BEDFORD SQUARE by Anne Perry

BEDFORD SQUARE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The latest grand address to suffer the blight of Victorian crime is General Brandon Balantyne’s house in Bedford Square, whose doorstep, one early morning in 1891, is adorned with a cooling corpse. The general denies knowing the dead man, but although Bow Street commander William Pitt (Brunswick Gardens, 1998, etc.)—who’s had run-ins with Balantyne and his titled, frigid wife before—knows enough to keep a tradesman’s distance from the Balantynes, Pitt’s wife Charlotte, an old friend of the general’s, wastes no time in tying him in to a ring of blackmail victims. Each of the half-dozen victims has been threatened with the disclosure of a fictitious secret; the only thing demanded of any of them has been some symbolic trifle, like the general’s snuffbox that Pitt found on the newest corpse; and one victim who submissively sent in his bauble found his imaginary secret disclosed and his comfortable life ruined anyway. Clearly, then, this is no ordinary extortion plot, and even when Pitt finds the common ground that connects all the victims, he still can’t figure out the blackmailer’s motive or identity, or even why he left a dead body on the doorstep in Bedford Square. Perry hammers on her tantalizing mysteries effectively enough to produce her sleekest, fastest-moving book in years. Only the solution, coming a few quick breaths before the last page, is a letdown. (Mystery Guild main selection; author tour)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-345-43298-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999




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