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When a man is found murdered on the doorstep of a respectable house in Bedford Square, Victorian England’s finest and most controversial policeman, Thomas Pitt, is called immediately to the scene. The only clue to the victim’s identity is a silver snuff box found on the body, curiously at odds with the man’s dishevelled appearance. Pitt soon discovers that the box, and the house where the body was found, belong to General Balantyne, a man Pitt knows to be a pillar of the community. He is dismayed to learn that Balantyne can barely recall the evening, let alone account for his movements.

Reviews

'A splendidly plotted yarn' Publishers Weekly
Give her a good murder and a shameful social evil, and Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens' eyes pop out
New York Times Book Review
Beautifully crafted
Cosmopolitan
'The Troubles perfectly suit Perry's gift for rooting large-scale social conflict in the minutiae of domestic intrigue' Kirkus Reviews
Her Victorian England pulsates with life and is peopled with wonderfully memorable characters
Faye Kellerman
'Perry's narrative is as statley and elegant as a royal barge on the Thames' Washington Post
'Master storyteller Anne Perry moves closer to Dickens as she lifts the lace curtain from Victorian society to reveal its shocking secrets' Sharyn McCrumb
The novel has a totally contemporary feel and is admirably well-written
Guardian
A complex plot supported by superb storytelling
Scotland on Sunday
'A complex plot supported by superb storytelling...and William Monk, a contender for the post of Most Original Investigator in recent fiction' Scotland on Sunday
'Ms Perry fashions a Victorian story with the sophisticated characterisation and psychological suspense that are everyday tools of the contemporary writer...the result is first rate' New York Times Book Review
'Her Victorian England pulsates with life and is peopled with wonderfully memorable characters' Faye Kellerman
'[A] surpassingly excellent historical and psychologically intricate mystery' Publishers Weekly
'Beautifully crafted' Cosmopolitan
'Perry's narrative is as stately and elegant as a royal barge on the Thames...with a final courtroom confrontation that's a humdinger' Washington Post Book World
'The novel has a totally contemporary feel and is admirably well-written' Guardian