Sentence: Pitt stood shivering on the steps leading up
from the areaway to the pavement and looked down at the clumps
of blood and hair at his feet.
Pitt, Commander of Special Branch, and his sideman, , has
been called in to investigate a crime involving signs of a
violent struggle, a missing ladies made from the hope of Dudley
Kynaston, a naval weapons expert and important to the English
Government. The discovery of a severely mutilated female body
makes it important to discover whether this is the maid and,
if not, where she is. As the investigation proceeds, it becomes
clear that people, and their relationships, are not always
as they seem.
hook draws you into the story, establishes Pitt’s position,
role and background very quickly. This is critical for readers
new to the series. It also returns Pitt much more to his previous
role conducting a police investigating; something many of
his fans have missed.
descriptions create such a strong sense of place and atmosphere.
Whether the characters are standing in the dark and cold,
or in a warm kitchen with the smells of cooking; she immediately
makes the reader part of the scene. Beyond description is
the understanding Perry conveys regarding life during Victorian
times. The social customs and restrictions, particularly on
women, dress, manners, different types of households depending
upon wealth and social strata all come to life under Ms. Perry’s
is excellent and conveys not only the period, but the class
and area of England from which each character has come. At
the same time, when she does write in dialect, it is never
to where the reader has difficulty understanding the conversation.
the characters and their relationships which are the true
strength of the story. Again, each is introduced, a brief
background given and their relationship to the other characters
established. One never feels they need a cast of character
to understand the interrelationships. For those of us who’ve
long followed the series, we’re even caught up, briefly,
on past characters. The relatively new character of Stoker,
Pitt’s bagman (in the British sense of the word), is
a wonderful addition to the series and we learn more about
him in this book. One wonders whether he might not take a
larger role going forward.
theme in all of Ms. Perry’s work is honor, integrity,
loyalty to another and to one’s country, and relationships--”…You
can’t go through life without owing anybody. The real
debts are hardly ever a matter of money: they are about friendship,
trust, help when you desperately need it, a hand out in the
darkness to take yours, when you’re alone.” ”What
debt of honor could he own great than that to his country?
Death on Blackheath, Ms. Perry has added another
wonderful book to an excellent series. Yes, there may have
been a couple slight deficiencies in the plot and some might
find aspects a bit twee (overly sweet), but it also had very
good suspense, some excellent twists and made you questions
some of the characters. All I know is that I’ll definitely
be back for book #30.
Reviews of other titles in this series
Palace Gardens #25
at Lisson Grove #26
Dorchester Terrace #27 [review
on Blackheath #29