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The Prince of Wales has asked four wealthy entrepreneurs and their wives to Buckingham Palace to discuss a fantastic idea: the construction of a six-thousand-mile railroad that would stretch the full length of Africa. But, alas, the prince’s gathering proves disastrous when the mutilated body of a prostitute turns up in a linen closet among the queen’s monogrammed sheets.
With great haste, Thomas Pitt, brilliant mainstay of Special Services, is summoned to resolve the crisis. The Pitts’ cockney maid, Gracie, is also recruited to pose as a palace servant and listen in on the guests’ conversations. If Pitt and Gracie fail to find out who brutally murdered the young woman, Pitt’s career will be over, and the scandal may just cause the monarchy to fall.
Superintendent Thomas Pitt cannot immediately ascertain exactly what segment of society the dead man riding the morning tide of the Thames came from, but the sight of him is unforgettable. He lies in a battered punt drifting through the morning mist, his arms and legs chained to the boat’s sides. He is clad in a torn green gown and flowers bestrew his battered body.
Is he, as Pitt fears, a French diplomat who has gone missing? Or merely someone who greatly resembles him? Pitt’s determined search for answers leads him deep into London’s bohemia to the theatre where beautiful Cecily Antrim is outraging society with her bold portrayal of a modern woman—and into studios where masters of light and shadow are experimenting with the fascinating new art of photography.
But only Pitt’s most relentless pursuit enables him to identify the wildfire passions raging through this tragedy of…[more]
The ritual murder of a prostitute named Ada McKinley in a bedroom on decrepit Pentecost Alley would ordinarily occasion no stir in Victoria’s great metropolis. But under the victim’s body the police find a Hellfire Club badge inscribed with the name Finlay Fitzjames—a name that instantly draws Superintendent Thomas Pitt into the case.
Finlay’s father—immensely wealthy, powerful, and dangerous—refuses to consider the possibility that his son has been in Ada McKinley’s bed. The implication is clear: Pitt is to arrest someone other than Finlay Fitzjames for Ada’s demise.
But Thomas Pitt is not a man to be intimidated, and with the help of his quick-witted wife, Charlotte, and her well-connected friends, he stubbornly pursues his investigation—one that twists and turns like London’s own ancient streets….
Anne Perry has devised the most intricate mystery of her prolific career in Pentecost Alley, whose brilliant resolution will astonish and satisfy even the most discerning.
Although esteemed General Thaddeus Carlyon meets his death in a freak accident at home, his beautiful wife, Alexandra, confesses that she killed him. Investigator William Monk, nurse Hester Latterly, and the brilliant Oliver Rathbone, counsel for the defense, work feverishly to break down the wall of silence raised by the accused and her husband’s proud family. With the trial only days away, they inch toward the dark and appalling heart of the mystery. The final act is a courtroom masterpiece, through which we dare not breathe too deeply, lest the precarious balance of a woman’s life be lost.
His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detecive. But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life; his memory and his entire past have vanished. As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work and is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of a Crimean War hero and man about town. Which makes Monk’s efforts doubly difficult, since he’s forgotten his professional skills along with everything else….