A historical novel of suspense, seasoned with recipes and remedies, THE PENNY HEART is a Sunday Times Summer Read that draws on age-old themes of cooking, trickery and revenge.
Sentenced to death for a simple confidence trick, Mary Jebb escapes the gallows … but her reprieve is harsh: seven years in the unforgiving penal colony of Botany Bay.
Yet Mary is determined not to be forgotten, sending two pennies, engraved with a promise, to the two men who sealed her fate.
Timid artist Grace Moore jumps at the opportunity to marry handsome gentleman Michael Croxon – happy if only to get away from her drunken father.
Lonely and desperate for companionship she turns to her new cook to help mend her ailing marriage. But Mary Jebb, shipwrecked, maltreated, and recently hired, has different plans for the owners of Delafosse Hall.
The discovery of two matching penny heart love tokens reveal Grace is tied to a world she didn’t know existed … A world of deceit, double-crossing, revenge and murder.