When Sarah Waters came to Politics and Prose, she described her new book as “a love story with a crime.” Set between the wars in London, The Paying Guests (Riverhead, $28.95) tells the story of Frances, a spinster of twenty-seven, who lives with her mother in a large, decaying house. With all the men gone, the women are forced to take in lodgers to pay for their home’s upkeep. The intrigue starts when Frances falls in love with one of the lodgers. In typical Waters fashion, what follows is a gripping tale of sex, passion, and murder. Waters is a meticulous writer, delicately and deftly able to capture a time period, mood, or even a mundane task and make it come alive. She always takes readers on a rollercoaster ride, and, as with her previous books, which include Fingersmith and The Night Watch, you may find yourself turning pages well past your bedtime.
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