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Blood & Sugar


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1781. An investigation into a gruesome murder on the Deptford Docks leads to a dark secret that could change the very core of British society...

About the Author

Laura Shepherd-Robinson was born in Bristol in 1976. She has a BSc in Politics from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics. Laura worked in politics for nearly twenty years before re-entering normal life to complete an MA in Creative Writing at City University. She lives in London with her husband, Adrian.


Laura Shepherd-Robinson has written a story that is not only a page-turner of a crime thriller but, to an extent unusual in historical novels, where you feel you really are listening to a voice from the eighteenth century. This is a world conveyed with convincing, terrible clarity -- C. J. Sansom
Utterly compelling . . . The next star of historical crime fiction has arrived -- R. N. Morris
A book to be savoured. Characters and setting so vividly depicted, and a story both bold and heart-breaking. I can't recommend it enough -- Jo Jakeman, author of Sticks and Stones
A striking historical thriller that exposes the horrors of Britain's slave trade . . . Few first novels are as accomplished as this -- Andrew Taylor
Every colour, sound and smell of 1780s Deptford flew off the page and the depth of the characters, without exception, was extraordinary -- Caz Frear, author of Sweet Little Lies
Laura has created a host of memorable, convincing and, in many cases, damaged characters, all of whom are touched in some way by the slave trade, which operates from the suitably foetid Deptford docks. She really gets under the skin of the place. Intriguing, intelligent, inspired writing. -- Abi Silver, author of The Aladdin Trial
A truly addictive read about such a terrible and important part of our history -- Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl
Blood & Sugar is more than just a book, it plunges the reader into the vividly compelling world of 18th century London and the horrors of the slave trade. With a hugely likeable hero at its heart, this rich and beautifully written debut marks out Laura Shepherd-Robinson as a major new talent -- Fiona Cummins
There is so much I could say about this gripping and original book as I absolutely loved it and will be recommending it to everyone! I felt as though I could envisage every scene and was swept along with the vivid, strong characters. I kept thinking one more chapter... one more... and if I didn't have three children to look after I would've read it through in one night! * Karen Hamilton *
I was completely swept away by Blood & Sugar, an immersive and exhilarating crime novel that dissects the brutal underbelly of eighteenth century London with razor blade clarity and brings to life one of the most shameful periods of British history. -- Holly Seddon
An extraordinary historical crime novel . . . Immersive, addictive and moving, Blood & Sugar is a must for readers of historical crime fiction. -- Olivia Kiernan
Blood & Sugar is uniquely horrifying and gripping in the way that only the most meticulously researched and expertly reimagined historical novels can be . . . An extraordinary achievement. * Emily Elgar *
The most absorbing, intelligent and breathtakingly atmospheric novel I've read in a long time. Laura combines the brutal and graceful to such stunning effect I still can't believe it's a debut! -- Chris Whitaker
I devoured Blood & Sugar over the course of a few days and LOVED it . . . Dark and shocking, with an intricate plot and believable characters I felt completely immersed in eighteenth-century Britain -- Lisa Hall
I haven't read such an accomplished historical novel since I was introduced to C.J. Sansom. -- Jo Spain
I loved Blood & Sugar. It's so beautifully descriptive without losing anything to pace . . . Just brilliant. -- Joanna Nadin
Blood & Sugar is a phenomenal debut and a shoe-in for one of the books of the year for 2019. It oozes with atmosphere and classy writing. An historical novel to savour, exposing the dark secrets of the eighteenth century slave trade. On this form, Shepherd-Robinson surely has a stellar career in front of her. -- David Young
An incredible debut novel - beautifully written, fast-paced and suspenseful, with one hell of an emotional punch. Quite simply a must-read for any crime fiction fan -- Steph Broadribb
I loved it. A gripping mystery set in a world I knew little about but found myself totally immersed in, with characters that will stay with me. -- Laura Marshall, author of Friend Request
Epic, harrowing, thrilling, brutal, addictive. I read it flat out in one day -- C. J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man
Sensational . . . Incredibly harrowing at times, the mystery at the centre of this story is as compelling as any contemporary thriller. Dark, beautifully rendered, and gripping. SUPERB. -- Will Dean, author of Dark Pines
Blood and Sugar is a remarkably assured debut. With meticulous research Shepherd-Robinson has created a dark and visceral eighteenth century world that exposes disturbing truths about the slave trade -- Elizabeth Fremantle, author of The Queen's Gambit

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