Anne Perry is coming to our library this next weekend and I am excited to hear her speak. I decided since I was going to meet the woman, I ought to read one of her books first, even though they are not my usual genre. I just picked one randomly. I didn't realize it was the 9th in the series, but it didn't really seem to matter that much that I read this one first, and I was able to follow the plot line just fine.
Charlotte and Thomas Pitt live in late 19th century London. Thomas is a private investigator, and Charlotte is from an aristocratic family and has married beneath her station out of love. In this story Thomas is investigating a murder that occurred in a top aristocratic family three years earlier. As he digs deeper he begins to believe there was more motivation to the murder than was previously thought. Key witnesses start showing up dead, and before he knows it he has been framed for one of those deaths. Now it is up to Charlotte and her wealthy widowed sister, Emily, to infiltrate upper society and discover what secret was so important it was worth killing for. I enjoyed the book quite a bit. Perry has a good ear for Edwardian language and social structure. There is a lot here that devotees of Jane Austin would enjoy. I must admit the solution to the crime was a total surprise. I would call this a "cozy mystery" where all the violence and most of the danger occur off screen. Of course, this is not appropriate for children and has some mature themes. (341 p)