A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, No 26
2011/ ISBN 9780345510587
Historical Mystery / England/Ireland/France-Victorian
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
Palace Gardens #25
at Lisson Grove #26
Dorchester Terrace #27 [review
on Blackheath #29