By Pip Granger
Poisoned Pen Press - October 2002
ISBN: 1590580338 - Hardcover
Historical Mystery
England, 1952

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.Com
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Seven-year-old Rosie lives with her Uncle Bert and Aunt Maggie over their cafe in Soho, London. Life is peaceful until the possibility of her being taken away from them. They have neighborhood lawyer, Sharkey Finn, draw up adoption papers. Rosie's mother is the Perfumed Lady who is addicted to gin and is a tart, but no one knows what her real story is.

When the family returns from a vacation in Brighton, they find that Rosie's safety is being threatened by someone who wishes to pressure the Perfumed Lady to turn over financial control.

The tale told by the seven year old Rosie about her life during the Coronation Summer of 1952 is entrancing. There are many characters touching Rosie's life: in addition to Uncle Bert and Aunt Maggie who give her boundless love; a crystal gazer; a street wise lawyer; black market racketeers; street prostitutes; transvestites. Rosie sees them all through her innocent eyes, not quite realizing who or what they are.

The description of the Soho district in the '50's is nostalgic, revealing the closeness and warmth the of various neighborhood characters. The account of the Coronation of Elizabeth II is seen through a young girl's eyes.

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