"The Watchmaker's Daughter" by C.J. Archer
A Quick Summary
Title : The Watchmaker's Daughter
Author : C.J. Archer
Publisher : C.J. Archer
Publication Date : June 28, 2016
Page Length : 302 pages
First book in the Glass and Steele Series.
India Steele has lost everything: her father, her fiancé and her employment and home. As a watchmaker's daughter, India had learned how to repair watches, so after his death when her fiancé left her and took her father's shop with him, India was left with anger and nothing else. When Mr. Glass is at her father's old store, she tries to make him no longer interested in making a purchase. In the end, she gets what she wants as well as employment and boarding with the strange man. She begins to suspect he is the American Outlaw in the papers and wishes to turn him in for the money, but has to find proof while she helps him look for a watchmaker by the name of Chronos. As they search, India learns how to be her own woman and gets herself into all kinds of trouble, including a possible romance beginning to bud with Mr. Glass. However, Mr Glass's watch is spiking all kinds of interest as well as some new information that may be of great importance as why the guild of watchmaker's may be wary of her. Will they find Chronos? Is Mr. Glass an outlaw and what is with his watch?
Review Time (May Contain Spoilers)
This book has several interesting characters that seem to hold some importance to the story progression, even though it focuses mostly on India Steele and Mathew Glass. At first, I couldn't fathom so many different characters being of importance, besides adding filler, but as I read, it became quite clear that each character I will more than likely discuss later on, was there for a helping solve some mystery and add to some information you will need. That just makes it interesting though. There is ton of mystery surrounding the main characters as is, but with all the little side things that goes on, it only adds to the mystery and allows the reader to question the characters, themselves and even the author. Not a bad thing though, as it keeps you on your toes and constantly trying to figure things out. Though, the story answers a few questions, you can't help but feel you might be missing a piece and thus need more information. With it being the first in the series, you will continue to want more and thus proceed to the next book, if you can afford it. (Please note The Watchmaker's Daughter is free on Kindle but each book costs $4.99 plus tax USD after that.) So let's begin with the review.
First you are introduced to India Steele and is given some information about her past. This includes the loss of her father and her father's shop. Even though it is set in the early 18th century in London, it is clear to see women where mostly ruled by men in what they can and cannot do. With her ex-fiancé having fooled her and her father to obtain the shop in her father's will, its clear to understand how this very independent woman ahead of her time in some ways, would be upset with this. However, her actions for the time she resides in are a bit reckless and seemingly vengeful, though I don't blame her. It was refreshing to see a strong woman trying to destroy business for the man who ruined her life. Following her through the story was a delight. To see the worry some characters had about her influence on their children only added to the delight. Though we know a woman should stand up for what they believe in, that just isn't the case in this story. With men wanting fragile women who know their place, it is clear to why the worry would take place about India's indisgressions and how they could influence other young women of the time. Especially when India takes employment and residency with a strange man she doesn't know.
It is frightening to take residency up with a stranger, especially in this day and age, but with no employment and no shelter, India isn't left with much of a choice. She is smart about it though. With the papers talking about an American Outlaw running in the streets of London, she plans to sleep with a knife and does so, after all Mr. Glass is a strange American man in search of a watchmaker that she is trying to fine for him. Not to mention the ruffians he keeps at his side, including his female cousin Willie, who dresses and acts like a man. I would definitely do as India if I had been put in her position, wouldn't you? She notices shortly there is something strange with this watch Mr. Glass needs repaired and with all the secrets surrounding him and his companions, who all appear to be rough and dangerous. You can only hope to try and figure it out yourself, though the clues are very limited. I couldn't help but wonder if the American Outlaw wasn't Mathew Glass, but one of his companions. It soon becomes clear that India, who is helping Mr. Glass in his search for a mysterious watchmaker by the name of Chronos, is becoming more of an outcast among watchmakers. This makes you question if it is really the strange Mr. Glass or if it is India. At the end of the book, you can't help but feel it is a bit of both, though I won't delude to why I feel that way.
As the story goes on, you are able to learn more about Willie and Mathew through the nosiness of India and some of which through stories Mathew Glass and his Aunt (who doesn't make too much impact on the story in my opinion other than to add some drama and help India keep residency at the end of the book) when things are explained. I really liked Willie's antics, like playing poker with the Englishmen and even dragging India with her, which leads to some interesting events that make you want to question India and her father more. Willie, though a rough and tough girl from America, felt extremely vulnerable as well, even though she hid it well. I found her to add some comic relief when she was with Duke, a supposed butler to Mathew Glass, whenever they talked. Willie's strength and short temper was definitely a delight to have since India was always curious and Glass was always so serious. It was Willie in the end that helped clear a few things up to India, but not enough to satisfy my own curiosity. It did help though. I think Willie was one of my favorite characters because she was so tough, but she was a side character that helped add intrigue and wonder to the mystery at hand.
As you see the characters are pretty well developed and shrouded in mystery at the same time throughout the story. I wish we were given more answers but I am fairly pleased about this book. I definitely believe this is a must read. There had been a slight underlying romance tone, as Mathew and India seem to have a budding relationship towards the end of the book, but the mystery and suspense of the story is definitely a wonderful thing. I could go on for days about this story, but I don't want to reveal any of the major spoilers that could potentially ruin the story for you and trust me I am close to doing so. I would recommend this to everyone who loves a good mystery. Even if the story can be a bit intense at points, it makes you want to read more. It was hard to put down, even when my Kindle was screaming to be charged (It died three times while I was reading). It is a good lead into the series and I can't wait to be able to get the whole series. Apparently according to Amazon it will cost about $30 dollars. That isn't a whole lot of money, but my kid comes first. But I will get back on point now. I would rate this 5 stars out of 5 stars. So if you like a good mystery, please check it out!
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