Published by Alison and Busby
Hardback April 2011
ISBN 978 0 7490 0992 2
November 1920. Russia may have endured the Revolution, but a brutal war still rages. As even brothers are pitted against each other, thousands of Russians flee for their lives. Distant relatives of the Romanovs, the Kirilov family is never far from suspicion and closer to danger than most. When tragedy strikes, four-year-old Lydia is separated from her family. The only key to her identity is the opulent jewel concealed in her petticoat.
Struck by the child's plight, the benevolent diplomat, Sir Edward Stoneleigh, brings her to England, where she grows up well-educated, wealthy and surrounded by a loving family. Yet it is not enough. Unable to recall even her own birth date, Lydia yearns to know the truth about her heritage – then one day the charming Nikolay Andropov offers her the perfect opportunity to do so. Invited to join him on a trip to Russia, Lydia jumps at the chance to discover more about the past she find increasingly difficult to remember. But when reality sets in, is all as it seems? With the Second World War looming, Lydia's situation becomes desperate. Will she ever find a place to think of as home?
'You will be the belle of the ball, as is only right and proper.' He reached for a jewellery box from the mantelpiece. 'This is already yours,' he said. 'I have kept it safely for you, but now I have had it made so that you can wear it.' He opened the box and took out the Kirilov Star, hung on a silver chain so that she could wear it as a necklace. The central diamond sparkled in the light from the chandelier and all the smaller diamonds glistened like drops of water.
'It's lovely,' she said. 'I didn't know you still had it.'
'I could never part with the Kirilov Star,' he said. 'Neither the jewel nor the child.'
'Mary Nichols is an outstanding writer of historical fiction who never fails to bring the past vividly to life and in The Kirilov Star, this terrific storyteller has penned a poignant, compelling and wonderfully evocative tale of powerful secrets, devastating deception and the redemptive power of love that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and turning the pages late into the night.
For the full review click here.
Paperback out in February 2012
ISBN 978 0 7490 0949 6
Also published by Soundings Audio Books on CD
ISBN: 978 1 4079 2200 3
The reader is Nicolette McKenzie
Charnwood Large Print
published by F A Thorpe
ISBN 978 1 444 109 9
Published in German by Weltbild
as Der Stern der Kirilows
ISBN 978 3 86365 163 3
Published in Hungarian by General Press 2013
The Title means 'The Jewel'.