Feb 112014

perry-deathonblackheathPublishers Weekly: A truly unusual mystery distinguishes bestseller Perry’s 29th Victorian puzzle featuring Charlotte and Thomas Pitt (after 2013’s Midnight at Marble Arch). Perry balances plot and character neatly before providing a resolution that few will anticipate. The local police call on Thomas, who’s still adjusting to his relatively new role as head of Special Branch, about the disappearance of a housemaid who lives in a London suburb near Greenwich. Traces of blood and hair have been found in the areaway outside the house where she works, but what triggers the involvement of Special Branch is the fact that she’s employed by Dudley Kynaston, a government official intimately involved with developing Britain’s naval defense systems. Downing Street is alarmed by the prospect of a scandal involving Kynaston. The stakes rise a few weeks later after the discovery of a savagely butchered woman who may be the missing servant; signs indicate that she was killed some time before her body was found.