cover image Three Debts Paid: A Daniel Pitt Novel

Three Debts Paid: A Daniel Pitt Novel

Anne Perry. Ballantine, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-35873-3

In bestseller Perry’s subpar fifth early-20th-century mystery featuring London attorney Daniel Pitt (after 2020’s Death with a Double Edge), Daniel agrees to defend history professor Nicholas Wolford, with whom he studied at Cambridge, on an assault charge. Wolford attacked a fellow scholar who’d accused him of plagiarism, breaking the man’s nose, jaw, and teeth. Meanwhile, a killer the newspapers call the Rainy-day Slasher has claimed the lives of three people—a journalist, a charity worker, and a banker—who have no obvious connection with one another. In addition to stabbing them repeatedly, the Slasher severed one finger from their dominant hand, suggesting that he had targeted them deliberately. Daniel’s father, Sir Thomas Pitt, now the head of Special Branch, gets involved when the investigating inspector is warned off probing one of the victims. There’s zero deduction, and most readers will identify who’s responsible for the murders long before the Pitts do. Even those who derive pleasure from anticipating the solution will feel let down. Perry has done better. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Apr.)