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Treason at Lisson Grove
A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, No 26
Anne Perry

Ballentine Books
2011/ ISBN 9780345510587
Hist Mys-Charlotte/Thomas
Historical Mystery / England/Ireland/France-Victorian

Reviewed by L J Roberts

First Sentence: “That’s him!” Gower yelled above the sound of the traffic.

Thomas Pitt, an officer of the Special Branch, is on the hunt after those plotting to overthrow the government. After their informant is murdered, Pitt and a fellow officer are chase after the assassin. Stuck virtually incommunicado in France, it is up to Pitt’s superior, Victor Narraway, to advise Pitt’s wife. Having helped Pitt with earlier police investigations, she is now asked for help by Narraway who has been framed for embezzling government funds thus causing the murder of an agent in Ireland. Can the plot trace back to 20 years ago in Ireland, or is it something closer to home. In order to ensure Pitt’s future, he being so closely tied to Narraway, Charlotte travels with him to Ireland to help clear Narraway’s name and her family’s security.

There is no prologue or use of portents here. Ms. Perry immediately displays her writing skill by starting off right in the thick of the action and you are immediately captured by the plot.

Ms. Perry has created a wonderful recurring ensemble of characters in Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, Great-Aunt Vespasia, former housemaid Gracie and now the new housemaid, Minnie Maude Mudway. What is nice is that readers who are new to the series won’t feel as though they’ve entered a room in which they are the only stranger as Perry has provided brief, yet comprehensive, information on each character. The care Perry has taken with the central characters is also given to those particular to this book. They are not flat, walk-on foils, but fully-developed individuals in their own right.
Both the dialogue…”’Revenge is a dish best served cold’ Charlotte suggested wryly.

“Cold, perhaps, my dear, but this would be frozen.”… and the narration are a level above the normal. They can be thoughtful, introspective and even philosophic yet always appropriate to the characters and the period. They also cause one to regret the lost art of verbal repartee. Perry’s detailed descriptions provide an excellent sense of time and place. The information as to social requirements and restrictions, and descriptions of attire speaks to her level of details. At the same time, Perry includes interesting information on Irish history, from the distant past to this period, which adds richness to the story without ever slowing it down.

The underlying theme of problems cased economic disparity is one that has been repeated through history. However, at no point does Ms. Perry preach or proselytize on one side of the issue or the other. The plot is very well constructed with good action and suspense as well as effective plot twists.

Treason at Lisson Grove is one more excellent, exciting, extremely well written gift from Anne Perry to her readers.

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

Reviewed 2011