Genre: Fiction
Published: 22 June 2023
Publisher: Mantle
International Rights have been sold to US/Atria/Simon & Schuster; Russia/Eksmo ; Italy/Neri Pozza Editore

The Square of Sevens

by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s The Square of Sevens is an epic and sweeping novel set in Georgian high society, a dazzling story offering up mystery, intrigue, heartbreak, and audacious twists.

‘My father had spelt it out to me. Choice was a luxury I couldn’t afford. This is your story, Red. You must tell it well . . .’

A girl known only as Red, the daughter of a Cornish fortune-teller, travels with her father making a living predicting fortunes using the ancient method: the Square of Sevens. When her father suddenly dies, Red becomes the ward of a gentleman scholar.

Now raised as a lady amidst the Georgian splendour of Bath, her fortune-telling is a delight to high society. But she cannot ignore the questions that gnaw at her soul: who was her mother? How did she die? And who are the mysterious enemies her father was always terrified would find him?

The pursuit of these mysteries takes her from Cornwall and Bath to London and Devon, from the rough ribaldry of the Bartholemew Fair to the grand houses of two of the most powerful families in England. And while Red’s quest brings her the possibility of great reward, it also leads into her grave danger . . .

"THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is an even more impressive work. It provides a remarkably rich and immersive panorama of the world in which Red moves... Shepherd-Robinson’s story, with its twists and turns and revelations of those lies that bind and truths that rend asunder, is a deep pleasure to read." - The Sunday Times
“A big, complex mystery to lose yourself in: rich in memorable, scheming characters and vivid historical detail, full of daring twists. I was so immersed in its world, I didn’t want it to end.” - SJ Parris
“This is a book to relish, not rush through. Rich in historical detail, it’s immersive, authoritative and Dickensian in scope. Fundamentally though it’s a damn good story, brilliantly told. I loved it.” - Harriet Tyce
“A sweeping Dickensian tour-de-force of a novel. THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is an immaculately researched piece of fiction with all the twists and turns of a fortune teller’s wheel, cementing the author’s place as the queen of modern Georgian literature. Bravo, I’m in awe!” - Susan Stokes-Chapman
"A sprawling, exquisite, outright triumph. THE SQUARE OF SEVENS dazzles with heart, mystery and breathtaking detail. I doubt I’ll read a better book this year." - Chris Whitaker, author of WE BEGIN AT THE END
“A gorgeously written and plotted Georgian thriller with elements of Moll Flanders, theatre, cartomancy, and Bath. It’s as absorbing as Charles Palliser’s The Quincunx.” - Amanda Craig, bestselling author of THE GOLDEN RULES
"This is a fabulously evocative novel, with a heroine who proves the most wonderful company, and a finely spun mystery which keeps you turning the pages. THE SQUARE OF SEVENS invites you into a magical world which you won't want to leave." - Elodie Harper, bestselling author of THE WOLF DEN
“THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is a cunningly plotted and wonderfully captivating novel that conjures up the Georgian period with a magical touch. Shepherd-Robinson guides us effortlessly through the social and political landscape of the time – the South Sea Bubble, the wonders of science, the complicated manners of Bath society – and populates this terrain, from drawing rooms to backstreets, with a plucky heroine and a cast of hugely engaging characters, each with their own secrets and flaws and all woven together with Dickensian deftness. I defy even the most curmudgeonly not to be thoroughly entertained.” - Elizabeth Fremantle
“THE SQUARE OF SEVENS isn’t just a 5* read, it’s a fully immersive experience. I lived Red’s quest, rooting for her every step of the way. Loaded with plot and intrigue and sumptuous period detail, this kept me guessing until the end.” - Caz Frear
“What a magnificent rollercoaster ride of a book . . . Laura Shepherd-Robinson writes with such a fluid, easy style, with a knack for putting in just the right amount of detail to perfectly paint the world she is describing . . . I am in awe.” - James Oswald, bestselling author of the INSPECTOR MCLEAN series
“Laura Shepherd-Robinson has created an instant classic. Red is unforgettable. The story is a treasure trove of lavish Georgian riches, female ingenuity and bitter betrayal. I didn't see the twist coming, and didn't want it to end.” - Sophia Bennett, author of HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN INVESTIGATES series
“What a magnificent novel. I would advise any reader to set aside reading time to fully concentrate on this brilliantly complex story. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this is one of the most intriguing books I have ever read. THE SQUARE OF SEVENS by Laura Shepherd-Robinson is a work of great scholarship and meticulous research. Historical fiction at its very finest.” - Liz Nugent, bestselling author of OUR LITTLE CRUELTIES and STRANGE SALLY DIAMOND
“Laura Shepherd-Robinson is a master storyteller and she excels herself with this Dickensian epic. Relentless twists, heartbreaking storylines and impeccable research. It doesn’t get much better than this.” - Emily Koch, author of KEEP HIM CLOSE and WHAT JULY KNEW
“Such brilliant storytelling with twists and turns that leave you breathless. I love Laura’s books and this is her best yet.” - Julia Owen Moylan, author of THAT GREEN EYED GIRL
“Ever since her bestselling debut, BLOOD & SUGAR, Laura Shepherd-Robinson has made the Georgian era her own. In her latest, THE SQUARE OF SEVENS, she revisits the period, this time following a young girl named Red as she navigates the dark mysteries of her own past and the convoluted – and murderous – machinations of two of the country’s most prominent dynasties warring over a disputed inheritance. A big, meaty, meticulously researched and unashamedly ambitious historical novel.” - Vaseem Khan, author of THE MALABAR HOUSE series
"This rich, complex and haunting Dickensian epic is a triumph of the Gothic genre. A book that stays with you. Shepherd-Robinson is an exceptional writer and meticulous researcher. She creates an atmosphere so evocative of the 18th century I breathed the same air as the characters, wore their clothes, felt what they felt. THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is a masterpiece." - Janice Hallett
“What an exhilarating, thrilling ride this was! Rich in period detail, relentless in pace, with a fiery heroine who pulls you along behind her as she gouges her way through wealth, corrupt Georgian society. Laura Shepherd-Robinson has written an absolute belter.” - Tammy Cohen
"Fortune-telling, hidden documents, priest holes, courtroom drama and dramatic revelations: THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is a deck of cards crammed full with secrets and lies." - Leonora Nattrass
“Pitch-perfect. Laura Shepherd Robinson has done it again – a beautifully strung novel quivering with just the right blend of pace, plot and historical detail. Bravo!” - Victoria Selman
“What a sumptuous, intricate, masterfully woven & beautifully told story of deception & corruption, power & passion, family secrets & enduring lies. Absolutely exquisite.” - Erin Young
“This is such a glorious adventure, full of scheming and betrayal, with a delicious whiff of magic at its heart. Our hero holds only a few cards, and she must play them exactly right if she wants to survive.” - William Shaw
"It’s impossible to overstate the brilliance Laura Shepherd-Robinson demonstrates in her work. To find a writer with such a clear love and understanding of her subject and have it matched by a sparkling ability to spin a yarn is rare and exciting. THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is an exquisite feat in storytelling: intelligent, dark, surprising, moving, and always entertaining. Shepherd-Robinson's characters are so brilliantly drawn, the story so richly imagined, and the world she conjures so vivid that I imagined myself there, amidst it all, my heart in my mouth as the players race towards their fate." - Charlotte Philby
“Laura Shepherd Robinson is a brilliant, brilliant writer, up there with CJ Sansom and Andrew Taylor.” - James O'Brien
"In THE SQUARE OF SEVENS, Laura Shepherd-Robinson excels at recreating the past - in this case, Georgian England - in an authentic way. She invites us to join fortune teller Red on an epic journey to unravel the secrets of her past and we cannot rest until we have answers. Dazzling." - Fiona Cummins
“Very few writers writing today can touch the quality and story-telling of this magical book” - Imran Mahmood
“Laura Shepherd-Robinson's latest is a book to lose yourself in, so meticulously researched and filled with such vivid sensory detail that readers will swear they've actually journeyed through both the grand estates and seedy underbelly of Georgian England. A gripping, Gothic read that, like its mysterious heroine, lures you in from the first page and keeps you guessing until the very end." - Molly Greeley, author of MARVELOUS
"Suspenseful and intricately planned, THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is a work where every page seems to hold the promise of a new thrilling secret. More than a mystery, it is a book that radiates a deep love of storytelling and the magic of a well-told tale." - Katherine J. Chen, author of JOAN
"Bright, gripping, and brilliantly researched, THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is a masterful, Gothic read." - Signe Pike, author of THE LOST QUEEN series
“A fabulous historical novel that races along like a galloping pony…also a plot of such rococo intricacy that would make Wilkie Collins weep with envy.” - Andrew Taylor
"THE SQUARE OF SEVENS is a reminder that Laura Shepherd Robinson is riding high in the historical crime stakes; this is a sprawling epic novel set in Georgian high society, with its lively fortune-telling heroine Red unearthing her own lethal legacy." - Barry Forshaw, Financial Times
“THE SQUARE OF SEVENS captured me from the opening lines to the breathtaking ending. With a mysterious heroine who is a sheer delight to follow through Georgian England, this is a story that will sweep you away. Secrets reveal themselves in a Gothic and suspenseful tale that will keep you guessing until the very end. Intricate, haunting and magical by turns, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s tale is an absolute immersive read you won’t soon forget.” - Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea
"Beguiling... this atmospheric and complex novel will have you spellbound." - Woman & Home
“All the charm and intricate plotting that we expect from Laura’s books – it is exquisitely and meticulously plotted and you’ll want to curl up and absorb it all in as few readings as possible. For me, it’s reminiscent of Sarah Waters – praise that is richly deserved.” - Belfast Telegraph
“Prepare to be beguiled by Red’s rich and immersive world.” - Heat Book of the Week
“This is an intricately plotted, epic book that delivers twists in its 560 pages. A big satisfying and clever read to keep you guessing on the beach this summer.” - The Times
"Fans of Shepherd-Robinson's novels will not be disappointed with this Georgian-set mystery." - Zoe West, Woman's Weekly
“You do not have to be adept at any form of fortune telling to predict that this superbly plotted, roistering novel will be one of the must-reads of the year.” - Camden New Journal
"Fans of Shepherd-Robinson's previous novels will not be disappointed with this beguiling Georgian-set mystery...this atmospheric and complex novel will have you spellbound." - Woman's Magazine
“A corkscrew plot, full of ingenious twists and turns, a charismatic heroine, a rogue’s gallery of aristocratic rascals in Georgian England and a dangerous family feud makes Shepherd-Robinson’s third novel a hugely engaging, entertaining read.” - The Daily Mail
"Shepherd-Robinson presents perennial themes of truth and lies, love and loyalty, and chance and fate, sprinkling the narrative with historical figures. This is a captivatingly complex tale of intrigue." - Publisher's Weekly
"This engaging riddle of a book is filled with period colour, clever twists and turns and the best set of characters this side of Dickens... It's ingeniously plotted, panoramic and deeply satisfying." - Matt Nixson, Express
"Laura Shepherd-Robinson has been acclaimed for her historical thrillers, and this does not disappoint. This is an impressively clever, entrancing novel about truth and lies which keeps the reader guessing right to the end." - Historical Novel Society
"Murders, deception and a cliff-top fight to the death have this novel roaring to an unpredictable finish." - The Washington Post
"This book completely consumed me for two days. I read it for four hours a night. I was fascinated by the intricacy of the plotting." - Annie Macmanus, Between The Covers
"(A) delicious puzzle of a novel." - The New York Times

Other Books by Laura Shepherd-Robinson