Anne Perry's superb New York Times bestselling novels set in the glorious reign of Victoria are loved by readers far and wide. Now, with this new Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery, Perry returns us to that charmed era, when wealth and power rule -- but where, alas, poisonous corruption lies coiled in the heart of the empire.
As commander of the powerful Special Branch, Thomas Pitt has the job of keeping Britain safe from spies and traitors. So there's no obvious reason why he is suddenly ordered to investigate two minor incidents: the blood, hair, and shards of glass discovered outside the home of naval weapons expert Dudley Kynaston, and the simultaneous disappearance of Mrs. Kynaston's beautiful lady's maid.
But weeks later, when the mutilated body of an unidentified young woman is found near Kynaston's home, Pitt realizes that this is no ordinary police investigation. Far from it. Is Kynaston -- one of Britain's most valuable scientists -- leading a double life? Is Pitt saddled with a conspiracy so devilishly clever that it will ruin him?
A baffled Pitt has never needed his friends more desperately, including his indomitable wife, Charlotte; his canny old colleague Victor Narraway; and his personal drawing-room spy, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould. But even these allies may not be able to save Pitt -- or Britain.
Only Anne Perry could have created the tense unfolding of plot and counterplot, love and betrayal, scandal and murder that follows. Death on Blackheath is rich with fascinating characters, authentic period flavor, knife's-edge suspense, and a haunting, unforgettable denouement.
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Death on Blackheath is another strong entry in the long-running Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. I think there are a number of reasons why this series is so loved by historical mystery readers like me. The main reason, I think, are the realistic characters that appear in every single book. Thomas and Charlotte Pitt and their friends and family are as real to me as any historical figures could be. Ms. Perry does a wonderful job of putting her readers right into the time frame of her books, which is turn-of-the century England. This book is a little different than most of the previous books as it is vague as to what crimes have been committed. It leaves the reader guessing as to what the true crime is almost until the very end of the book. But there is lots of tension and suspense. Pitt faces some rather unusual moral dilemmas. As usual, the plot is intricate and detailed. The denouement is haunting and tragic and I am left wanting more. I can't wait for the next book in this series.