Peaches and the Queen by Edith Layton
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (49 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 5 stars
Review by: Aloe
Presenting a never-before-published, holiday short story from Regency author Edith Layton!
Christmas is coming to Victorian London. A poor boy living with his milliner sister in a marginal part of town discovers his cat is missing. His old dog can’t live without the cat, so he searches—and hears that the Queen has kidnapped his cat! Queen Victoria’s favorite moggie strayed, and her minions scooped up the wrong cat—or so the boy and his sister think.
This Christmas novella tells how an earnest young Beefeater, his world-weary superior, and one of the wiliest criminals in London each try to find the right cat without disturbing the old queen, win the boy’s cat back—and woo the pretty sister—before the Queen leaves London for her Christmas holiday.
From the servants at the palace and the Queen’s own chambers, to Billingsgate and the mudlarks’ favorite taverns, the adventures are many among the high- and low-life of Victorian London.
His cat is missing. Their old dog is nearing the end of his life and the cat is his buddy. If the cat is there, he gets up and moves around and eats better. But the cat hasn’t come back for a couple of days. Where could it be?
This is a sweet tale that the author shares by wrapping her words around you. You worry about the young boy and his sister since they are living on the edge of poverty. You also worry about the cat. You should, because the Queen’s cat is missing and they are offering a reward for the return of the animal. The bad news is it’s another orange cat. Suddenly everybody is looking for an orange cat!
Ms. Layton has introduced us to two children who are very brave and love each other. The sister will do what she can to help her younger brother. Her brother looks in areas of the city that are not safe for his sister to travel. It’s Victorian times and things are tough everywhere.
He finally asks the man who has his hand in every dirty deal in town to help him get his cat back from the Queen. He knows she has it. He will help if he introduces him to his sister. He agrees. His sister is not happy.
In no time at all, there are two more men from the castle involved and they also have an interest in his sister…
It’s Christmas and sometimes dreams come true. I enjoyed this read a lot. It’s busy tale with lots of characters, cats, and even the beginning of a romance. Ms. Layton writes a good tale and I’ll be looking for more written by her. Try it, you might feel the same way.