The Hocus Girl
by Chris Nickson

Thief-taker Simon Westow must save one of his closest friends from a grim fate at the hands of the government in this compelling historical mystery.

Leeds, May 1822. Thief-taker Simon Westow owes Davey and Emily Ashton everything – the siblings gave him sanctuary when he needed it most. So when Davey is arrested for sedition and Emily begs Simon for help, he starts asking questions, determined to clear his friend. Are the answers linked to rumours of a mysterious government spy in town?
Davey’s not the only one who needs Simon’s help. Timber merchant George Ericsson has been ‘hocussed’ by a young woman who spiked his drink and stole his valuable ring and watch. Who is she, and how does she know one of Simon’s assistant Jane’s deepest secrets? The path to the truth is twisted and dangerous. Simon and Jane encounter murder, lies, betrayal and a government terrified of its own people as they attempt to save Davey and find the hocus girl.


“Outstanding … Historical mysteries don’t get much better than this”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“This historical tour de force reminds readers who come for the mystery that life hasn’t changed for the disenfranchised”

Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

“Combines multiple twists, vivid descriptions of life in the early nineteenth century, strong characters, and a surprising ending. A perfect read-alike for David Liss' popular series starring another British thief-taker, Benjamin Weaver”


“This is an excellent historical mystery, the second in the Simon Westow series. Readers will enjoy it and look forward to additional books”

Historical Novel Review

“Beautifully balanced between suspense and action... the historical background... as always, engaging, detailed and authentic”

Joanne Harris, bestselling author of Chocolat

“An exciting debut... Steeped in Regency atmosphere, it holds your interest from beginning to end”

Kirkus Reviews on The Hanging Psalm

“Solid... a welcome contrast to such aristocratic Regency sleuths as C.S. Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr”

Publishers Weekly on The Hanging Psalm

“Gripping... offers authentic period ambience, vivid characters, crisp dialogue, and plenty of twists”

Booklist on The Hanging Psalm

“This dark tale features a strong and sympathetic hero as well as equally appealing supporting characters ... Likely to draw in readers of Andrea Penrose, Charles Finch, and Anne Perry”

Library Journal on The Hanging Psalm

Chris Nickson

Chris Nickson is the author of six Tom Harper mysteries and seven highly acclaimed novels in the Richard Nottingham series. He is also a well-known music journalist. He lives in his beloved Leeds.

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The Hocus Girl by Chris Nickson is available in the following formats

Paperback978178029649430th October 2020140 X 215mm224£13.99
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