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Paraic O’Donnell with Helen MacDonald – The House on Vesper Sands (Virtual Event)
January 19, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm PST
London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances?
On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters—despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.
By turns smart, surprising, and impossible to put down, The House on Vesper Sands offers a glimpse into the strange undertow of late nineteenth-century London and the secrets we all hold inside us.
Paraic O’Donnell is a writer of fiction, poetry and criticism. His essays and reviews have appeared in the Guardian, the Irish Times, Winter Papers, and elsewhere. His US debut novel, The House on Vesper Sands (Tin House), is an IndieNext pick and was a Guardian and Observer book of the year for 2018 when it was published in the UK.
Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, illustrator, and naturalist, and an affiliated research scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She is the bestselling author of Vesper Flights and H Is for Hawk, as well as a cultural history of falcons, titled Falcon, and three collections of poetry, including Shaler’s Fish. Macdonald was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, has worked as a professional falconer, and has assisted with the management of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia. She now writes for the New York Times Magazine.