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Excerpt from The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

by Natasha Pulley

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley X
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2015, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2015, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sharry Wright
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Print Excerpt


'You've got a cabinet full of watches there that look like they've managed to stay pawned,' Thaniel protested.

'You don't see one of these, though, do you? Just get out.' He showed the handle of a cricket bat he had under the counter. Thaniel held his hands up and left. There were some little boys playing Indians outside, and he had to weave around them. He looked back at the pawn shop, wanting to go back and ask for the names of the people who had tried to sell on the watches before, but he doubted he would get much but a swing from the cricket bat for his trouble. Frustrated, he went home and put the watch back on to its dressing-table chair.

If what the pawnbroker had said was true, he wouldn't find anyone who would take it. A prickling terseness started about halfway down his spine, as though somebody had rested their fingertips gun-shaped between the vertebrae there. He bent his arm back and pressed his thumb into it hard. People did run scams around expensive watches, and he did sometimes forget to latch the door. In the balance of probability, it was unlikely that somebody had broken into his flat twice, wound the watch, then made it impossible for him to get rid of it. The money it would take to upset all the pawnbrokers in London, for a start. He couldn't convince himself.

The next day Thaniel retrieved the will papers from the back of his drawer, under the Lipton's packet. They came out gritty with tea powder. He swept it off and filled out the blank spaces in carefully clear handwriting. As he described the watch and where to find it, a ball of ink tipped down the nib of his pen and burst above Annabel's name. He shook his head once and went through the rest of the unnecessary pages before signing the last.

The weather took a sudden turn for the brighter soon after that. Spring was coming, and he began to catch himself looking at butter and cheese in shops and adding up in his head to see if they might outlive him. He took some old clothes and pillowcases to the workhouse over the river, and cleaned the outsides of the window frames when he came back.

Excerpted from The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. Copyright © 2015 by Natasha Pulley. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury USA. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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