But the murderer - a master of disguise - is slowly closing in on them and it is only a matter of time before he pounces ...From the drawing rooms of polite society to the back rooms of brothels, through music halls, circus rings and freak shows, Ann Featherstone brilliantly reconstructs 19th century England in this gripping psychological thriller.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 08/07/2010
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781848541740
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Review by devenish
This unusual novel about the Victorian Theatre is to be highly recommended. It concerns the murder of a prostitute,which has been witnessed by one Corney Sage. Sage is a low comedian and clog-dancer who spends most of the story being pursued by a most unusual and almost invisible killer. The era is wonderfully evoked as are the atmospheres of concert-rooms,circuses and freak-shows. Featherstone's expertise in her writing about the theatre is evident.