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Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive. London, 1841. One hundred eighty Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three-month v Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive. London, 1841. One hundred eighty Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three-month voyage to the other side of the world. They're daughters, sisters, mothers--and convicts. Transported for petty crimes. Except one of them has a deadly secret, and will do anything to flee justice. As the Rajah sails farther from land, the women forge a tenuous kinship. Until, in the middle of the cold and unforgiving sea, a young mother is mortally wounded, and the hunt is on for the assailant before he or she strikes again. Each woman called in for question has something to fear: Will she be attacked next? Will she be believed? Because far from land, there is nowhere to flee, and how can you prove innocence when you’ve already been found guilty?


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Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive. London, 1841. One hundred eighty Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three-month v Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive. London, 1841. One hundred eighty Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three-month voyage to the other side of the world. They're daughters, sisters, mothers--and convicts. Transported for petty crimes. Except one of them has a deadly secret, and will do anything to flee justice. As the Rajah sails farther from land, the women forge a tenuous kinship. Until, in the middle of the cold and unforgiving sea, a young mother is mortally wounded, and the hunt is on for the assailant before he or she strikes again. Each woman called in for question has something to fear: Will she be attacked next? Will she be believed? Because far from land, there is nowhere to flee, and how can you prove innocence when you’ve already been found guilty?

30 review for Dangerous Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." - Ephesians 4:28 This book blends fiction and history to tell the story of the Rajah convict ship and its voyage in 1841 taking English female convicts to Tasmania - then Van Diemen's Island. Here is a list of the real convicts aboard: https://www.hawkesbury.net.au/claimac... One hundred eighty Englishwomen board the Rajah in London, 1841. T "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." - Ephesians 4:28 This book blends fiction and history to tell the story of the Rajah convict ship and its voyage in 1841 taking English female convicts to Tasmania - then Van Diemen's Island. Here is a list of the real convicts aboard: https://www.hawkesbury.net.au/claimac... One hundred eighty Englishwomen board the Rajah in London, 1841. The women have committed petty crimes and are on a three-month voyage to Australia (Tasmania) where they will now reside. Most of their crimes were a result of doing what they needed to do to survive, to pay the bills, to defend themselves and feed their children. But there is one among them who has committed a more serious crime. One who will do anything to survive. While on board the ships matron, Kezia Hayter has the women make a quilt called the Raja Quilt. It is now housed in the National Gallery of Australia. Can you imagine doing needlework on board a ship? I can barely put needle to thread on solid ground, I cannot imagine doing it while the ship rides the waves but that is what they did. Toward the middle of the voyage Hattie, a young mother is mortally wounded. Someone on the ship is responsible, but who? As the women begin to be questioned, they also have questions themselves about their own safety, who might have reason to harm Hattie, and what will happen when they reach shore. Hope Adams does a good job showing what life was like for the women onboard: cramped uncomfortable conditions, bad food, unhygienic conditions, seasickness, having to get along with others, secrets, missing their family and homes, being suspicious of their fellow convicts and unwanted attention (and sometimes wanted attention) from the sailors. I appreciated that she gave the chapter headers, so we knew what character's POV was being given and when. Through the various POV's we learn more about the characters, their pasts, what lead them to be on board the Rajah and what they are doing in their present time of 1841. Some of the characters in this book are based on the real-life people on board the Rajah, the author changed some of the convict’s names and others are a work of fiction. I enjoyed the story but also felt it could have been pared down a little in the middle. Hope Adams did her research and yet again I have learned a new piece of history from reading a book! An interesting piece of work - the quilt and the book. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. See more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    After finishing this heartbreaking, moving, thought provoking novel which truly shakes you to the core, only thing on my mind is going to National Gallery of Australia for seeing the giant quilt created by these women hanging on the wall. The book is created based on true stories of 180 women who were convicted mostly from petty crimes and released from prison to set sailed to Rajah/ Tasmania: a historical vessel for starting a new life. There are also 10 children on the board. And in this ficti After finishing this heartbreaking, moving, thought provoking novel which truly shakes you to the core, only thing on my mind is going to National Gallery of Australia for seeing the giant quilt created by these women hanging on the wall. The book is created based on true stories of 180 women who were convicted mostly from petty crimes and released from prison to set sailed to Rajah/ Tasmania: a historical vessel for starting a new life. There are also 10 children on the board. And in this fiction version one of the women is murderer because there is attempted murder mystery added into story : one of the women was stabbed. But this book’s genre is closer to women’s fiction/ historical fiction than thriller and mystery genres. There are such great, realistic portraits of women who were reluctantly found themselves in criminal world and they did what they had to do for surviving. The circumstances pushed them make wrong choices. They were just the unlucky women who were dealt with the shittiest hands. It was so easy to resonate with those flawed, heartbroken, tired characters who deserve second chances. You can feel their miseries, anger, sadness, resentments, fears. The author did a great job to combine different women stories harmoniously. I read so many articles to define the fiction and real life events of this journey. Royal Navy Surgeon James Donovan and minister Rev. Roland Davies were truly on the for sailing to Rajah in 1841 as it is mentioned on the book. Kezia Hayter, 23 years old is also based on true character, who accompanied the women through their journey. It was one of the heartbreaking, well researched, intriguing historical fiction with soul crushing real life women stories! It’s touchy, poignant, truly well written which deserves my four Australian, true story, sad, powerful stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Blaine DeSantis

    First time author Hope Adams has a real winner in her debut historical fiction/mystery novel, Dangerous Women. This book is set in 1841 and follows the fates of 180 women who are being transported on the boat, Rajah, from jails in England to Van Diemen’s Land, which is present day Tasmania. The trip takes 15 weeks and is told through the eyes of 3 or 4 main characters, as they recount the trip, as well as a stabbing assault that takes place upon the boat during this crossing. The book begins wit First time author Hope Adams has a real winner in her debut historical fiction/mystery novel, Dangerous Women. This book is set in 1841 and follows the fates of 180 women who are being transported on the boat, Rajah, from jails in England to Van Diemen’s Land, which is present day Tasmania. The trip takes 15 weeks and is told through the eyes of 3 or 4 main characters, as they recount the trip, as well as a stabbing assault that takes place upon the boat during this crossing. The book begins with the assault and then chapters go back and forth (titled conveniently as Then or Now), telling tales on how and why some of the ladies got to be part of the prisoner transport, as well as trying to solve the stabbing before arriving at Hobart. What ties so much of this together is a sewing group that Matron Kezia Hayter establishes from Day One. The group is sewing a quilt that will be presented to the Governor of Van Diemen’s Land upon their arrival, and it is through this group of ladies that the stories unfold. None who are transported are supposed to have been convicted of murder, and yet one of these ladies has slipped through onto the Rajah. We can also sympathize with many of these convicts since their life situations placed them in a position that they had to commit criminal acts just to survive. In addition to the ladies, the book also follows Matron Hayter, the ship’s captain Charles Ferguson, along with the ships physician and priest. These male characters come to the fore during the investigation as to the stabbing, while the victim lies in a coma. Was the attacker one of the ladies of the sewing group, one of the other convicts, or could it have been one of the sailors? Throughout the book we get to view Matron Hayter as the rock that all these ladies rely upon, and we see the changes brought about due to the sewing circle and Hayter’s belief in forgiveness and compassion. But first and foremost this is a compelling mystery, all wrapped around a group of lady convicts who are headed to an unknown future in a land they know nothing about. How could someone get ahold of a knife, what drove that person to the attack, and how can such an incident be solved when every woman on the boat is a convict which can lead to many suspects and also many lies and denials of acts on board. History plays a main focus in this book, as the author has blended historical characters with a group of fictional ladies. There are dangerous women living in cramped quarters for 15 weeks. Nerves fray, alliances form, and love blooms in this fast paced, well written novel. This is a great page-turner that I finished in two days. Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with a free Advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. This review was first posted at mysteryandsuspense.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    The Rajah Quilt. It's mere existence is an enduring witness to the sisterhood that was established on this voyage from England to Van Diemen's Island in 1841. Nearly 200 female convicts are being sent to what is now Tasmania. These were women who had all been convicted of petty theft and other crimes not deemed worthy of capital punishment. A young woman named Kezia Hayter volunteers to be a matron on the ship for free passage. The Rajah Quilt was her vision and it was accomplished. An amazing f The Rajah Quilt. It's mere existence is an enduring witness to the sisterhood that was established on this voyage from England to Van Diemen's Island in 1841. Nearly 200 female convicts are being sent to what is now Tasmania. These were women who had all been convicted of petty theft and other crimes not deemed worthy of capital punishment. A young woman named Kezia Hayter volunteers to be a matron on the ship for free passage. The Rajah Quilt was her vision and it was accomplished. An amazing feat. I cannot imagine doing my cross stitch projects on the deck of a ship on the high seas. In addition to highlighting the quilt, Hope Adams also gives us a mystery to solve. Many of the women have secrets. Is one of them willing to kill to keep hers? For a debut combining the genres of historical fiction and mystery, I thought this was exceedingly well done. The fabric descriptions before the chapters were intriguing. I do wish we could have seen a graphic as well. In the end, this book shows the amazing things women can accomplish together. It is also a story of redemption in more ways than one. If you love this, don't miss 'The Exiles' by Christina Baker Kline which features a similar voyage on the Medea. For those who love mysteries at sea, be sure to check out 'The Devil and the Dark Water' by Stuart Turton. Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Dangerous Women is a fascinating story that blends a wonderful fictional story based on real historical events. In 1841 the Rajah convict ship set sail from London, UK to Tasmania, Australia, or as it was known back then, Van Diemen’s Land with 180 convicted criminal women onboard. Whilst on their 105-day long journey some of the women began a sewing group and made a quilt, known as The Rajah Quilt which can be viewed online as it is still on show at The Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Dangerous Women is a fascinating story that blends a wonderful fictional story based on real historical events. In 1841 the Rajah convict ship set sail from London, UK to Tasmania, Australia, or as it was known back then, Van Diemen’s Land with 180 convicted criminal women onboard. Whilst on their 105-day long journey some of the women began a sewing group and made a quilt, known as The Rajah Quilt which can be viewed online as it is still on show at The National Gallery of Australia. Author Hope Adams has blended this real-life story and created a murder mystery in which one of the women shouldn’t have been there as she took the place of another passenger and another of the women, young Hattie, is murdered just over half-way through their journey, stabbed to death, leaving a young son behind. The book is engrossing as no-one knows who the murderer is and an investigation is set up to try to find them, but everyone starts to suspect one another and new friendships become strained. As well as the mystery I loved the factual aspect of the Rajah, a ship I’d never heard of before. I knew about convicts being sent to Australia but nothing more. The story began quite slowly and at the beginning, I had to make myself stick with it as I knew that the story would pick up. It is also written in two close-together timelines, ‘Then’ and ‘Now’. Both time periods give you the date, with the ‘Now’ also telling you how many days at sea the ship has been sailing. Plus we get to hear from the different women on the ship, including the Matron, the only female not a convict on board, Kazia Hayter, based on a real person of the same name. The women and their stories all felt so real, so did their sorrow at leaving loved ones behind, knowing that for some of them they would never see their families again as there was no coming back from Australia. It is a remarkable book that once I had gotten through the first few chapters and worked out who each woman was I became engrossed and mesmerised by each of their stories as well as a need to know why Hattie had been murdered and would there be more killings.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Martie Nees Record

    Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery and Thrillers Publisher: Berkley Pub. Date: February 16, 2021 Mini-Review Let me start off by saying the Adams mixes the genres in this one. This is not the best nor the worst historical fiction that I have read. I always enjoy reading historical facts that reads like fiction, which you will find in this novel. The author takes us back to the year 1841. The story revolves around a true historical event. Approximately, 200 English women, who have been convicted for m Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery and Thrillers Publisher: Berkley Pub. Date: February 16, 2021 Mini-Review Let me start off by saying the Adams mixes the genres in this one. This is not the best nor the worst historical fiction that I have read. I always enjoy reading historical facts that reads like fiction, which you will find in this novel. The author takes us back to the year 1841. The story revolves around a true historical event. Approximately, 200 English women, who have been convicted for mostly petty crimes are released from their cells. The government places them on the real-life historical vessel named the “Rajah,” which will take them to Australia to start a new life. Adams does a good job showing us how many of the women were forced into a criminal life for survival. She also nails the dialogue/emotions between her characters on the ship with their bickering, their fears, and sometimes their kindness to one another. On their voyage, they create a real-life giant quilt, which now hangs in the National Gallery of Australia. The author explains that she has seen this Rajah Quilt and it was her inspiration to write this novel. The women received the quilt’s materials from the Ladies Society of England who were promoting the reformation of female prisoners. On the ship, there is a real-life character from this society who organizes the project. In the novel as well as in actuality she ends up marrying the captain—very sweet. The author surely did her research homework. Through the making of the quilt, we feel the women’s sorrows as well as their hopes, while enjoying their newfound friendships. I found all of this captivating. Getting back to the mixing of the genres, at the beginning of the book, on the ship, a young mother is killed. This subplot stays with us throughout the entire story. I did not think it was necessary and actually took away from the story rather than enhancing it. I kept skimming the murder mystery scenes to get back to the fascinating, old-fashioned, straight historical fiction. If the story stayed in that mode and didn’t throw in a “whodunit,” I would have enjoyed “Dangerous Women” so much more than I did. I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review. Find all my book reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list… https://books6259.wordpress.com/ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/review… https://www.facebook.com/martie.neesr… https://www.instagram.com/martie6947/ https://www.pinterest.com/martienreco…\ https://www.amazon.com/ https://twitter.com/NeesRecord

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eva K (journeyofthepages)

    Dangerous Women by Hope Adams started out so strong and I was initially gripped by the story! But the middle 60% of this book was too long, slow, scenically dark, one dimensional and frankly, boring. This is a classic "who-done-it" murder mystery but the scene and characters, while they are quite unique, were one dimensional. This story takes place during a 100+ day voyage aboard the Rajah, a massive prisoner transport ship traveling from the UK and Australia. The scenes are dark and drab while Dangerous Women by Hope Adams started out so strong and I was initially gripped by the story! But the middle 60% of this book was too long, slow, scenically dark, one dimensional and frankly, boring. This is a classic "who-done-it" murder mystery but the scene and characters, while they are quite unique, were one dimensional. This story takes place during a 100+ day voyage aboard the Rajah, a massive prisoner transport ship traveling from the UK and Australia. The scenes are dark and drab while taking place below deck or within the confines of a ship. The prisoners are all women and as such the character list is predominantly women - which was great - there was a solid portrayal of strong independent women in a world where that was rare. Many important women's issues were addressed. The back stories were moving and interesting and I loved the unique historical events that this story was built on and this was truly like nothing I've read before. But as a thriller/suspense/murder mystery, it fell flat and moved too slowly.  Thank you NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for a copy of this book for review! 

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rowlands

    YESSS. I love a well researched historical fiction so this was a massive hit for me. I knew nothing of the Rajah quilt before this book and have been thoroughly entranced by the story of it - I cant wait to do my own research into it now! The story itself is a great page turner, I felt that it moved at a really nice pace and the fictional aspect of the plot was exciting and a great murder mystery that kept me guessing throughout. A real joy to read. 5/5.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Bad girls at sea. Dangerous women is fiction based on fact. Set on a convict ship, the Rajah, transporting women convicts from the UK to Australia. The author creates a claustrophobic feel of being imprisoned on a ship with hundreds of women, and with so many characters I found it extremely hard to tell them apart, even though she narrows it down to a group of fewer than 20 women, who form a sewing group to create a patchwork quilt to teach them sewing skills and to while away their time on the Bad girls at sea. Dangerous women is fiction based on fact. Set on a convict ship, the Rajah, transporting women convicts from the UK to Australia. The author creates a claustrophobic feel of being imprisoned on a ship with hundreds of women, and with so many characters I found it extremely hard to tell them apart, even though she narrows it down to a group of fewer than 20 women, who form a sewing group to create a patchwork quilt to teach them sewing skills and to while away their time on the long journey. A women is stabbed during the journey and the story begins to occupy two timelines then and now, now being after the attack and then, the beginning of the journey onwards. It is set over a period of a few months as it follows the course of the ships journey. Essentially a who-dunnit, around 7 women who were nearby when the brutal attack happened fall under suspicion and are investigated by the ships Captain, Doctor, another man who I couldn't even work out who he was and the young matron in charge of the sewing women. There's a lot of confusion as to who is who and who has done what. Obviously as convicts the women have a lot of secrets and events in their past lives and as they are sailing towards what they hope will be a new life, many of them want to keep their past to themselves. It is very gripping and had me turning page after page 'til late at night. I loved the setting on the convict ship, although I did find most of the women came across quite a bit more genteel than I would have expected. There are plenty of plot twists and eventually the mystery of who has attempted to murder Hattie and why they may have done so is gradually revealed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Dangerous Women by Hope Adams is an excellent historical fiction that delves into the real-life transport of 180 women that were convicted of an array of crimes from England to, what is now called, Tasmania aboard The Rajah in 1841. I knew of the transport of female citizens from England to Australia/NZ/Tasmania from prior books and research, but I had not specifically read anything about The Rajah. I found it fascinating to read about some of the actual individuals that traveled on the ship, as Dangerous Women by Hope Adams is an excellent historical fiction that delves into the real-life transport of 180 women that were convicted of an array of crimes from England to, what is now called, Tasmania aboard The Rajah in 1841. I knew of the transport of female citizens from England to Australia/NZ/Tasmania from prior books and research, but I had not specifically read anything about The Rajah. I found it fascinating to read about some of the actual individuals that traveled on the ship, as well as the stunning quilt that was sewn during their months out at sea. I enjoyed the concept of interweaving a multitude of voices and characters into a flashback then and now timeline to help add to the additional murder/mystery that was infused into the historical fiction plot line. The way the author was able to take true events, true historic figures, and create a story that was all at once: gripping, poignant, sad, hopeful, suspenseful, and entertaining is impressive. It was hard to see how so many women ended up in this scenario through unlucky circumstances, necessity, and through no fault of their own. The small rays of hope and romance peppered in did help balance this out. Through this book, I have already looked up several additional topics, and I am impressed with the author’s wonderful narrative that has inspired me to learn more. 5/5 stars Thank you EW and Berkley for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 2/16/21.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    Two hundred women convicts on a ship bound for the other side of the world,and one of them is a murderer. Biggest locked room mystery ever it seemed,until the cast of suspects was narrowed down considerably. I really enjoyed this book,,and the fact it was based on mostly a true story. (I've googled and looked at the quilt) Told over two timelines,the then and now,helps us get to know the characters better. It was so refreshing not to have 101 plot twists,just a straight forward who dunnit. The most l Two hundred women convicts on a ship bound for the other side of the world,and one of them is a murderer. Biggest locked room mystery ever it seemed,until the cast of suspects was narrowed down considerably. I really enjoyed this book,,and the fact it was based on mostly a true story. (I've googled and looked at the quilt) Told over two timelines,the then and now,helps us get to know the characters better. It was so refreshing not to have 101 plot twists,just a straight forward who dunnit. The most laid back one I've ever read I think,when they were interviewing the women at such a leisurely pace. Great read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Ryan

    4.5* Based on the very real 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah and including several historical characters, Dangerous Women is the story of a group of women, convicted mostly of petty crimes, being transported to Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen’s Land. The chapters alternate between ‘then’ and ‘now’ giving insights into the women’s individual situations, how and why they found themselves being deported. Many had been forced into petty thievery by controlling husbands or fathers. Others stol 4.5* Based on the very real 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah and including several historical characters, Dangerous Women is the story of a group of women, convicted mostly of petty crimes, being transported to Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen’s Land. The chapters alternate between ‘then’ and ‘now’ giving insights into the women’s individual situations, how and why they found themselves being deported. Many had been forced into petty thievery by controlling husbands or fathers. Others stole just in order to survive. A long sea voyage stretches ahead, and as the ship leaves land behind a young mother is fatally stabbed. All the women come under suspicion, along with the ship’s company, and one had a secret she would keep at all costs. The investigation into the stabbing is conducted by Captain Ferguson, the minister, ship’s surgeon and Kezia. Everyone is on edge with the thought of a murderer aboard, especially as none of the women were convicted of that particular crime and, of course, there’s nowhere to run. The women began to form tentative friendships, several brought closer together as they joined the sewing group organised by Kezia Hayter, one of a group promoting the reformation of female prisoners, who has volunteered to look after the women during the voyage. Armed with a bag full of donated scraps of material Kezia persuades a number of the women to help with the creation of a quilt, with the hope of giving the women a sense of purpose and pride in their work. The end result would be gifted to the governors when they arrived at their destination. Dangerous Women is a wonderfully fascinating representation of an historical event I knew nothing about. The punishment and treatment the women suffered for the crimes they committed was very harsh, tearing them away from families and everything familiar to send them halfway across the world, into the unknown. The dialogue is realistic, in keeping with the characters and their situations, and the interaction between the women is just what you would expect, with squabbles and frayed tempers, as well as humorous moments. Chapters from several viewpoints work well and help to flesh out the characters. Hope Adams has produced an impressive, extremely well written and researched debut, compelling not only because of the truth of the story but also the vivid imagery of the setting. The Rajah Quilt is now on display in the National Gallery of Australia and the author states she has changed the names of certain convicts because descendants of the real women still live in Australia.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    London, 1841: One Hundred and eighty English women file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three month voyage to the other side of the world. They're daughters, sisters, mothers -- and convicts. Transported for petty crimes. Except one of them has a deadly secret, and will do anything for justice. As the Rajah sails further from land, the women forgr tenuous kinship. Until, a young mother is mortally wounded, and the hunt is on for the assailant before he or she strikes again. There's a dew true H London, 1841: One Hundred and eighty English women file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three month voyage to the other side of the world. They're daughters, sisters, mothers -- and convicts. Transported for petty crimes. Except one of them has a deadly secret, and will do anything for justice. As the Rajah sails further from land, the women forgr tenuous kinship. Until, a young mother is mortally wounded, and the hunt is on for the assailant before he or she strikes again. There's a dew true Historical facts included in this debut novel: The Rajah, some of the characters and the quilt the women made. When one of the women gets violently stabbed, it's up to Captain Charles Ferguson, Reverend Mr Davies and the ships surgeon, Mr Donovan to interview the women to try and find out who was responsibe. Told from multiple points of view, this story is interesting and gripping. We et a different perspective of how life was like on board the Rajah. This is a well written story that mixes fact with fiction. I would like to thank #NetGalley, #PenguinMichaelJosephUK and the author #HopeAdams for my ARC #DangerousWomen in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    SharleneH

    Dangerous women-Hope Adams . Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. A novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, a novel about hope during confinement, about a murder and the terrible things we will do to survive. . What a wonderful debut Adams has written! A historical fiction, murder mystery that is both thought provoking, heartbreaking and felt so real. The fates of these women were out of their control and they are flawed, tired, struggli Dangerous women-Hope Adams . Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. A novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, a novel about hope during confinement, about a murder and the terrible things we will do to survive. . What a wonderful debut Adams has written! A historical fiction, murder mystery that is both thought provoking, heartbreaking and felt so real. The fates of these women were out of their control and they are flawed, tired, struggling women who found themselves in a situation that meant they would do anything to survive this voyage. . Whilst reading, I felt their struggles, their frustration and misery. The circumstances forced them to make wrong choices and this poignant, well written story will have you gripped from the start. . The fact this novel is based on true facts makes it both more traumatic and addictive and when travel is again allowed, visiting Australia to view the quilt made by the real women on board is now on high my wishlist. . A fantastic debut and a must for all historical fiction fans. I loved it 😃 . . . Thank you @michaeljbooks for this copy to read and review. . .

  15. 5 out of 5

    4cats

    In 1841 The Rajah sailing ship was tasked with transporting 180 female convicts from London to Hobart in Tasmania. The Master of the Rajah was Charles Ferguson, the ships surgeon was James Donovan and along with the 180 women there were 10 children and Kezia Hayter who had been sent out to Australia by prison reformer Elizabeth Fry to look after the convicts. One of her duties was to supervise a group of women in the task of creating a patchwork quilt which would become the Rajah quilt. Hope Adam In 1841 The Rajah sailing ship was tasked with transporting 180 female convicts from London to Hobart in Tasmania. The Master of the Rajah was Charles Ferguson, the ships surgeon was James Donovan and along with the 180 women there were 10 children and Kezia Hayter who had been sent out to Australia by prison reformer Elizabeth Fry to look after the convicts. One of her duties was to supervise a group of women in the task of creating a patchwork quilt which would become the Rajah quilt. Hope Adams has created a fictional account of the journey of the Rajah and those onboard. We see the women's lives through different characters (she deliberately changed the convicts names), we see their past, we see friendships blossoming and we hear their voices. To add interest to the story we have a woman with a deadly secret and an assault takes place on one of the women causing fear and suspicion to take hold amongst the women. This is one to watch in 2021, it's a fascinating tale, features characters who are fully rounded and it's just a great novel.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    Headlines: Suspense on the seas Desperation Emotive Gritty themes The cover of this book swept me away initally, followed by the synopsis. Reading the book totally lived up to my hopes and expectations. I would categorise this as a historical suspense. Its strengths partially lie in the fact that this story context is reality, the voyage of convicts being transported and occupying themselves by making a quilt. The other strength was the execution, the writing that transported me along with the passen Headlines: Suspense on the seas Desperation Emotive Gritty themes The cover of this book swept me away initally, followed by the synopsis. Reading the book totally lived up to my hopes and expectations. I would categorise this as a historical suspense. Its strengths partially lie in the fact that this story context is reality, the voyage of convicts being transported and occupying themselves by making a quilt. The other strength was the execution, the writing that transported me along with the passengers of the ship. The story was told from the POV of the ship’s ‘matron’ Kezia, a 23 year old women of respectable background, there to oversee the female convicts on their way to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania). There were other POVs of some of the prominent convict characters. There was a stabbing some weeks into the journey (this is the the blurb, no spoiler here) and much of the story I spent speculating and getting it wrong. This was very much a women’s book, about women, for women, understanding women of that era However, these women were ever at the mercy of men and it wasn’t set in a time where women were empowered so I wouldn’t necessarily call this a feminist read. However Kezia did have her moments of assertion among the leading men of the ship. This was a compelling tale, with twists and turns. Ship life had all the smells, hardship and difficulty you might imagine but the description enhanced your sense of these womens’ existence. I would have loved an epilogue of what happened to these women after they got to their destination. I wanted to know if they really got their new chance. We’re many small pieces, each of us different but now stitched together. A patchwork of souls. If you love historical reads and/or if you love suspenseful reads, Dangerous Women will not disappoint. There are triggers in here for some and please check out other reviews or message me if you want details. Thank you to Michael Joseph Books for the review copy. Find this review at A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    Based on a real life voyage, Dangerous Women tells the story of a group of women who come together to stitch a coverlet (quilt) whilst they are away at sea for 105 days. The women are all convicts who are taken away from their homes & families as a punishment, to start a new life in Hobart. Despite their initial differences, the women come together for this project they have been tasked with, but along the journey there are some heartbreaking moments that they must overcome. A story of confineme Based on a real life voyage, Dangerous Women tells the story of a group of women who come together to stitch a coverlet (quilt) whilst they are away at sea for 105 days. The women are all convicts who are taken away from their homes & families as a punishment, to start a new life in Hobart. Despite their initial differences, the women come together for this project they have been tasked with, but along the journey there are some heartbreaking moments that they must overcome. A story of confinement, courage, grief & love, I loved every word. It clearly has been well researched & sits well in its 1841 setting. Recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vikki Patis

    Dangerous Women is an excellent example of female-led historical fiction. Based on a true story, it depicts the lives of almost 200 women sentenced to transportation to Tazmania, and the coverlet they created during the crossing under the guidance of Kezia Hayter. Though they lived in a world governed by men, these women, their lives and motivations are in the very centre of this story, accompanied by a fictional murder.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bonnye Reed

    I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Hope Adams, and Berkley Publishing. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Dangerous Women of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Hope Adams writes a tight tale with compassion and heart. She is an author I will follow. This voyage of the Rajah, carrying 180+ women prisoners from London to Van Diemen's Land, also known as Hobart's Island (also known as Tasmania) in the Aust I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Hope Adams, and Berkley Publishing. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Dangerous Women of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Hope Adams writes a tight tale with compassion and heart. She is an author I will follow. This voyage of the Rajah, carrying 180+ women prisoners from London to Van Diemen's Land, also known as Hobart's Island (also known as Tasmania) in the Australian Islands, lasted but 105 days, from April 5, 1841, to July 19, 1841. Hope Adams give us those days, packed with details that color our world for the duration. The intersection of the worlds of the prisoners, their support matron, the ship's doctor, and minister, and the crew of the Rajah, the various ladies' attempts to move from life as a prisoner to a place of hope and growth are impressively presented. And the mystery is not obvious, even unto the end. This story is told in a back-and-forth pattern easily followed - chapters are labeled 'Then' and 'Now' for our convenience, Then being before the murder, Now being after. Each chapter is also from the perspective of one of the prisoners or their matron, Kezia Bertie, again named in the chapter heading and clearly outlining the personality and growing independence of these ladies. I am not always a fan of this type of delivery, but it works well in this tale. Fiction based on historical fact is one of my favorite genres and extensive facts and sources are shared with us at the books ending. Hope Adams also shares with us the websites that feature the Rajah Quilt, the project designed by Kezia to bring these women together with one focus and perhaps a craft they can pursue once in Hobart. And there is such a quilt, displayed now at the National Gallery of Australia. Wikipedia has an excellent photo and details of this crossing as well. It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. I can't wait for Hope Adams's next work! pub date Feb 16, 2021 Berkley Publishing Reviewed at Goodreads and Netgalley on February 6, 2021. Reviewed on February 16, 2021, at AmazonSmile, Barnes&Noble, BookBub, Kobo, and GooglePlay.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vikki Patis

    Dangerous Women is an excellent example of female-led historical fiction. Based on a true story, it depicts the lives of almost 200 women sentenced to transportation to Tazmania, and the coverlet they created during the crossing under the guidance of Kezia Hayter. Though they lived in a world governed by men, these women, their lives and motivations are in the very centre of this story, accompanied by a fictional murder.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    1841, the Rajah - a sailing ship - is transporting 180 female convicts from England to Van Diemans land, now known as Tasmania. On board is a young woman called Kezia Hayter. Kezia is the matron charged with the care and improvement of the prisoners and is tasked with teaching the women the art of sewing in the hopes that the making of a quilt will provide a means of employment on the long journey. As the ship sails away we see friendships blossom between the women, and one lady has a dark secret 1841, the Rajah - a sailing ship - is transporting 180 female convicts from England to Van Diemans land, now known as Tasmania. On board is a young woman called Kezia Hayter. Kezia is the matron charged with the care and improvement of the prisoners and is tasked with teaching the women the art of sewing in the hopes that the making of a quilt will provide a means of employment on the long journey. As the ship sails away we see friendships blossom between the women, and one lady has a dark secret that she'll do almost anything to keep. The story is told through the eyes of Kezia and three of the convicts, and there's a murder thrown in for good measure. I loved this, you really feel for these women who are forced into crime to survive. This is based on a true story and the quilt is on display in the National Gallery of Australia. The author changed the names of the convicts, as some of the descendents of the real women still live in Australia.

  22. 5 out of 5

    SiSi O'Driscoll

    'That's what we too are like us women. We're a patchwork...Here are friends and enemies. We've turned ourselves into something. We're many small pieces, each pf us different but now stitched together. A patchwork of souls.' A huge thank you to Penguin Books and Michael Joseph Books for sending me a copy of this. As soon as I read the description, I had to start reading it straight away! Historical fiction has fast become one of my favourite genres in the last year. I was never a huge nonfiction f 'That's what we too are like us women. We're a patchwork...Here are friends and enemies. We've turned ourselves into something. We're many small pieces, each pf us different but now stitched together. A patchwork of souls.' A huge thank you to Penguin Books and Michael Joseph Books for sending me a copy of this. As soon as I read the description, I had to start reading it straight away! Historical fiction has fast become one of my favourite genres in the last year. I was never a huge nonfiction fan but I find historical fiction is the perfect mix of nonfiction and fiction. You are gaining knowledge from a period that happened in our history but the story is told in a way that doesn't feel like you're in a history or politics lesson. Storytelling is really at the heart of these stories and you finish it relishing in the fact that you got to experience a piece of history that you may never have appreciated or given much thought to before. Upon reading the description of the book, you assume that the story will focus on the murder but you quickly learn that there is a lot more to this story. Of course, the crime does shape much of the story but Adams also gives us an eye opening account of what these women lived through and how they were forced to act in ways that resulted in them being on the Rajah. We experience this long sea adventure with them and get to know some of the characters on a deep level as they draw nearer to their end destination. And the crime itself serves as a great way for the reader to uncover certain secrets that many of the women never want to see the light. Dangerous Women is the emotional and captivating story of what it meant to be a woman in the 1840s and you can find similarities to how many women face similar trials and tribulations today. Adams does an amazing job of depicting how difficult life was back then for everyone. However, I like how she shines a light on women and their untold, but equally important, stories. There is a great sense of friendship and comradery that develops between many of these women and you, the reader, feel like you have been welcomed into this group of brave and unfortunate souls. Throughout the book, there is very little focus put on male characters. Apart from necessary interactions with the Captain, the doctor and clergyman, there is very little mention of other men. We learn the names of 2 other members of the crew but apart from that, Adams gives her full attention to spotlighting the 180 women on this ship and their journey. We get to hear their stories, learn about their sorrows and their hopes for redemption on the other side of the world. I loved the idea of the coverlet and I googled what it looked like and it's so beautiful! It's amazing how these women managed to create something like that on a perilous journey from England to Australia. I would love to see it in real life! One thing I did find was that it was hard to differentiate some of the characters. The main few you got to know very well but the rest seemed very similar in personality and also had very similar names (like Rose, Ruth, Beth, Becky) which made it hard to tell them apart. That's the only real flaw that I can pick at however, the writing and pace is excellent and I couldn't put it down. I didn't guess who the killer was, so that was a nice surprise at the end! Sometimes it's so easy to see through the clues early on and have guessed who the culprit was but I didn't have this person in mind. If you're into historical fiction, then this is definitely worth a read. The writing is lovely and atmospheric and it's an amazing story that gives you an insight into what so many women experienced and how they survived it. The book is coming out on 4th March 2021, so keep an eye out!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    I first heard about this book at Henley Literary Festival in 2019 when it was one of the debut novels featured at the Michael Joseph Proof Party, alongside Stephanie Wrobel’s The Recovery of Rose Gold (which I’ve since read and reviewed). At the time, Dangerous Women was due to be published in 2020 under the title Conviction. For various reasons, publication was delayed but the plot of Dangerous Women is largely unchanged from that which the author described at the time. Indeed the passage from I first heard about this book at Henley Literary Festival in 2019 when it was one of the debut novels featured at the Michael Joseph Proof Party, alongside Stephanie Wrobel’s The Recovery of Rose Gold (which I’ve since read and reviewed). At the time, Dangerous Women was due to be published in 2020 under the title Conviction. For various reasons, publication was delayed but the plot of Dangerous Women is largely unchanged from that which the author described at the time. Indeed the passage from the book which Hope read at the event can be found in the final version. Dangerous Women is inspired by the real life voyage of the Rajah from London to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1841 during which many of the women prisoners, as in the book, worked on the embroidery of an elaborate quilt – now held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. Although technically sentenced to transportation for a set number of years, for many of the women aboard the Rajah, it will be the last time they see England, leading to heartbreaking scenes as the ship departs. “The ones who have children will yearn for them. The ones who have living parents will fear their deaths, their sicknesses, and being unable to help them.” But it’s not the same for all the women. For Kezia Hayter, who her whole life has felt underappreciated by her mother compared to her sister Henrietta, it’s a chance to forge an independent path in life. Her appointment as Matron on the voyage is also an opportunity to contribute to a cause about which she feels strongly: the welfare and rehabilitation of female prisoners. From the outset Kezia feels sympathy for and a sense of responsibility towards those in her charge, coming to think of them as her women. She goes out of her way to encourage them and to defend them where necessary. The convicts are perhaps fortunate in that both the captain of the Rajah, Charles Ferguson, and the ship’s surgeon, Mr. Donovan, hold relatively enlightened views. Like Kezia, they are prepared to recognise that circumstances – poverty, abuse, coercion – may have led the women to commit the crimes they have. Clergyman Mr. Davies, on the other hand, subscribes to the less generous view that the cause of the women’s crimes is sinfulness. For the women chosen by Kezia to work on the patchwork quilt she has designed, it’s not only a means of learning a skill that may benefit them in their new lives but a chance to leave the confines of below decks where the other less fortunate convicts spend their days. It also becomes a shared endeavour. Despite their different backgrounds and life experiences, by the end of the voyage they have become, as the author so imaginatively describes it, “a patchwork of souls”. Although we’re told the Rajah is transporting one hundred and eighty women, for narrative reasons the reader only really gets to know the eighteen women chosen by Kezia to work on the quilt, and even then only to varying degrees.  The plight of the remaining women and the cramped and claustrophobic conditions that must have existed below deck remain largely in the background, except for a vivid scene in which the Rajah encounters a storm. However, within the circle of women working on the quilt, the reader gets to see friendships formed and severed, stories shared and secrets revealed. A vivid account of an epic voyage, Dangerous Women is also a cleverly constructed “locked room” mystery. As well as trying to work out who might have carried out the vicious attack that takes place early on in the voyage, I enjoyed looking out for clues to the identity of the individual onboard who is not entirely what they seem. To be truthful, the answer to the latter was revealed a little earlier than I expected but that still leaves plenty of dramatic events to unfold.  There are revelations that bring redemption for some and unexpected possibilities for others.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    Thank you to Hanifa Frederick at Michael Joseph for sending me a copy of 𝗗𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗘𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗦 𝗪𝗢𝗠𝗘𝗡 by Hope Adams - 𝐎𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐲... 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞? - I highly enjoyed Dangerous Women. Although it is clearly Historical Fiction, it felt like it spanned multiple genres with the story aboard The Rajah being a Classic Murder Mystery but with a feminist twist. - 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐤, 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐨'𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐫 Thank you to Hanifa Frederick at Michael Joseph for sending me a copy of 𝗗𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗘𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗦 𝗪𝗢𝗠𝗘𝗡 by Hope Adams - 𝐎𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐲... 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞? - I highly enjoyed Dangerous Women. Although it is clearly Historical Fiction, it felt like it spanned multiple genres with the story aboard The Rajah being a Classic Murder Mystery but with a feminist twist. - 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐤, 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐨'𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐧, 𝐨𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐡𝐮𝐬𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬. - The story itself is woven together in an intricate and beautiful way, much like the Rajah quilt that is being fashioned by the women on their voyage to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). The movement of perspective between 'then' and 'now' really adds a richness to the story, allowing for the womens' backgrounds and experiences to be shared with the reader, alongside the appearance of their characters in the present. - 𝐊𝐞𝐳𝐢𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐞'𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐢𝐱. 𝐏𝐚𝐩𝐚 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐁𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐞'𝐬 𝐚𝐠𝐞. 𝐇𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐝  𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐊𝐞𝐳𝐢𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝𝐧'𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐧'𝐭 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨 𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐚𝐥𝐞? 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐚𝐩𝐚, 𝐰𝐡𝐨'𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐰𝐡𝐨'𝐝 𝐬𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐫 ... 𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞, 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝, 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐚𝐲. - I also loved how the main plot was interspersed with descriptions of the ship on its journey across the ocean. These depictions added to the atmosphere and mood aboard the ship, as well as helping convey the passage of time and space within the story. - 𝐃𝐚𝐰𝐧 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠: 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐮𝐩 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐚𝐣𝐚𝐡 𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐬𝐭. 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐮𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐫𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐮𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐤. 𝐁𝐢𝐫𝐝𝐬, 𝐢𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬, 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐮𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐬. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐚 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐦 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐠𝐨𝐥𝐝. - Even though Dangerous Women is based on the historical voyage of female convicts being transported, which dates back to 1841, I love that the characters are strong and that they challenge the conventions of womanhood that society forces upon them. Many of the convicts themselves are strong characters - some who are even innocent of their alleged crimes - but Kezia in particular is tenacious, and refuses to be pushed around by anyone (especially her male counterparts) even though she isn't always the most self-confident. - 𝐊𝐞𝐳𝐢𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫'𝐬 𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 ... '𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐧! 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮'𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐯𝐢𝐠𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 ... 𝐘𝐨𝐮'𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝, 𝐈 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮.' - After reading the historical note at the back of the book I looked up 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘙𝘢𝘫𝘢𝘩 𝘘𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘵 online and read about the women who created it, and the real journey of the ship. The quilt itself is beautiful and incredibly detailed - quite an amazing achievement. - 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞, 𝐭𝐨𝐨, 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞, 𝐮𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧. 𝐖𝐞'𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 ... 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐞𝐬. 𝐖𝐞'𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐖𝐞'𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬, 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫. 𝐀 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐬. - I'd highly recommend Dangerous Women to anyone who likes Historical Fiction and Classic Murder Mystery, and would definitely read more from Hope Adams in the future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Val Robson

    I’m in two minds about this book. I chose to read it as I thought it was going to be historical fiction but it is actually more mystery fiction. The book is set aboard HMS Rajah from April-July 1841 during a voyage from Woolwich, London to Van Dieman’s Land (now Tasmania) transporting 180 women convicts as their punishment for petty crimes. Back in 1816 Elizabeth Fry, a famous prison reformer, had set up a Quaker group ‘British Ladies Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners’. This group I’m in two minds about this book. I chose to read it as I thought it was going to be historical fiction but it is actually more mystery fiction. The book is set aboard HMS Rajah from April-July 1841 during a voyage from Woolwich, London to Van Dieman’s Land (now Tasmania) transporting 180 women convicts as their punishment for petty crimes. Back in 1816 Elizabeth Fry, a famous prison reformer, had set up a Quaker group ‘British Ladies Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners’. This group donated sewing supplies to every woman on the ship in an effort to give them something positive to focus on and to encourage friendships by working communally. By the end of the voyage the woman had completed a large quilt [which is now on display in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra]. The only female on board the ship who was not a convict was Miss Kezia Hayter who has embarked on the voyage on behalf of the British Ladies Society. She was the one who came up with the idea of the quilt and organised its creation from start to finish.. The voyage, British Ladies Society and Kezia Hayter are all based on historical fact but the book soon becomes a ‘whodunit’ as one of the women convicts is attacked. The captain, ship's surgeon, chaplain and Kezia seek to find the person who did this, presumed to be one of the women convicts. I didn’t find this aspect of the story so interesting as I was expecting to learn more about the creation of the quilt and how it was bringing the women together after their previous tragic lives, often through no fault of their own. Instead the plot moved into a long section of questioning many women about the attack which soon got dull as they all said the same. The best sections were the women chatting to one another as they sewed and generally survived in very cramped quarters onboard the Rajah. We learned about the pitiful circumstances that forced most to commit a crime and also about their embryonic friendships and acts of kindness towards one another during the voyage. The relationship between the four main professionals onboard - captain, surgeon, chaplain and Kezia - was also interesting as Kezia's voice was often consciously and subconsciously ignored due to being a woman. The ending was a little rushed. I would have liked it to continue on to the lives of the women once in Australia. I'd certainly read a a follow up book if ever that was written by Hope Adams.. With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Michael Joseph UK for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chantelle Hazelden

    Thank you to Netgalley and Michael J Books for my copy. I liked this story from the get go, being about women it felt as though it had a certain power behind it. This is a book that blends history with fiction, bringing us a moving and thought provoking tale of love, betrayal and danger. Set in 1841, we follow the fates of 180+ convicted women who are being transported on the boat, Rajah, from their jail cells in England to Van Diemen’s Land, which is present day Tasmania, in the hopes of beginning Thank you to Netgalley and Michael J Books for my copy. I liked this story from the get go, being about women it felt as though it had a certain power behind it. This is a book that blends history with fiction, bringing us a moving and thought provoking tale of love, betrayal and danger. Set in 1841, we follow the fates of 180+ convicted women who are being transported on the boat, Rajah, from their jail cells in England to Van Diemen’s Land, which is present day Tasmania, in the hopes of beginning new lives. These were women, who had all been convicted of petty crimes, not ones that would have been deemed worthy of capital punishment. We follow their 15 week journey through four points of view, we get transported back in time, seeing the events that took place through their eyes. One of those accounts was from Kezia Hayter, a young woman who volunteers to be a matron on the ship for free passage. She had a vision to create The Rajah Quilt with the help of 18 of the women aboard the ship. Although fictional, this story is based on true events. There are plenty of secrets being kept as they sail. This felt real, the details the emotions. I was invested in these women. They didn't have an easy time, it was a daily struggle for them to stay alive, to be positive, to find happiness amongst the miserable, cramped conditions of The Rajah. I admire their determination. In a world dominated by men it was inspiring to read about these independent women. Dangerous Women as a title seems quite apt. Not because of the murder that occurs but because of the intelligence that these women displayed in the most tragic and traumatic circumstances.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lucy-May

    Rating: 4.5 It’s been a while since I read a historical mystery & I really, really enjoyed this one. I requested the book as I loved the concept of the ship/journey & I was excited to learn a bit more about this (not so nice) part of British history... in the end though, it was the mystery that really kept me interested - the “who done it” approach taken in the book was fantastic; I loved having chapters from the perspective of the most likely suspect, whilst still not actually knowing who she wa Rating: 4.5 It’s been a while since I read a historical mystery & I really, really enjoyed this one. I requested the book as I loved the concept of the ship/journey & I was excited to learn a bit more about this (not so nice) part of British history... in the end though, it was the mystery that really kept me interested - the “who done it” approach taken in the book was fantastic; I loved having chapters from the perspective of the most likely suspect, whilst still not actually knowing who she was, & I liked the little mysteries that were thrown in alongside the main event. I got rather attached to the characters as well, & I’m a little sad that there wasn’t more about Kezia’s life after this journey included in the afterword - I desperately hope that the real Kezia was at least half as kind & wonderful as Hope Adams’ Kezia. This book touches on some very sad & harrowing facts about the things women endured in past-Britain, & I commend Hope Adams for not shying away from telling the brutal, saddening truth. Overall, this was just a really fantastic read. ⚠️ Murder by stabbing, as well as a lot of other violence, discussion of hangings, on-page self-harm, suicide, mental illness, sexual themes & ableism. The story also includes characters who discuss memories of domestic violence, the death/murder/mistreatment/neglect of children & young babies, rape, parent-child violence & alcoholism ⚠️ I was sent a copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Extended Review to follow.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hudson

    This is a fabulous example of historical fiction meeting a locked-room whodunit! This intriguing tale is based in 1841, aboard the real-life transportation ship the “Rajah” and follows the journey of the crew, the matron and c. 180 female convicts leaving London and heading to Australia. The events that unfold, such as the blossoming romance between the captain and Kezia, our protagonist who is assigned to oversee and care for the women aboard, and the creation of a hand-crafted coverlet by Kezi This is a fabulous example of historical fiction meeting a locked-room whodunit! This intriguing tale is based in 1841, aboard the real-life transportation ship the “Rajah” and follows the journey of the crew, the matron and c. 180 female convicts leaving London and heading to Australia. The events that unfold, such as the blossoming romance between the captain and Kezia, our protagonist who is assigned to oversee and care for the women aboard, and the creation of a hand-crafted coverlet by Kezia and a small group of the convicts aboard, are actual historical events. The author also throws in a murder for good measure, allowing the tension to build as Kezia, Captain Ferguson, the ship’s doctor and the chaplain try to uncover the murderer before the “Rajah” reaches Van Diemen’s Land. This is some really great female-led fiction, and the characters are often as relatable as they are intriguing. The pacing is just right and the conclusion of the tale was very satisfying. I love that several of the main characters were real people and that the coverlet, the creation of which anchors so much of the story, is a real historical artefact that I can now pour over and wonder about the lives of those who created it. The writing was great, and I would certainly read more by this author. My thanks to the author, NetGalley, and the publisher for the arc to review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A fantastic concept, perfectly executed. This is a wonderful piece of historical fiction: it centres around a real historical artefact, known now as the ‘rajah quilt’, which was made by women aboard a convict ship bound for Tasmania, where they were being transported for petty crimes. This quilt was lost into obscurity for a long time, so it seems a lovely idea to shed more light on it now with a fictional story which it has inspired. While the ship, the quilt, and a few of the characters are al A fantastic concept, perfectly executed. This is a wonderful piece of historical fiction: it centres around a real historical artefact, known now as the ‘rajah quilt’, which was made by women aboard a convict ship bound for Tasmania, where they were being transported for petty crimes. This quilt was lost into obscurity for a long time, so it seems a lovely idea to shed more light on it now with a fictional story which it has inspired. While the ship, the quilt, and a few of the characters are all from the real historical record, the story of what happens on the ship is a fictional imagining brought to us by Hope Adams. It’s a mystery of the famous ‘locked room’ variety: one crime, seven convict women suspected of committing it, all trapped upon a ship which is still several weeks away from its destination. The writing is superb, as is the progression of the mystery: to begin with we know that one of the women is hiding under an assumed name, but we don’t know which one; this is cleverly developed. The matron of the ship, Kezia, was a complete delight to read. I have also now looked up the quilt and it’s beautiful, I encourage everyone to google it immediately. A brilliant debut novel! My thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher, Penguin Michael Joseph UK, for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catalina

    The historical events behind this book sound quite interesting. Plus the cover is gorgeous!! But I am afraid I've found the story told in Dangerous Women boring. Ups :p Dangerous women is primarily the story of Kezia Hayter: a genteel women involved with the Ladies Committee and their role in improving prison conditions for women. Kezia is portrayed in her many roles: as a matron - helping the convict women learn a useful skill and to bond in a hard situation: being transported to Tasmania; bein The historical events behind this book sound quite interesting. Plus the cover is gorgeous!! But I am afraid I've found the story told in Dangerous Women boring. Ups :p Dangerous women is primarily the story of Kezia Hayter: a genteel women involved with the Ladies Committee and their role in improving prison conditions for women. Kezia is portrayed in her many roles: as a matron - helping the convict women learn a useful skill and to bond in a hard situation: being transported to Tasmania; being the driving force behind the creation of the coverlet, and as a red blooded woman who falls in love with Charles, the captain of the Rajah. The convict women are extras in their own story. Luckily a few of them are named, especially those who worked on the coverlet. 2 of them (Hattie and Sarah/Clara) also get a background story and an active voice but that's only because they are instrumental in the creation of the second part of the plot: Hattie's stabbing and subsequent murder investigation. Don't get me wrong, this is a nice little story that's going to please many. But as far as I am concerned it is boring because the plot is just a rehash of ideas read in plenty of other books; and also disappointing because the "dangerous women" have been relegated to the role of extras: unknown and voiceless women in life, unknown and voiceless after death too. Sad :/ *Book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the publisher for the opportunity.

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