Friday, May 11, 2007

Cardington Crescent, by Anne Perry

(hb; 1987: eighth book in the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series)

From the inside flap:

"When George Ashworth is found dead over his morning coffee, it is clearly a crime of passion. It was unspoken, but common knowledge at Cardington Crescent that George was having an affair with Sybilla, his wife Emily's enchanting young cousin. But in refined Victorian Society, such domestic problems were usually handled quietly and discreetly, without the aid of of a dose of digitalis. Anxious to avoid further scandal, the genteel March family is all too willing to point the finger at Emily. After all, there is no better motive for murder than the wrath of a jealous wife, and indeed, she was never really one of them, having come from a family of inferior standing.

"That family, however, happens to include her sister Charlotte, the irrepressible wife of Inspector Thomas Pitt, and no stranger to murder and intrigue..."


Seven years after their sister (Sarah) was stabbed (in The Cater Street Hangman), the spectre of murder revisits Charlotte, Emily and their family. This time it's George, Emily's husband, who's killed, and the murder is more insidious because one of their family members is the killer.

As if that weren't bad enough, the fact that Emily (always shown as a heroine in the series) may have killed George -- who appeared to be having an indiscreet affair -- makes this one of the more chilling and tragic entries in the Pitt series, with references to Resurrection Row and Death in the Devil's Acre.

The killer isn't easy to spot, at least not initially, but the killer's identity isn't surprising, either.

Another winner from author Perry, followed by Silence in Hanover Close.

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