Lizzie’s mother is dead, and left in the care of her prim older sister, the 15-year-old fears her carefree ways are over. But when tragedy strikes her small community in the summer of 1898, Lizzie discovers a sinister web of lies and deception, of murders past and present. Fierce resentments and racial tensions boil beneath the illusion of civilization. Soon, Lizzie finds herself ensnared in a secret that stretches from the opium dens of British Columbia and the alleys of San Francisco to the jungles of Panama and beyond — and it’s a secret that the murderer will do anything to protect.
“My insides are squealing in delight and horror… [Bucket of Blood] is truly a great story.” – Bibliobabes Book Reviews
“Enthralling and gripping… really sets a scene and a mood.” – Hannah Kate, Hannah’s Bookshelf
“I highly recommend Bucket of Blood… Lizzie very much reminds me of a young female Sherlock Holmes, including all of the mental complexities that make him so brilliant.” – Steampunk Canada
When Lizzie Saunders and Chen Shaozhu arrive in the port city of Victoria, BC, she dares to imagine a place where they can enjoy a happy future together. With the help of the cantankerous Mr. Fish, Lizzie begins to cultivate friendships: she volunteers with an amateur theatre group, studies medicine, tends the garden, and settles into a comfortable life of social engagements and high tea. But the crimes of her family can not be completely forgotten, no matter how hard she pretends to be normal. When a gruesome murder stirs up ghosts from her past, someone – or something – begins to haunt her through the city’s dark alleys, seedy taverns, wharves and opium dens. Is it her imagination, her guilty conscience, or a killer who knows her secret?
With her hopes for a secure life in ruins, Lizzie Saunders finds herself on the run with an unexpected traveling companion: the thief, Jack Hunter. But the winter of 1898 is a difficult time to travel. After fleeing Victoria, the two fugitives soon find themselves stranded by snow, trapped with strangers in a remote sanitarium, and the law closing in. Lizzie discovers that nothing at St. Alice Hotel is what it seems. Every guest harbours secrets, and when she befriends a dying patient, Lizzie begins to suspect that his malady is not of natural causes, but a most curious and wicked attempt at murder. Equal parts mystery, adventure, and Canadian history, ‘The Agony of St. Alice’ follows Lizzie as her journey takes her deep into the snow-bound wilderness, where monsters prowl and hunger reigns, and the winter turns weak men cruel.
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