Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Sexual violence is at the heart of bestseller Perry's engrossing 28th Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novel (after 2012's Dorchester Terrace), set in 1896 London. Pitt, the new head of Special Branch, and his ousted predecessor, Victor Narraway, are about to leave a party when a police officer informs another guest, financier Rawdon Quixwood, that his wife, Catherine, is dead. Pitt and Narraway accompany Quixwood to the financier's house, where they find the wife's battered body. After being raped by her assailant-someone she apparently let inside-she drank a fatal dose of laudanum. Later, Angeles Castelbranco, the Portuguese ambassador's daughter, plunges to her death in an effort to escape the rake who had been tormenting her. Pitt learns that she, too, was the victim of sexual assault. In an intriguing twist, Quixwood provides the alibi for the suspect in that case. Perry does a nice job exploring late Victorian attitudes toward sex crimes. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maas Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Sexual violence is at the heart of bestseller Perry's engrossing 28th Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novel (after 2012's Dorchester Terrace), set in 1896 London. Pitt, the new head of Special Branch, and his ousted predecessor, Victor Narraway, are about to leave a party when a police officer informs another guest, financier Rawdon Quixwood, that his wife, Catherine, is dead. Pitt and Narraway accompany Quixwood to the financier's house, where they find the wife's battered body. After being raped by her assailant-someone she apparently let inside-she drank a fatal dose of laudanum. Later, Angeles Castelbranco, the Portuguese ambassador's daughter, plunges to her death in an effort to escape the rake who had been tormenting her. Pitt learns that she, too, was the victim of sexual assault. In an intriguing twist, Quixwood provides the alibi for the suspect in that case. Perry does a nice job exploring late Victorian attitudes toward sex crimes. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maas Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Perry has two hit Victorian mystery series going, one starring William Monk and the other featuring Charlotte and Thomas Pitt. This twenty-sixth entry in the Pitt series shows once again the Victorian era's abundance of social abuses, which often led to crime. The Pitts have moved up the social ladder, not that they've sought it, but with each of Thomas' promotions in the police (he is now head of Special Branch), their world has included more of the wealthy and the aristocratic but also more of the depraved, who can cover crimes more easily than the poor. This mystery, involving, as always, the investigative talents of both Charlotte and Thomas, centers on sexual assault. Two gatherings, a formal ball and a reception, showcase two women caught up in Victorian male hypocrisy. One of the Pitts' friends, a high-up London financier, attends the ball alone. He's summoned away, however, when his wife, who begged off attending, is found raped and murdered in their front hall. At the same ball, the daughter of the Portuguese ambassador shows every evidence of terror as a young noble pursues her. Perry expertly shows how a society in which women have no recourse against sexual assault, except for covering it up themselves, opens itself to a variety of desperate acts highlighting women's vulnerabilities. Perry is a master at illuminating the wrongs of the Victorian age.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist