A Breach of Promise: A William Monk Novel

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9780345523747: A Breach of Promise: A William Monk Novel
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In a sensational breach-of-promise suit, two wealthy social climbers are suing on behalf of their beautiful daughter, Zillah. The defendant is Zillah’s alleged fiancé, brilliant young architect Killian Melville, who adamantly declares that he will not, cannot, marry her. Utterly baffled by his client’s refusal, Melville’s counsel, Sir Oliver Rathbone, turns to his old comrades in crime—William Monk and nurse Hester Latterly. But even as they scout London for clues, the case suddenly and tragically ends, in an outcome that no one—except a ruthless murderer—could have foreseen.

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Review:

The promises that are breached, broken, and never born in Anne Perry's rich and resonant new William Monk mystery all have to do with the roles and positions of women in Victorian society. At the center of the book is a rousing courtroom drama, as young Zillah Lambert--daughter of a wealthy, well-meaning northern businessman and his socially ambitious wife--sues an immensely gifted architect, Killian Melville. Melville, Zillah argues, failed to live up to his promise of marriage and thereby ruined her chances of making any sort of acceptable match. Private detective Monk is brought into the case by lawyer Oliver Rathbone when his client (Melville), facing financial and social ruin, still refuses to offer any reason for his dastardly conduct.

Monk's attentions are occupied elsewhere, too. Hester Latterly, the courageous nurse who worked with Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War, and whose favors Monk and Rathbone both desire, is looking after a British officer, Gabriel Sheldon, who was badly wounded and disfigured in India. Gabriel's wife, Perdita, is having trouble adjusting to her husband's broken body and spirit. "It was not Perdita's fault that she was confused and frightened," Monk muses. "She had been protected all her short life. She had not chosen to be, it was her assigned role." Monk has also promised a housemaid in the Sheldons' service that he will look for her two little nieces--deaf and deformed from birth--who were abandoned by their mother almost 20 years before. As the cases tangle and combine (perhaps a tad too coincidentally for some tastes, but, then again, real life is full of coincidences), Perry manages to show us the many ways in which women were made to pay for their place in a male-dominated society. She also delivers a touching and surprisingly suspenseful story. Other Monk books in paperback: The Silent Cry, Cain His Brother, Defend and Betray, Weighed in the Balance. --Dick Adler

From the Publisher:

I was a dedicated Anne Perry fan long before I began working at Ballantine two years ago as an editorial assistant. One of the best perks of my job is getting sneak previews of upcoming books, and I take full advantage of that perk with Anne Perry's novels. As any follower of the William Monk series knows, the somewhat triangular relationship shared by Monk, nurse Hester Latterly, and barrister Oliver Rathbone is one of the enduring themes of the series. Although I read the William Monk novels for the edge-of-your-seat suspense and fascinating historical detail that Anne Perry is known for, I also read the series to find out the answer to the burning question: what will happen to them next? Well, when the bound galleys for A BREACH OF PROMISE came out, I immediately took one home with me for the weekend and read, spellbound, for two days. Let me tell you: this one has a kicker of an ending. For anyone who wants to know the answer to that question, you must read this book!

--Malinda Lo, Editorial Assistant

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Book Description Ballantine Books, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In a sensational breach-of-promise suit, two wealthy social climbers are suing on behalf of their beautiful daughter, Zillah. The defendant is Zillah's alleged fiancé, brilliant young architect Killian Melville, who adamantly declares that he will not, cannot, marry her. Utterly baffled by his client's refusal, Melville's counsel, Sir Oliver Rathbone, turns to his old comrades in crime--William Monk and nurse Hester Latterly. But even as they scout London for clues, the case suddenly and tragically ends, in an outcome that no one--except a ruthless murderer--could have foreseen. Seller Inventory # AAS9780345523747

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Book Description Ballantine Books, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In a sensational breach-of-promise suit, two wealthy social climbers are suing on behalf of their beautiful daughter, Zillah. The defendant is Zillah's alleged fiancé, brilliant young architect Killian Melville, who adamantly declares that he will not, cannot, marry her. Utterly baffled by his client's refusal, Melville's counsel, Sir Oliver Rathbone, turns to his old comrades in crime--William Monk and nurse Hester Latterly. But even as they scout London for clues, the case suddenly and tragically ends, in an outcome that no one--except a ruthless murderer--could have foreseen. Seller Inventory # AAS9780345523747

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Book Description Ballantine Books, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In a sensational breach-of-promise suit, two wealthy social climbers are suing on behalf of their beautiful daughter, Zillah. The defendant is Zillah's alleged fiancé, brilliant young architect Killian Melville, who adamantly declares that he will not, cannot, marry her. Utterly baffled by his client's refusal, Melville's counsel, Sir Oliver Rathbone, turns to his old comrades in crime--William Monk and nurse Hester Latterly. But even as they scout London for clues, the case suddenly and tragically ends, in an outcome that no one--except a ruthless murderer--could have foreseen. Seller Inventory # BTE9780345523747

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