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Book MYSTERY PERRY, ANNE New Book Shelves
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Summary

Summary

NATIONAL BESTSELLER Anne Perry's superb New York Times bestselling novels set in the glorious reign of Victoria are loved by readers far and wide. Now, with this new Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery, Perry returns us to that charmed era, when wealth and power rule--but where, alas, poisonous corruption lies coiled in the heart of the empire. nbsp; As commander of the powerful Special Branch, Thomas Pitt has the job of keeping Britain safe from spies and traitors. So there's no obvious reason why he is suddenly ordered to investigate two minor incidents: the blood, hair, and shards of glass discovered outside the home of naval weapons expert Dudley Kynaston, and the simultaneous disappearance of Mrs. Kynaston's beautiful lady's maid. nbsp; But weeks later, when the mutilated body of an unidentified young woman is found near Kynaston's home, Pitt realizes that this is no ordinary police investigation. Far from it. Is Kynaston--one of Britain's most valuable scientists--leading a double life? Is Pitt saddled with a conspiracy so devilishly clever that it will ruin him? nbsp; A baffled Pitt has never needed his friends more desperately, including his indomitable wife, Charlotte; his canny old colleague Victor Narraway; and his personal drawing-room spy, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould. But even these allies may not be able to save Pitt--or Britain.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp; Only Anne Perry could have created the tense unfolding of plot and counterplot, love and betrayal, scandal and murder that follows. Death on Blackheath is rich with fascinating characters, authentic period flavor, knife's-edge suspense, and a haunting, unforgettable denouement. nbsp; Praise for Anne Perry's most recent Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels nbsp; Midnight at Marble Arch nbsp; "Sweeping and scandalous . . . Perry has perfected a delicate touch." -- The New York Times Book Review nbsp; "Perry is a master at illuminating the wrongs of the Victorian age." -- Booklist (starred review) nbsp; Dorchester Terrace nbsp; "The always clever Anne Perry infuses Dorchester Terrace with the right amount of intrigue and complex relationships that have made this prolific series one of the finest in modern mystery fiction." -- Bookreporter nbsp; Treason at Lisson Grove nbsp; "Perry has always done her historical homework on the darker elements of the British ruling class, and she has outdone herself this time." --The Washington Times nbsp; Buckingham Palace Gardens nbsp; "An intricate plot about a murder at the palace [with] an irresistibly appealing Upstairs, Downstairs perspective . . . a fine introduction to Perry's alluring world of Victorian crime and intrigue." -- The New York Times Book Review nbsp; "Another winner . . . a wonderful cast of characters with many twisting plots." --Vero Beach Press Journal


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Perry may regret giving her long-running Victorian series hero, Thomas Pitt, a promotion to head of Special Branch, which takes him off the London streets, where he's excelled, to his new role of keeping England safe from spies. It's hard to get a good investigation going and involve his companion in crime solving, wife Charlotte, when everything is hush-hush. But, in a credibility-stretching maneuver, Perry gets Pitt back on the mean streets by positioning blood and hair on the very steps of the London home of a government scientist who is absolutely key in the Ministry of Defense. So Pitt, being of Special Branch, must investigate (pretty creaky copus ex machina here) and soon is at a gravel pit, where the body of a young woman has been found. Is it the missing lady's maid to the defense minister's wife? Once a positive connection has been made, Pitt must sort through whether the murder might have been the result of a broken-off affair or blackmail, among other possible motives. Even when warned off by Downing Street, Pitt persists, aided by Charlotte and her aristocratically placed sister. The contrived plot drops this one below Perry's usual high level.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

A truly unusual mystery distinguishes bestseller Perry's 29th Victorian puzzle featuring Charlotte and Thomas Pitt (after 2013's Midnight at Marble Arch). The local police call on Thomas, who's still adjusting to his relatively new role as head of Special Branch, about the disappearance of a housemaid who lives in a London suburb near Greenwich. Traces of blood and hair have been found in the areaway outside the house where she works, but what triggers the involvement of Special Branch is the fact that she's employed by Dudley Kynaston, a government official intimately involved with developing Britain's naval defense systems. Downing Street is alarmed by the prospect of a scandal involving Kynaston. The stakes rise a few weeks later after the discovery of a savagely butchered woman who may be the missing servant; signs indicate that she was killed some time before her body was found. Perry balances plot and character neatly before providing a resolution that few will anticipate. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maas Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Perry's latest series installment (after Midnight at Marble Arch) begins with a chain of unpleasant events (which even include mutilated bodies) that are only cursorily investigated by the police. Since these events keep happening near the home of a naval weapons expert, Pitt, who as head of Special Branch deals with sensitive political crimes, is tasked with finding out who is responsible and why. With the assistance of his retired boss Victor Narraway and aunt-by-marriage Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, both of whom move in high political circles, Pitt puts the strange story together, finds the missing maidservant, the traitors, and the family secrets behind it all. The plot moves as slowly as the investigation but then ends suddenly with a number of far-fetched explanations. The likable characters and turn- of-the-20th-century setting, rather than the story, will keep the listener engaged. -VERDICT Davina Porter has perfected the voices of confident Charlotte, her perpetually worried husband, and all the familiar cast members. Porter's portrayal of Aunt Vespasia, usually so cool and unflappable, but now in a turmoil as she tries to understand her suspicions and feelings, is particularly good.-Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Colonial Williamsburg Fdn. Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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