A research job in Norfolk reveals the cause of the strange dreams that have long plagued an auction-house appraiser.
Although widowed Jude Gower hasn’t been able to put her past behind her, her job at Beecham’s Auctioneers keeps her life interesting. Her latest clients are the Wickham family of Starbrough Hall. Forced to sell an ancestor’s collection to maintain the house, they ask Jude to come do an appraisal. Because her grandmother grew up in a cottage on the Starbrough estate and her sister Claire and niece Summer live nearby, she’s especially pleased to accept, and she’s soon made a series of surprising discoveries. She finds the collection of 18th-century astronomer Anthony Wickham both fascinating and valuable. She’s attracted to Euan, a naturalist who’s living in a gypsy wagon while he restores her grandmother’s cottage. Most disturbingly, she realizes that her niece Summer has been having the same dream as Jude—a dream that involves the Folly, a brick building Wickham had built as an observatory. Old diaries introduce Esther, the adopted daughter who helped Wickham with his stargazing and mysteriously vanished after his death. A diamond necklace her grandmother has kept hidden for years, gypsy friends and recently unearthed papers all help Jude come to a startling conclusion.
Hore’s first U.S. publication is a slickly packaged combination of present-day angst and romance cleverly interwoven with historical detail.