This is an inspirational-cum-romantic suspense-cum-Regency novel set in 1819 London. Jane Fellowes is a member of a family descended from Sir Isaac Newton. Their legacy from the great scientist is a chest that seems to have mysterious powers, such as causing madness or shocking those who touch it. Jane consults scientist Thomas Norcross in a quest to use the chest to prove the existence of God. When the chest is stolen, their search leads them into the East End and danger. Palmer based the story on real people from the period, and in an afterword explains what happened to them and to Newton’s Box in real life.
Jane and Thomas feud at first and later fall in love, as good Regency romance characters are expected to do. Jane’s religious doubts and desire for the proof of God’s existence contrast with Thomas’s initial disbelief in anything religious. There is a nice scene in which Jane and Thomas visit a circus troupe in the East End, and are impressed by the sideshow denizens’ faith, despite their physical deformities. I question the historical accuracy of some of the author’s plot points, but otherwise the book succeeds in all three genres.