Sunday, April 3, 2011

Law and Order: Victorian

I'm still not tired of Anne Perry's Inspector Monk series. The things I like about these books are the Victorian era setting; the mystery in each book; the relationship between Hester and Monk as well as Hester and Rathbone (who will she choose??)

Because the barrister Oliver Rathbone is a recurring character, the last several chapter of each book are set in a courtroom. Weighed in the Balance is more of a court story than The Silent Cry, but nevertheless - each has an investigation and then a trial.

In all of the books, Hester Latterly is invaluable. Without her, Monk and Rathbone would fail.

Plots from one book are often mentioned in another book. So that I won't forget what each book is about, I'll sum them up in this blog for future reference.

1. Face of a Stranger: The Grey Case.
Monk has to solve the crime he was working on before the carriage accident which left him with no memory of his near or distant past. Mr. Grey is a young nobleman who has been brutally murdered in his flat. He is the second son of a well to do family and is not the heir to the fortune. Meanwhile, Hester's father has committed suicide because of a business deal gone horribly wrong. Monk meets Calandra Daviott.

2. A Dangerous Mourning: The Moidore Case
Octavia Haslett, widowed daughter of Sir Basil Moidore is found stabbed to death in her bedroom. No outsider could have done the crime, so suspicion falls upon the household staff.

3. Defend and Betray: The Carlyon Case
During a dinner party, military hero Thaddeus Carlyon falls from the top of a staircase and is impaled on a suit of armor below. Someone in the house did it. Carlyon's wife becomes the prime suspect.

4. A Sudden Fearful Death: The Barrymore Case (or The Stanhope Case)
Nurse Prudence Barrymore is found murdered and stuffed into the hospital laundry chute.
In another plot, Marianne Gillespie has become pregnant and will not disclose the father's name. Monk is hired to find out who it could be.
Where's Maury Povich when you need him?

5. Sins of the Wolf: The Farraline Case
Set in Scotland, the case revolves around the murder of Mary Farraline. Hester is the prime suspect as she was hired to accompany Mrs. Farraline on a train trip to London. Mrs Farraline ends up dead from an overdose of heart medication and one of her pearl brooches ends up missing.

6. Cain His Brother: The Stonefield Case
Angus Stonefield goes missing. He is believed dead - murdered by his twin brother Caleb.
Angus is a successful businessman, Caleb is a thief and a brutal, violent man who lives in one of London's dangerous slums. Monk is hired by Angus' widow to either find him or verify his death. Lord Ravensbrook is Angus and Caleb's uncle and guardian.

7. Weighed in the Balance: The Rostova Case
Zorah Rostova has been sued for slander by Princess Gisela of Felzberg. The Countess has accused the Princess of murdering her own husband. Monk goes undercover in order to mix with the royal family in Venice. Prince Friedrich (the victim) had abdicated the throne in order to marry the commoner, Gisela. Sir Rathbone has foolishly taken on a case that everyone thinks he can't win. Monk wastes Zorah's time and money wooing one of the royals, Countess Evelyn. But everyone lives happily ever after ( as much as anyone can in a murder mystery).

8. The Silent Cry: The Duff Case
Rhys Duff and his father Leighton Duff are found brutally beaten and left for dead in one of London's slums, St. Giles. Constable Evan (a recurring character) investigates. Rhys survives, but cannot speak. Hester is hired to nurse him. In another plot, one of the residents of another slum, Seven Dials, has hired Monk to find the man or men who have been raping and beating the amateur prostitutes in the area. Rathbone shows up at the end to defend Rhys who has been accused of killing his father. In Monk's personal story - we find out why Runcorn hates Monk.

Next up....A Breach of Promise.

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