cover image A Dangerous Mourning

A Dangerous Mourning

Anne Perry. Fawcett Books, $18 (330pp) ISBN 978-0-449-90554-8

Murder in an aristocratic London household pits Inspector William Monk, first encountered in The Face of a Stranger , against the Victorian sense of propriety, a bootlicking superior officer and a family's fierce determination to protect its reputation. Octavia Haslett, widowed daughter of Sir Basil Moidore, is found stabbed to death in her bedroom dressed only in nightclothes; when Monk proves no outsider could have entered the house that night, the family and servants remain sole suspects. As tension mounts in the household and a handsome and disliked footman becomes a scapegoat, Monk covertly arranges to introduce Hester Latterly, who served with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea and has helped Monk before, as a nurse in the Moidore home. Although a grave miscarriage of justice occurs and Monk is dismissed from the police force for a matter of conscience, the strong-willed pair persists in pressing the case to its chilling conclusion. Perry also writes the acclaimed Victorian mysteries featuring Inspector Pitt and his wife. (Sept.)