cover image Murder on the Serpentine: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel

Murder on the Serpentine: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel

Anne Perry. Ballantine, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-0-425284-98-8

Queen Victoria needs the help of Thomas Pitt, who now commands Special Branch, in Perry’s autumnal 32nd mystery featuring Pitt and his wife, Charlotte (after 2015’s Treachery at Lancaster Gate). The monarch, who is nearing the end of her life, asks Pitt to probe the untimely death of Sir John Halberd, an old and trusted friend of her majesty, whom she had asked to investigate Alan Kendrick, a new adviser to her son, the Prince of Wales. While Kendrick seems to be primarily sharing wisdom about horses with the heir to the throne, a fellow horse enthusiast, the queen is concerned by the man’s rumored involvement in “all sorts of other affairs.” Her worries were only heightened when Halberd died in an unusual boating accident under circumstances suggesting the possibility of foul play. The mystery may follow familiar lines, but even newcomers are likely to be charmed by scenes that deepen Pitt’s family relationships. This entry’s main strength lies in the quiet, emotionally intelligent interactions among its characters. [em]Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Mar.) [/em]