Cross My Palm
London ladies in the 1860s loved to hold supper parties and have their fortunes told. Fortune-teller Miss Rose Lee is taken up by Lady Quayle and invited to inspect the palms of her guests. Rather to her surprise, Rose sees something she would rather not in the hand of one guest and keeps the secret to herself. Little by little and with tragic results, she is drawn into the dark happenings surrounding the Quayle family. It is an intriguing tale, oddly told through the two girls, Rose and Tabitha Quayle, and the official reports of three policemen.
The voices of the girls are at times are distinct and different and at others confusingly similar, so that surroundings and secondary characters offer the clues we need to know about whose story we are following. The hero, if I can call him that, is depicted as a magnetic and rather callous creature who comes and goes on various important but never fully explained activities. Tabitha’s devotion to him is total. The character of poor Lady Quayle is sympathetically drawn. I enjoyed the tale but felt that at just over 200 pages it was rather brief, and I wished the author had made more of the story.