Silence in Hanover Close

Anne Perry, Author
Anne Perry, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (341p) ISBN 978-0-312-01824-5
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Inspector Thomas Pitt, Anne Perry's gentle and astute hero of eight other Victorian mysteries, assumes a secondary role in this complex, gripping and highly satisfying mystery. High officials in the Foreign Office wish to reopen the unsolved murder case of one of their diplomats, Robert York, and Pitt is reluctantly chosen by Supt. Ballarat, his arrogant and ambitious superior, to head the investigation. Ballarat is fearful of offending powerful friends, so he cautions Pitt to be thoroughly discreet, thus rendering him ineffectual. Charlotte, Pitt's able wife, decides to aid him by exploring the upper levels of society that are closed to a police inspector. Skillfully assuming the role of a country girl with breeding and money, she befriends key figures in the York murder: Veronica, the stunning yet fragile widow, and Loretta, York's steely and self-contained mother. Emily, Charlotte's titled and wealthy sister, carries the investigation a step further by hiring on as Veronica's ladies' maid, where, her real identity unknown, she is able to eavesdrop on both upstairs and downstairs gossip. The mystery is an adroit blend of thick London atmosphere and a convincing cast, mingled with the complex and straitlaced conventions of Victorian England. A bonus is a totally surprising yet wonderfully plausible finale. (August)
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