The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise - Julia Stuart

The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia Stewart is a truly charming read. Balthazar Jones, a Beefeater living and working at the Tower of London, is charged with taking care of the menagerie of animals given as gifts to the Queen of England. Hijinks, involving both animals and humans, ensue. Stewart deftly weaves together several threads: the comedy of keeping the zoo, the tale of a soft spoken reverend with a literary secret and the bizarre world of the London Tube Lost Property Office. Scenes between Balthazar and his wife anchor the story with real emotional weight. Like a piece of treacle cake, The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise is the perfect companion for a quiet afternoon and a cup of tea.