Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #22
By Anne Perry
Headline - February 2002
ISBN: 0747268886 - HB
Historical Crime
London 1892

Reviewed by: Rachel A Hyde, MyShelf.Com
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Just when I thought that the long-running series of novels about Pitt & Charlotte was getting a little samey, master storyteller Perry throws several new elements into the mix and comes up with a whole new twist. If you haven't read The Whitechapel Conspiracy then you had better hunt up a copy before reading this novel, as it follows on directly. Pitt has been demoted back to Special Branch and his implacable enemy Sir Charles Voisey is running for Parliament. Just as Pitt is going off to Dartmoor (the moor, not the prison) for a well-earned vacation with his family he is hauled back to solve the seemingly unconnected murder of a society medium, Maude Lamont, who has been found dead at her home. Who were the mysterious three people who visited her last, and what connection, if any, does it all have with the upcoming elections?

In the background looms the sinister presence of the Inner Circle, a secret society that demands all its members have to give. In adding this new element Anne Perry has gone beyond the mere detective novel and piled on lashings of spying, political intrigue and terrorism that is sure to please - and surprise - her many readers. In hinting at the society only she also escapes turning a serious series into a colourful romp and if you are wondering whether all this is a cross between Dennis Wheatley and Conan Doyle then the answer is a definite no. In Perry's hands the disturbing secrets seem all too real and I wouldn't say that the novel is too far-fetched but nicely understated and very, very compelling. None of the wandering off into sub plots that slow down the pace of many another thriller here - even the over-cozy domesticity takes a back seat here and frankly these books just seem to go on getting better and better. Dare I say it? Hugely enjoyable!

Reviews of other titles in this series

Rutland Place #5
Southhampton Row #22
Seven Dials #23
Buckingham Palace Gardens #25
Treason at Lisson Grove #26
Dorchester Terrace #27 [review 1] [review 2 ]
Death on Blackheath #29