Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

I really enjoyed Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s second novel, Daughters of Night, earlier this year, so I was keen to go back and read her first novel – Blood & Sugar. Even better, it was one of Waterstones’ Read for Ukraine titles – a selection of books with 100% of the price going to help support Oxfam’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Other books in the selection include All the Lonely People and The Lido (this list his recently been updated, so the range changes).

Blood & Sugar is told in the first person by Captain Henry Corsham, known as Harry. In Daughters of Night his wife, Caro, takes centre stage. Caro features very little in Blood & Sugar, just as Harry features very little in Daughters of Night.

In London in 1781, Harry, a war hero embarking on a political career, is visited by his old friend’s sister. Amelia Bradstreet is concerned that she hasn’t seen her brother, Thaddeus (Tad) for a few days. Tad had been looking into a secret about the British slaving industry and feared his life was in danger. He’d told Amelia to go to Harry if she had any concerns.

He’d been last heard of in Deptford, one of the centres of the slaving industry, so Harry sets out to investigate. He tries to retrace Tad’s steps  and talk to his friends and enemies alike. But everyone has secrets and nobody is being completely honest with him. What was the big secret Tad was going to expose? And is Harry in as much danger as Tad was?

The clues keep coming, but with every new clue and new witness there seems to be a new mystery or question.

Blood & Sugar is a moving and atmospheric mystery, based on a lot of historical fact about the British slave industry. It is shocking to read about the way people were traded and not even viewed as human. The horrific act which the story revolves around was very similar to an incident which really happened at the time.

I really enjoyed Blood & Sugar, but for me it wasn’t quite as good as Daughters of Night. If you’re looking for a historical page turner, I would definitely recommend it, but if you’re looking for a fun summer read, this probably isn’t it!

Blood & Sugar, Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Book review

Author: Sarah Mummy

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4 Comments

  1. That sounds quite haunting. Maybe I’ll put in my list for reading later. I like to alternate between light hearted and darker books.

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    • I know what you mean about alternating between light and dark books. I don’t consciously alternate, but I know when I’m read for a change in direction. This is well worth a read when you’re ready for a darker book.

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  2. It is great what Waterstones are raising money for Ukraine.
    I am not usually into historical books but this one sounds like a good one. x

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    • It’s really good that Waterstone are raising money for Ukraine! I only got into historical books in the last couple of years, but I really enjoy them now. x

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