Poppy Raven’s books are primarily mysteries, set in London and the Home Counties. However, another theme runs through them, that of status in the workplace. In her first book, ‘Enormously Improved by Death’, the low status of a woman working to run a household and bring up her children, is contrasted with that of those who employ others to do this and themselves work for money. The different ways they achieve this are factors in the solution to the mystery.
In ‘The Coward’s Weapon’, her second book, the contrast is between those who work for themselves – entrepreneurs, artisans, artists, farmers – and those who work for a salary. The focus of this book is on the different mindset required when income follows one’s own actions, rather than a steady salary in a large company.
Yvonne Thomas’ novels are also mysteries, with a touch of romance, but they are set very firmly in the past. Through accurate portrayal of life in the stratum of society seldom covered by historians – not the nobility, not the poor, but respectable middle classes – she makes us understand what it was like to live in the time of great engineering and social changes.