NO GRAVES AS YET: A Novel of World War I

Anne Perry, Author
Anne Perry, Author . Ballantine $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-345-45652-6
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This absorbing mystery/spy thriller, set in tranquil Cambridge just before the onset of the Great War, marks a powerful start to bestseller Perry's much anticipated new series. In a lush and deceptively peaceful opening scene, college professor and chaplain Joseph Reavley is interrupted while watching a cricket game by his intelligence officer brother, Matthew, who reports the sudden death of their parents in a car crash. This horrifying news sets off a long but compelling investigation by the brothers that takes them across verdant summertime England, looking for a secret document that their father was trying to deliver to Matthew at the time of his death. Against a backdrop of ominous news from the continent, Perry artfully weaves connections between pacifist students at Cambridge, one of whom is also murdered, and German agents who may be planning "a conspiracy to ruin England and everything we stand for." The intrigue is further complicated by jilted lovers and jealous spouses at the university, all with grudges against an alleged blackmailer in their midst who may also be privy to exam cribbing and other illicit goings-on. Perry's title, a quotation from G.K. Chesterton, is a portent of the carnage that soon awaits the youth of England, yet by the final resolution of this gripping case, many graves have regrettably already been filled in Cambridge's serene churchyards. (Sept. 1)

Forecast:For Perry fans concerned that her two long-running Victorian series have been losing steam, this fresh beginning, backed by a 12-city author tour, will renew their faith. Expect stronger than usual sales.

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