In Perry's third mystery set in Victorian London, military hero Thaddeus Carlyon falls from the top of a staircase and is impaled on a suit of armor below--an ignoble end to a distinguished career and a definite damper to the dinner party he had been attending. When his death turns out to be a murder, his wife takes sole responsibility and is quickly arrested. But Carlyon's sister believes the widow innocent and enlists the help of her friend Hester Latterly, a nurse, who soon brings in her associates from The Face of a Stranger and A Dangerous Mourning : barrister Oliver Rathbone and troubled former policeman, amnesia victim and dogged investigator Thomas Monk. The quietly feminist Latterly, the gentlemanly Rathbone and the seemingly cold Monk (who discovers hidden aspects of himself as readily as he does clues) advance the narrative in tandem. Unobtrusively creating a richly detailed period atmosphere, Perry leads readers gradually through a case involving Carlyon's traumatized son and vengeful daughter, revealing social and moral nuances in the grand tradition of the Victorian novel--even though the finale relies on a plot device badly overused in current crime fiction. ( Oct. )
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992 Release date: 09/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 285 pages - 978-0-307-76777-6
Hardcover - 696 pages - 978-1-56054-625-2
Paperback - 503 pages - 978-0-7472-4870-5
Paperback - 521 pages - 978-84-9872-242-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 439 pages - 978-0-8041-1188-1
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