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Blood & Sugar

A novel by

‘A page-turner of a crime thriller . . . This is a world conveyed with convincing, terrible clarity’ – C. J. Sansom, author of Dissolution.

Winner of the HWA Debut Crown
Winner of the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award

Blood & Sugar is the thrilling debut historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson for fans of C. J. Sansom and Andrew Taylor.

June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock, London – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.

Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – learns that an old friend, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .

To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.

And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford . . .

'A brilliant book . . . Absolutely superb' – James O'Brien

Shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger
Shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger
Longlisted for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year

Genre: Historical Mystery

Praise for this book

"Blood & Sugar is more than just a book, it plunges the reader into the vividly compelling world of 18th century London and the horrors of the slave trade. With a hugely likeable hero at its heart, this rich and beautifully written debut marks out Laura Shepherd-Robinson as a major new talent." - Fiona Cummins

"Every colour, sound and smell of 1780s Deptford flew off the page and the depth of the characters, without exception, was extraordinary." - Caz Frear

"There is so much I could say about this gripping and original book as I absolutely loved it and will be recommending it to everyone! I felt as though I could envisage every scene and was swept along with the vivid, strong characters. I kept thinking one more chapter... one more... and if I didn't have three children to look after I would've read it through in one night!" - Karen Hamilton

"A book to be savoured. Characters and setting so vividly depicted, and a story both bold and heart-breaking. I can’t recommend it enough." - Jo Jakeman

"Utterly compelling . . . The next star of historical crime fiction has arrived." - R N Morris

"A truly addictive read about such a terrible and important part of our history." - Jenny Quintana

"A page-turner of a crime thriller...This is a world conveyed with convincing, terrible clarity." - C J Sansom

"I was completely swept away by Blood & Sugar, an immersive and exhilarating crime novel that dissects the brutal underbelly of eighteenth century London with razor blade clarity and brings to life one of the most shameful periods of British history." - Holly Seddon

"Laura has created a host of memorable, convincing and, in many cases, damaged characters, all of whom are touched in some way by the slave trade, which operates from the suitably foetid Deptford docks. She really gets under the skin of the place. Intriguing, intelligent, inspired writing." - Abi Silver

"A striking historical thriller that exposes the horrors of Britain’s slave trade . . . Few first novels are as accomplished as this." - Andrew Taylor

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