Excerpt from The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

by Mackenzi Lee

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee X
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2018, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2020, 480 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Edinburgh
17—

1


I have just taken an overly large bite of iced bun when Callum slices his finger off.

We are in the middle of our usual nightly routine, after the bakery is shut and the lamps along the Cowgate are lit, their syrupy glow creating halos against the twilight. I wash the day's dishes and Callum dries. Since I am always finished first, I get to dip into whatever baked goods are left over from the day while I wait for him to count the till. Still on the counter are the three iced buns I have been eyeing all day, the sort Callum piles with sticky, translucent frosting to make up for all the years his father, who had the shop before him, skimped on it. Their domes are beginning to collapse from a long day unpurchased, the cherries that top them slipping down the sides. Fortunately, I have never been a girl overbothered with aesthetics. I would have happily tucked in to buns far uglier than these.

Callum is always a bit of a hand wringer who doesn't enjoy eye contact, but he's jumpier than usual tonight. He stepped on a butter mold this morning, cracking it in half, and burned two trays of brioche. He fumbles every dish I pass him and stares up at the ceiling as I prod the conversation along, his already ruddy cheeks going even redder.

I do not particularly mind being the foremost conversationalist out of the pair of us. Even on his chattiest days, I usually am. Or he lets me be. As he finishes drying the cutlery, I am telling him about the time that has elapsed since the last letter I sent to the Royal Infirmary about my admission to their teaching hospital and the private physician who last week responded to my request to sit in on one of his dissections with a three-word missive—no, thank you.

"Maybe I need a different approach," I say, pinching the top off an iced bun and bringing it up to my lips, though I know full well it's too large for a single bite.

Callum looks up from the knife he's wiping and cries, "Wait, don't eat that!" with such vehemence that I startle, and he startles, and the knife pops through the towel and straight through the tip of his finger. There's a small plop as the severed tip lands in the dishwater.

The blood starts at once, dripping from his hand and into the soapy water, where it blossoms through the suds like poppies bursting from their buds. All the color leaves his face as he stares down at his hand, then says, "Oh dear."

It is, I must confess, the most excited I have ever been in Callum's presence. I can't remember the last time I was so excited. Here I am with an actual medical emergency and no male physicians to push me out of the way to handle it. With a chunk of his finger missing, Callum is the most interesting he has ever been to me.

I leaf through the mental compendium of medical knowledge I have compiled over years of study, and I land, as I almost always do, on Dr. Alexander Platt's Treaties on Human Blood and Its Movement through the Body. In it, he writes that hands are complex instruments: each contains twenty-seven bones, four tendons, three main nerves, two arteries, two major muscle groups, and a complex network of veins that I am still trying to memorize, all wrapped up in tissue and skin and capped with fingernails. There are sensory components and motor functions—affecting everything from the ability to take a pinch of salt to bending at the elbow—that begin in the hand and run all the way into the arm, any of which can be mucked up by a misplaced knife.

Callum is staring wide-eyed at his finger, still as a rabbit dazed by the snap of a snare and making no attempt to staunch the blood. I snatch the towel from his hand and swaddle the tip of his finger in it, for the priority when dealing with a wound spouting excessive blood is to remind that blood that it will do far more good inside the body than out. It soaks through the cloth almost immediately, leaving my palms red and sticky.

Excerpted from The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. Copyright © 2018 by Mackenzi Lee. Excerpted by permission of Katherine Tegan Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Women Who Ruled the Waves

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Debt Trap
    The Debt Trap
    by Josh Mitchell
    The Debt Trap by Josh Mitchell opens up the dialogue for meaningful conversations about a problem ...
  • Book Jacket: Razorblade Tears
    Razorblade Tears
    by S. A. Cosby
    Razorblade Tears, a thriller by S.A. Cosby, follows a pair of ex-convicts who team up to avenge the ...
  • Book Jacket: Once There Were Wolves
    Once There Were Wolves
    by Charlotte McConaghy
    In Charlotte McConaghy's second novel after her debut Migrations, environmental biologist Inti Flynn...
  • Book Jacket: The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
    The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
    by Alka Joshi
    Alka Joshi's The Secret Keeper of Jaipur is the sequel to her 2020 bestseller The Henna Artist and ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
In Every Mirror She's Black
by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
An arresting debut for anyone looking for insight into what it means to be a Black woman in the world.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Chance Library
    by Freya Sampson

    Fans of libraries and heartfelt, humorous fiction won't want to miss this one!

  • Book Jacket

    The Lost Notebook of Edouard Manet
    by Maureen Gibbon

    A sensual portrait of Manet's last years, and a vibrant testament of the artistic spirit.

Who Said...

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Pull Y U B T B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.