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The fourth Victorian mystery featuring Inspector Thomas Pitt (low-born) and wife Charlotte (high-born)--with lots of bodies, less humor than usual, too much Thomas, and not enough Charlotte.

At first the case seems to be merely one of bizarre grave-robbing: the recently demised body (natural causes, supposedly) of Lord Augustus Fitzroy-Hammond is dug up twice and stashed in unlikely places (a hansom cab, a church pew). So Pitt begins to wonder if, this is someone's odd way of raising questions about Sir A.'s death. Was he perhaps murdered by his young widow and/or her new admirer? But then two other bodies are disinterred (one gent, one pimp) . . . followed by the discovery at last of a well-and-truly-murdered corpse: that of Lord A.'s neighbor Godolphin Jones, a society painter who was also involved, it seems, in lewd photography and blackmail. Are all those body-doings connected? And do they perchance have any link to neighbor Lord St. Jermyn's campaign to pass an anti-workhouse law in Parliament?

No real surprises--and Charlotte remains largely in the background, which means little sass and repartee this time around. Still: sturdily constructed, agreeably atmospheric diversion for period-mystery fans.

Pub Date: Dec. 11th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's