By Anne Perry
Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345523761, 344pp.
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Clemency Shaw, the wife of a prominent doctor, has died in a tragic fire in the peaceful suburb of Highgate. But the blaze was set by an arsonist, and it is unclear whether she or Dr. Shaw was the intended victim or did the doctor himself set the blaze in order to inherit his wife's large fortune? Baffled by the scarcity of clues in this terrible crime, Inspector Thomas Pitt turns to the people who had been closest to the couple Clemency's stuffy but distinguished relatives. Meanwhile, Pitt's wellborn wife, Charlotte, retraces the dangerous path that Clemency walked in the last months of her life, finding herself enmeshed in a sinister web that stretches from the lowest slums to the loftiest centers of power.
“When it comes to the Victorian mystery, Anne Perry has proved that nobody does it better.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Give her a good murder and a shameful social evil, and Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens’s eyes pop.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Perry gets the Victorian mood just right. . . . Settle in with this one on a rainy day.”—Booklist
“Descriptions of London’s Upstairs/Downstairs society [are] historically illuminating.”—St. Petersburg Times
“Rounded out by a host of lively characters, this is a memorable tale.”—Publishers Weekly