©2018 by carolynkirby.com. Proudly created with Wix.com


Birmingham, England, 1885.

Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.

Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of a scientist, Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora...?



'The Conviction of Cora Burns is a spirited gothic adventure ...Kirby writes with skill and gusto...'

Antonia Senior writing in The Times March 2019

'...even at its darkest it is beautifully written, the research is meticulous and the complex Cora makes a flawed but affecting heroine. A great historical novel with bite.'

Deirdre O'Brien writing in the Sunday Mirror, 17th March 2019

'Carolyn Kirby is a born storyteller - a Charles Dickens for the 21st century.' Jay Neugeboren, author of The Stolen Jew and contributor to The New York Review of Books

'The Conviction of Cora Burns is a striking debut. Rich in gothic darkness and period detail, the brutality of Victorian Britain is exquisitely drawn. A beautifully-written story which enveloped me from first page to last' - Amanda Jennings, author of CLIFF HOUSE and IN HER WAKE 

'Downton Abbey meets Elizabeth Gaskell' - GJ Minett, author of LIE IN WAIT, THE HIDDEN LEGACY and ANYTHING FOR HER

' A book to look out - I suspect that it will be one of the standout novels for 2019' - Barry Forshaw, Editor of Crime Time magazine

'Will keep readers riveted' Kirkus Review https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/carolyn-kirby/the-conviction-of-cora-burns/

'A gripping historical thriller with a compelling protagonist. I loved the period detail and can't wait to read more from Carolyn Kirby' - Sarah Ward, Author of the DC CHILDS novels

'An assured debut - atmospheric, dark and emotive. The story is sure to stay with readers long after turning the final page' - Sam Carrington, author of SAVING SOPHIE, BAD SISTER and ONE LITTLE LIE

'Unique and utterly engrossing ... this is a fantastic novel from an incredibly exciting new voice. Fans of Sarah Waters would love this bold debut' - Emily Elgar, author of IF YOU KNEW HER 

'A gripping story, a haunting and original debut. 5/5' NB magazine https://nbmagazine.co.uk/the-conviction-of-cora-burns-by-carolyn-kirby/