The Silver Collar

Written by Antonia Hodgson
Review by jay Dixon

The Silver Collar is the fourth in Antonia Hodgson’s series about Thomas Hawkins and Kitty Sparks. I had read the first – The Devil in the Marshalsea – and found it rather dark, so did not continue with the series. This novel is not as dark.  I had no difficulty in following the story nor understanding the parts of the backstory I didn’t know about.

In this novel Tom discovers there is a price on his head, and with the help of Kitty and Sam Fleet, his ward, sets out to discover why. The story takes place over a year and is well-written, gripping, with enough incidents to keep you reading. It is set in Georgian England and deals with slavery, as well as murder, class and female subordination. It is historically accurate, with good descriptions of place and time, and uses historical characters (as the Author’s Note explains) in minor roles. I liked Tom – a believable rogue – and Kitty, the young owner of a bookshop in London and obviously business-savvy, and thought both they and the other characters were credible.

I do not usually like books with multiple viewpoints, but in The Silver Collar it works, and I did not find it intrusive. Indeed, I found the letter written by the stuttering ex-slave poignant and became angry about the way both he and women were treated in that period.

The author has done her research and knows Georgian London well. It is nice to read a book by an author you trust! I look forward to the next in the series and have already ordered the ones I haven’t read.