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Readers in love with Anne Perry's matchless Victorian mysteries are no strangers to the scandals and secret corruption that sometimes lay concealed behind the elegant facades of the haughty mansions in fin de siècle London. For most Londoners, however, these great houses were inscrutable bastions of privilege and power.
All the more shocking then was the freshly dead body sprawled on the Bedford Square doorstep of General Brandon Ballantyne--an affront to every respectable sensibility.
The general denies all knowledge of the bloody-knuckled, shabbily dressed victim who has so rudely come to death outside his home. But Superintendent Thomas Pitt of Bow Street Police Station cannot believe him. For in the dead man's pocket he finds a rare snuffbox that recently graced the general's study. He must tread lightly, however, lest his investigation trigger a tragedy of immense proportions, ensnaring honorable men like flies in a web of terror. Pitt's clever wife, Charlotte, becomes his full partner in probing this masterpiece of evil, spawned by an amorality greater than they can imagine.
Like all Anne Perry novels, Bedford Square brings to vivid life a world of silver spoons and tattered rags, of men and women who embrace the best and the worst of human nature, where vicious lies become weapons of destruction--and dead men tell no tales.
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Even if you prefer the tougher, edgier William Monk books by Anne Perry, such as A Breach of Promise, there's no denying the wealth of detail and the powerful emotions at work in her longer series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt. The Pitt books effectively merge Henry James with Raymond Chandler: by having a middleclass policeman married to a socialite, Perry can probe both worlds, as she does in Bedford Square, a story of high-level blackmail and murder.
A famous historical scandal called the Tranby Croft affair (a gambling case involving the Prince of Wales) is very much in the news when the body of a working-class man is found early one morning on the posh doorstep of General Brandon Balantyne. No one in the house claims to know the murdered man, but he has a valuable piece of jewelry belonging to the Balantynes in his pocket. Thomas Pitt and his outspoken aide, Sergeant Tellman, must tread lightly, but Charlotte--and especially her sharp relative Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould--aren't restrained by such social niceties. Gracie, the Pitts' smart and rough-tongued maid, is also a valued asset to the investigation, which proceeds in a satisfying, if not particularly surprising, manner to a highly dramatic conclusion.
Other recent books in the Pitt series include Brunswick Gardens, Ashworth Hall, and Pentecost Alley. --Dick AdlerAbout the Author:
Among Anne Perry's other novels featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt are Brunswick Gardens, Ashworth Hall, Pentecost Alley, Traitors Gate, and The Hyde Park Headsman. She also writes the popular novels featuring Victorian private investigator William Monk--among them A Breach of Promise, The Silent Cry, Weighed in the Balance, Cain His Brother, and Defend and Betray. "Her grasp of Victorian character and conscience still astonishes," said the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Hundreds of thousands of readers agree.
Anne Perry lives in Scotland.
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Book Description Thorndike Pr, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M078622018X