Oh, yummy! This is a glorious gothick extravaganza, featuring mistaken identities, forbidden love (of many kinds), two feisty heroines in big frocks (or not, as occasion demands), and the stinking, dangerous, foul, criminal haunted slums of London. It wrong-footed me a couple of times, which is always good, and I loved the final untangling of the sordid web.
I think I particularly liked the portrayal of the London slums, and the sheer desperation of life there. It really shows you how easy it would have been to sink without trace, if just a couple of things went wrong (being orphaned and friendless is never a great start in life, but at least we have some kind of a welfare state now that just might notice you). Hester crawls her way back out of the mire, using her own native wit to do so, and she’s fabulous.