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The Square of Sevens

A Novel



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About The Book

This “intricately plotted, epic” (The Times, London) international bestseller—in the vein of the vivid novels of Sarah Waters and Sarah Perry—follows an orphaned fortune teller in 18th-century England as she searches for answers about her long-dead mother.

Cornwall, 1730: A young girl known only as Red travels with her father making a living predicting fortunes using the ancient Cornish method of the Square of Sevens. Shortly before he dies, her father entrusts Red’s care to a gentleman scholar, along with a document containing the secret of the Square of Sevens technique.

Raised as a lady amidst the Georgian splendor of Bath, Red’s fortune telling delights in high society. But she cannot ignore the questions that gnaw at her soul: who was her mother? How did she die? And who are the mysterious enemies her father was always terrified would find him?

The pursuit of these mysteries takes her from Cornwall and Bath to London and Devon, from the rough ribaldry of the Bartholomew Fair to the grand houses of two of the most powerful families in England. And while Red’s quest brings her the possibility of great reward, it also leads to grave danger.

“Intricate, haunting, and magical by turns, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s tale is an absolute immersive read you won’t soon forget” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author).

About The Author

Laura Shepherd-Robinson was born in Bristol in 1976. She has a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, an MSc in political theory from the London School of Economics, and a MA in creative writing from City University. She is the author of three novels, Blood & Sugar, Daughters of Night, and The Square of Sevens. She lives in London with her husband, Adrian. Find out more at

Why We Love It

“From the very first pages, the character of Red gripped me like few have in recent years. Fierce, vulnerable, and clever, she's a character to root for throughout these many pages. Many books promise secrets, but few unfurl with the elegance and alacrity of these. The novel operates like an intricate puzzle, almost an act of trompe l'oeil, and the final twists were so shocking and so satisfying, I was late to a dinner reservation because I couldn't bear to step away.”

—Kaitlin O., Senior Editor, on The Square of Sevens

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (September 5, 2023)
  • Length: 528 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668031124

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Raves and Reviews

"A delicious puzzle box of a novel!”
—The New York Times Review

“Shepherd-Robinson presents perennial themes of truth and lies, love and loyalty, and chance and fate, sprinkling the narrative with historical figures … and literary references, from Cervantes’s Don Quixote, to the words of Seneca and more. This is a captivatingly complex tale of intrigue."
—Publisher's Weekly

“A clever story . . . . Murders, deception and a cliff-top fight to the death have this novel roaring toward an unpredictable finish.”
—The Washington Post

The Square of Sevens captured me from the opening lines to the breathtaking ending. With a mysterious heroine who is a sheer delight to follow through Georgian England, this is a story that will sweep you away. Secrets reveal themselves in a Gothic and suspenseful tale that will keep you guessing until the very end. Intricate, haunting and magical by turns, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s tale is an absolute immersive read you won’t soon forget.”
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea

“A reminder that Laura Shepherd-Robinson is riding high in the historical crime stakes....a sprawling epic novel.”
—Financial Times

“Bright, gripping, and brilliantly researched, The Square of Sevens is a masterful, Gothic read."
—Signe Pike, author of The Lost Queen series

“This rich, complex and haunting Dickensian epic is a triumph of the Gothic genre. A book that stays with you. Shepherd-Robinson is an exceptional writer and meticulous researcher. She creates an atmosphere so evocative of the 18th century I breathed the same air as the characters, wore their clothes, felt what they felt. The Square of Sevens is a masterpiece.”
—Janice Hallett, internationally bestselling author of The Appeal

“A big, complex mystery to lose yourself in: rich in memorable, scheming characters and vivid historical detail, full of daring twists. I was so immersed in its world, I didn’t want it to end.”
SJ Parris, bestselling author the Giordano Bruno series

“This is a fabulously evocative novel, with a heroine who proves the most wonderful company, and a finely spun mystery which keeps you turning the pages. The Square of Sevens invites you into a magical world which you won't want to leave.”
Elodie Harper, bestselling author of The Wolf Den

"A sprawling, exquisite, outright triumph. The Square of Sevens dazzles with heart, mystery and breathtaking detail. I doubt I'll read a better book this year." Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin At the End

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