Synopses & Reviews
Anne Perrys Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries are perhaps the best loved of all her Victorian bestsellers, luring us into the multilayered richness of London, from the great mansions and secluded drawing rooms to the citys festering slums. Now, in her most mesmerizing novel yet, she invites us to a house-party at Buckingham Palace.
The Prince of Wales has asked four wealthy entrepreneurs and their wives to the palace to discuss a fantastic idea: the construction of a six-thousand-mile railroad that would stretch the full length of Africa. But, alas, the princes gathering proves disastrous when the mutilated body of a prostitute hired for a late-night frolic (after the wives have retired to bed) turns up among the queens monogrammed sheets in a palace linen closet.
With great haste, Thomas Pitt, brilliant mainstay of Special Services, is summoned to resolve the crisis. The Pitts cockney maid, Gracie, is also recruited–to pose as a palace servant and listen in on the guests conversations, scan their bedrooms, and scrutinize their troubled faces for clues to hidden rivalries and attachments that could have lead to murder. If Pitt and Gracie fail to find out who brutally murdered the young woman–as seems increasingly likely–Pitts career will be over, and the scandal may just cause the monarchy to fall.
With a cast of wonderful characters, among them the gentle Princess of Wales, and a twisting plot that takes us into the hidden world of the royal family, Anne Perry probes deeply the hearts of men and women ensnared by their own emotions. Never has this distinguished novelist told a story with more truth and passion.
"The detecting and diplomatic skills of Thomas Pitt, now assigned to the Special Branch, are tested as never before in bestseller Perry's solid 25th novel to feature the Victorian sleuth (after 2005's Long Spoon Lane). In 1893, the discovery of a prostitute's mutilated corpse in a Buckingham Palace cupboard after a stag party presided over by the prince of Wales could spell political disaster for the monarchy. Pitt soon eliminates the members of the sizable household staff as suspects, narrowing his focus to the prince himself and his close friends, who, it turns out, have been planning a major construction project in Africa a railway that would run from South Africa to Egypt. Though the sensitive nature of Pitt's assignment precludes any active involvement by Charlotte, his wife and partner in earlier cases, he's able to place her maid, Gracie Phipps, on the palace staff to assist him. Perry does a nice job with some plot twists, even if most readers will quickly discount the heir to the throne of England as a viable suspect." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From "New York Times"-bestselling author Anne Perry comes the first Thomas Pitt novel since "Long Spoon Lane" and features an inside view of Buckingham Palace in the aftermath of a bloody murder. Ballantine Books
About the Author
Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Seven Dials and Long Spoon Lane, and the William Monk novels, most recently The Shifting Tide and Dark Assassin. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as the holiday novels A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Visitor, A Christmas Guest, A Christmas Secret, and A Christmas Beginning. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.