Monday, December 5, 2011
I didn't enjoy the last Anne Perry book as much as I did all of her others. So I thought I had become fully saturated with Perry's books. With this mystery, I found it wasn't true. I really enjoyed Bluegate Fields. Thomas has a much larger role than he has had in the novels up until now. Of course, the mystery isn't solved without Charlotte's help (see past Pitt and Monk mysteries). Even so, there was much less "visiting for tea" and more deduction.
A 15 year old boy's naked body is found in the sewers of London. He is identified as Arthur Waybourn. A medical examination reveals that he boy had drowned in bathwater, that he had been "homosexually used" before death and that he had syphilis. This is the stuff of scandal and the family of the deceased is eager to find a responsible party and to move on.
A responsible party is found in the boy's tutor, Maurice Jerome. Both Arthur's brother and friend are asked if Jerome ever touched them and they answer that he has. Two other witnesses are found and the case is closed. But something bothers Thomas about the case and Charlotte won't accept Jerome's guilt. Thomas investigates as much as he is able to, considering the pressure put upon him by his supervisor to drop the case. Charlotte works behind the scenes, finagling invitations to tea and to soirees in order to find out more details.
I haven't seen any brilliance or even any great skill in the detective work of Inspector Pitt. With such a long running series, I suppose he will begin to develop in some of the books to come. Next on the list to read: Death in Devil's Acre.