An ARC honest review for Headline Books via NetGalley.

A Commander Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery.

Thomas is called to the presence of Queen Victoria, and asked to look into the friendship of a man that she doesn’t approve of her eldest son and heir Edward, the Prince of Wales.  She had previously entrusted this mission to her close friend and confidante, John Halberd, only before he could report back, he is found dead in a row boat on the Serpentine.  The Queen asks Pitt to investigate and answer only to her.

The death has been ruled an accident, but when Pitt looks closely, it seems unlikely.

Now that Pitt is investigating a murder, and he must look into it for the Queen.  But nasty rumours have been spread about Halberd, and he needs to find out which are truths and which are lies.  But this is high society, and Pitt does not fit in well with it.  With his close friend Narraway and Aunt Vespasia away travelling Europe, he has nobody to turn to…not even Charlotte.

But Charlotte’s no fool and can see that her husband needs her help.  So with the help of her sister Emily, they tour the salons of high society gleaning information that Thomas can use.

But the information that turns up proves there is more going on than just murder…information that can ruin the royal house and the Empire!

It been a very long time since I have read any of the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt books, and I will now be going back to read earlier books in the series.

Enjoyable, well written and artfully plotted mystery from Anne Perry.

4 Stars****


London, 1899: Head of Special Branch Commander Thomas Pitt is summoned to Buckingham Palace.

In the twilight of her years, Queen Victoria is all too aware that the Prince of Wales will soon inherit her empire and must be beyond reproach. She tells Pitt she tasked her close friend and confidante, John Halberd, with investigating the Prince’s friends, specifically Alan Kendrick, a wealthy playboy and betting man, but before he could report back, Halberd was found dead in a rowing boat on the Serpentine.

The death has been ruled an unfortunate accident and the investigation closed, but the Queen is not convinced that all is as it seems and tasks Pitt with finding the truth.

Forced to act alone in this most sensitive of investigations, Pitt finds himself embroiled in a plot that threatens not only the reputations of men, but also the safety and reputation of the Empire. . .

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