Official Synopsis from Goodreads: Gripping and provocative, the latest Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery by New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry peers unflinchingly into the corrupt affairs of Victorian society on the brink of the century’s turn. The world is poised for social and political change, but England holds tight to its traditions, classes, and prejudices.
When an explosion in London kills two policemen and seriously injures three more, many believe that anarchists are the culprits. But Thomas Pitt, commander of Special Branch, knows the city’s radical groups well enough to suspect otherwise: that someone with decidedly more personal motives lit the deadly fuse. As he investigates the source of the fatal blast, he’s stunned to discover the bombing was a calculated strike against the ranks of law enforcement.
But still more shocking revelations await, as Pitt’s inquiries lead him to a member of Parliament hoping for a lucrative business deal, a high-ranking police officer with secrets to keep, and an aristocratic opium addict seeking murderous revenge. As he pursues each increasingly threatening lead, Pitt finds himself impeded at every turn by the barriers put in place to protect the rich and powerful—barriers which, as they start to crumble, threaten to bury him alive.
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: London 1898
My Copy Came From: I purchased a used paperback copy from my local used paperback bookstore, Paperbacks Unlimited.
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Review: Another excellent entry in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery series! Treachery at Lancaster Gate by Anne Perry is the thirty-first book in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery series set in Victorian London. Wow, I’ve read thirty-one books in this series! That’s a lot for me – I notoriously start series and never finish them, so I’m quite pleased that I’ve read as many of these books as I have.
Treachery at Lancaster Gate focuses on police corruption and anarchy. I found it absolutely fascinating and quite timely to current events.
‘Is he talking about police corruption too? I suppose it’s to be expected.’ He was desperately tired of the subject, and angry with the people who wrote letters to the newspapers with easy outrage, having no idea how hard police work actually was. They so often spoke as if there were absolute good and evil, and little between, whereas in fact the vast majority were simply poor, hungry, cold and too often desperate.
The Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries focus on Commander Thomas Pitt, head of Special Branch, and his wife Charlotte. In this entry, we also have quite a lot of Inspector Tellman, whose wife Gracie used to work for the Pitts. Tellman and Pitt argue quite a bit in this installment, as Pitt is forced to look into the police after a bombing, and Tellman doesn’t want to believe that there is corruption.
‘Turning a blind eye because you don’t want to know is not compassion, it’s cowardice, and it’s a betrayal of the good men. It’s not them you’re guarding, it’s your own feelings, because you don’t want to deal with it.’
While several of the periphery characters blended together for me, I was thrilled to see Emily (Charlotte’s sister) and Jack Radley again, and as always it’s a delight to read Lady Vespasia (Emily’s great aunt) and Victor Narraway (Thomas’s former boss).
There was a nail-biting scene towards the end of the book, where I seriously feared for several characters lives!
I really enjoy reading this series and I’ve just got one more, Murder on the Serpentine, and then I’m caught up!
Bottom Line: Exciting and timely.