Buckingham Palace Gardens (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #25)

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Overview

The Prince of Wales has asked four wealthy entrepreneurs and their wives to Buckingham Palace to discuss a fantastic idea: the construction of a six-thousand-mile railroad that would stretch the full length of Africa. But the prince’s gathering proves disastrous when the mutilated body of a prostitute turns up in a linen closet among the queen’s monogrammed sheets. With great haste, Thomas Pitt, the brilliant mainstay of Special Services, is summoned to resolve the crisis. The Pitts’ cockney maid, Gracie, is also...

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Buckingham Palace Gardens (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #25)

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Overview

The Prince of Wales has asked four wealthy entrepreneurs and their wives to Buckingham Palace to discuss a fantastic idea: the construction of a six-thousand-mile railroad that would stretch the full length of Africa. But the prince’s gathering proves disastrous when the mutilated body of a prostitute turns up in a linen closet among the queen’s monogrammed sheets. With great haste, Thomas Pitt, the brilliant mainstay of Special Services, is summoned to resolve the crisis. The Pitts’ cockney maid, Gracie, is also recruited to pose as a palace servant and listen in on the guests’ conversations. If Pitt and Gracie fail to find out who brutally murdered the young woman, Pitt’s career will be over, and the scandal may just cause the monarchy to fall.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
…Anne Perry's 25th novel featuring her 19th-century police inspector, Thomas Pitt. But unlike so many detective series gliding on cruise control, this mature work provides a fine introduction to Perry's alluring world of Victorian crime and intrigue. Ever the master of her milieu, she delivers sumptuous descriptions of life among the gentry when England still basked in its imperial glory. And in an intricate plot about a murder at the palace while the Prince and Princess of Wales are in residence, she also marshals the series's major themes: the way crime reverberates throughout the social classes; the precarious status of women of every rank; and the need for honorable heroes to preserve and protect the Empire, sometimes from itself.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

The detecting and diplomatic skills of Thomas Pitt, now assigned to the Special Branch, are tested as never before in bestseller Perry's solid 25th novel to feature the Victorian sleuth (after 2005's Long Spoon Lane). In 1893, the discovery of a prostitute's mutilated corpse in a Buckingham Palace cupboard after a stag party presided over by the prince of Wales could spell political disaster for the monarchy. Pitt soon eliminates the members of the sizable household staff as suspects, narrowing his focus to the prince himself and his close friends, who, it turns out, have been planning a major construction project in Africa-a railway that would run from South Africa to Egypt. Though the sensitive nature of Pitt's assignment precludes any active involvement by Charlotte, his wife and partner in earlier cases, he's able to place her maid, Gracie Phipps, on the palace staff to assist him. Perry does a nice job with some plot twists, even if most readers will quickly discount the heir to the throne of England as a viable suspect. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
“A fine introduction to Perry’s alluring world of Victorian crime and intrigue.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Another winner . . . a wonderful cast of characters with many twisting plots.”—Vero Beach Press Journal 
 
“Perry writes with an intelligence that’s both refreshing and entertaining.”—The Arizona Republic
 
“Perry is my choice for today’s best mystery writer of Victoriana.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“[Perry’s] grasp of Victorian character and conscience astonishes.”—The Plain Dealer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455842797
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Series: Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series , #25
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Perry
Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane, and the William Monk novels, including Execution Dock and Dark Assassin. She is also the author of a series of five World War I novels, as well as seven holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Odyssey, and a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Ottoman Empire. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.

Biography

Born in London in October 1938, Anne Perry was plagued with health problems as a young child. So severe were her illnesses that at age eight she was sent to the Bahamas to live with family friends in the hopes that the warmer climate would improve her health. She returned to her family as a young teenager, but sickness and frequent moves had interrupted her formal education to the extent that she was finally forced to leave school altogether. With the encouragement of her supportive parents, she was able to "fill in the gaps" with voracious reading, and her lack of formal schooling has never held her back.

Although Perry held down many jobs—working at various times as a retail clerk, stewardess, limousine dispatcher, and insurance underwriter—the only thing she ever seriously wanted to do in life was to write. (In her '20s, she started putting together the first draft of Tathea, a fantasy that would not see print until 1999.) At the suggestion of her stepfather, she began writing mysteries set in Victorian London; and in 1979, one of her manuscripts was accepted for publication. The book was The Cater Street Hangman, an ingenious crime novel that introduced a clever, extremely untidy police inspector named Thomas Pitt. In this way an intriguing mystery series was born…along with a successful writing career.

In addition to the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels, Perry crafts darker, more layered Victorian mysteries around the character of London police detective William Monk, whose memory has been impaired by a coach accident. (Monk debuted in 1990's The Face of a Stranger.) She also writes historical novels set during the First World War (No Graves as Yet, Shoulder the Sky, etc.) and holiday-themed mysteries (A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Secret, etc), and her short stories have been included in several anthologies.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Anne Perry:

The first time I made any money telling a story I was four and a half years old—golden hair, blue eyes, a pink smocked dress, and neat little socks and shoes. I walked home from school (it was safe then) with my lunchtime sixpence unspent. A large boy, perhaps 12 or 13, stopped me. He was carrying a stick and threatened to hit me if I didn't give him my sixpence. I told him a long, sad story about how poor we were—no food at home, not even enough money for shoes! He gave me his half crown—five times sixpence! It's appalling! I didn't think of it as lying, just escaping with my sixpence. How on earth he could have believed me I have no idea. Perhaps that is the knack of a good story—let your imagination go wild, pile on the emotions—believe it yourself, evidence to the contrary be damned. I am not really proud of that particular example!

I used to live next door to people who had a tame dove. They had rescued it when it broke its wing. The wing healed, but it never learned to fly again. I used to walk a mile or so around the village with the dove. Its little legs were only an inch or two long, so it got tired, then it would ride on my head. Naturally I talked to it. It was a very nice bird. I got some funny looks. Strangers even asked me if I knew there was a bird on my head! Who the heck did they think I was talking to? Of course I knew there was a bird on my head. I'm not stupid—just a writer, and entitled to be a little different. I'm also English, so that gives me a second excuse!

On the other hand I'm not totally scatty. I like maths, and I used to love quadratic equations. One of the most exciting things that happened to me was when someone explained non-Euclidean geometry to me, and I suddenly saw the infinite possibilities in lateral thinking! How could I have been so blind before?

Here are some things I like—and one thing I don't:

  • I love wild places, beech trees, bluebell woods, light on water—whether the light is sunlight, moonlight, or lamplight; and whether the water is ocean, rain, snow, river, mist, or even a puddle.

  • I love the setting sun in autumn over the cornstooks.

  • I love to eat raspberries, pink grapefruit, crusty bread dipped in olive oil.

  • I love gardens where you seem to walk from "room to room," with rambling roses and vines climbing into the trees and sudden vistas when you turn corners.

  • I love white swans and the wild geese flying overhead.

  • I dislike rigidity, prejudice, ill-temper, and perhaps above all, self-righteousness.

  • I love laughter, mercy, courage, hope. I think that probably makes me pretty much like most people. But that isn't bad.
  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Juliet Hulme
      2. Hometown:
        Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
      1. Date of Birth:
        October 28, 1938
      2. Place of Birth:
        Blackheath, London England

    Read an Excerpt

    Buckingham Palace Gardens
    A Novel
    By Anne Perry
    Ballantine Books
    Copyright © 2008 Anne Perry
    All right reserved.

    ISBN: 9780345469311


    Chapter One

    She was apparently found in the linen cupboard, poor creature,” Narraway replied, his lean face dour, his eyes so dark they seemed black in the interior shadow of the hansom cab. Then, before Pitt could say anything further, he corrected himself. “One of the linen cupboards in Buckingham Palace. It was a particularly brutal murder.”

    The vehicle jerked forward, throwing Pitt back in the seat. “A prostitute?” he said incredulously.

    Narraway was silent for a moment. The horse’s hoofs clattered loudly, the carriage’s wheels rattling over the cobbles dangerously close to the pavement edge.

    “Surely that’s a bad joke!” he said at last as they swung around the corner into The Mall and picked up speed again.

    “Very bad,” Narraway agreed. “At least I hope so. But I fear it is perfectly serious. However, if Mr. Cahoon Dunkeld proves to be wasting our time exercising his sense of humor, I shall take great joy in personally putting him in jail—preferably one of our less pleasant ones.”

    “It has to be a joke,” Pitt said, shivering at the thought. “There couldn’t be a murder at the Palace. How could aprostitute get in there, anyway?”

    “Through the door, exactly as we shall, Pitt,” Narraway answered. “Don’t be naïve. And she was probably more welcome than we shall be.”

    Pitt felt a little stung. “Who is Cahoon Dunkeld?” he asked, avoiding looking at Narraway. He had a reverence for Queen Victoria, especially now in her advanced age and widowhood, even though he was perfectly well aware of her reputed eccentricities and the fact that she had not always been so popular with her people. She had been in mourning too long, retreating not only from joy but also from duty. And he had gained some personal knowledge a couple of years ago of the extravagance and the self-indulgence of the Prince of Wales, and knew he kept several very expensive mistresses. Pitt had been superintendent of Bow Street then, and the conspiracy around the Prince had cost him his job and very nearly brought down the throne. That was why Pitt was now working for Victor Narraway in Special Branch, learning more about treason, anarchy, and other forms of violence against the State.

    But the thought of a prostitute in the Queen’s home was different. It disgusted him, and he had difficulty concealing it, even though he knew Narraway found him plebeian amd faintly amusing for having such idealism.

    “Who is Cahoon Dunkeld?” he repeated.

    Narraway leaned forward a little. The dappled, early-morning sunlight of The Mall made bright patterns on the road. There was little traffic. It was not a residential area, and such horseback riders as were out would be cantering up and down Rotten Row on the edge of Hyde Park.

    “An adventurer of considerable charm when he wishes, and undoubted ability, who is now seeking to become a gentleman in the more recognized social sense,” Narraway answered. “And apparently a friend of His Royal Highness.”

    “What is he doing at the Palace at this hour of the morning?” Pitt said.

    “That is what we are about to find out,” Narraway snapped as they came out of The Mall in front of the Palace. The magnificent wrought-iron railings were tipped with gold. Guards were on duty wearing bearskin helmets, their red tunics bright in the sun.

    Pitt looked up at the sweeping façade itself and then at the roof. He saw with a flood of relief that there was no flag flying, indicating that Her Majesty was not in residence. At the same time he was inexplicably disappointed. He was quite aware that Narraway would find it gauche of him, but Pitt would like to have caught another glimpse of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. In spite of all common sense, there was a quickening of his heartbeat. Even inside the hansom cab he sat straighter, lifted his chin a little, and squared his shoulders.

    If Narraway noticed, he did not allow himself even the slightest smile.

    They swung round to the right, heading for the entrance where tradesmen and deliveries would go. They were stopped at the gate. Narraway gave his name, and immediately the guard stepped back and saluted. The cabdriver, startled into respect, urged his horse forward at a newly dignified pace.

    Ten minutes later Pitt and Narraway were being conducted up the wide, elegant stairs by a manservant who had introduced himself as Tyndale. He was of slight build but he moved with suppleness, even some grace, although Pitt judged him to be well into his fifties. He was courteous enough, but quite obviously distressed beyond any ability to maintain his normal composure.

    At any other time Pitt would have been fascinated to think that he was inside Buckingham Palace. Now all he could think of was the enormity of what lay ahead of them. The magnificence of history meant nothing.

    Was this an idiotic practical joke? Tyndale’s pallid face and stiff shoulders said not, and for the first time since Narraway had made his extraordinary statement in the hansom, Pitt considered the possibility that it might be true.

    They were at the top of the stairs. Tyndale walked across the landing and knocked on a door a little to the left. It was opened immediately by a man of much greater height than he, with broad shoulders and a dark face of remarkable dynamism. He was severely balding, but this in no way diminished his handsomeness. His gray hair must once have been black because his brows still were. His skin was burned by sun and wind to a deep bronze.

    “Mr. Narraway has arrived, Mr. Dunkeld,” Tyndale said quietly.

    “Good,” Dunkeld replied. “Now please leave us, and make sure that we are not interrupted. In fact, see that no staff come up onto this floor at all.” He turned to Narraway as if Tyndale was already gone. “Narraway?” he asked.

    Narraway acknowledged it, and introduced Pitt.

    “Cahoon Dunkeld.” The big man held out his hand and shook Narraway’s briefly. He ignored Pitt except for a nod of his head. “Come in, close the door.”

    He turned and led the way into the charming, highly overfurnished room. Its wide, tall windows overlooked a garden, and beyond them the trees were motionless billows of green in the morning sun.

    Dunkeld remained standing in the middle of the floor. He spoke solely to Narraway. “There has been a shocking event. I have never seen anything quite so . . . bestial. How it should happen here, of all places, is beyond my comprehension.”

    “Tell me exactly what has happened, Mr. Dunkeld,” Narraway responded. “From the beginning.”

    Dunkeld winced, as if the memory were painful. “From the beginning? I woke early. I . . .”

    Deliberately Narraway sat down in one of the large overstuffed chairs covered in wine-colored brocade. He crossed his legs elegantly, if a little rigidly, at the knees. “The beginning, Mr. Dunkeld. Who are you, and why are you here at this hour of the morning?”

    “For God’s sake . . . !” Dunkeld burst out. Then controlling himself with obvious difficulty, body stiff, he sat down also and began to explain. He had the air not of having grasped Narraway’s reasoning so much as being given no choice but to humor a lesser intelligence. His fingers drummed on the arm of his chair.

    “His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, is deeply interested in an engineering project that may be undertaken by my company, and certain of my colleagues,” he began again. “Four of us are here at his invitation in order to discuss the possibilities—the details, if you like. Our wives have accompanied us to give it the appearance of a social occasion. The other three are Julius Sorokine, Simnel Marquand, and Hamilton Quase. We have been here two days already, and the discussions have been excellent.”

    Pitt remained on his feet, listening and watching Dunkeld’s face. His expression was intense, his eyes burning with enthusiasm. His left hand, gripping the chair arm, was white at the knuckles.

    “Yesterday evening we celebrated our progress so far,” Dunkeld continued. “I assume you are a man of the world, and do not need to have every detail drawn for you? The ladies retired early. We sat up considerably longer, and a certain amount of entertainment was provided. The brandy was excellent, the company both relaxing and amusing. We were all in high spirits.” Not once did he glance at Pitt as he spoke. He might have been as invisible as a servant.

    “I see,” Narraway answered expressionlessly.

    “We retired between one and two in the morning,” Dunkeld went on. “I awoke early—about six, I imagine. I was in my robe, not yet dressed, when my valet came with a message that he had received over the telephone. It was a matter His Royal Highness had asked to be informed of immediately, so, in spite of the hour, I took it to him. I returned to my room, shaved and dressed, had a cup of tea, and was on my way back to see His Royal Highness further about the matter, but passing the linen cupboard in the passage I saw the door slightly open.” His voice was harsh with tension. “That in itself, of course, is of no interest, but I became aware of a curious odor, and when I pulled it wider . . . I saw . . . probably the most dreadful thing I have ever seen.” He blinked and seemed to need a moment to compose himself again.

    Narraway did not interrupt him, nor move his gaze from Dunkeld’s face.

    “The naked body of a woman, covered in blood,” Dunkeld said hoarsely. “There was blood all over the rest of the linen.” He gulped air. “For a moment, I could not believe it. I thought I must have taken more brandy than I had imagined and become delirious. I don’t know how long I stood there, leaning against the door frame. Then I backed into the corridor. There was no one else in sight.”

    Narraway nodded.

    “I closed the door.” Dunkeld seemed to find some comfort in remembering the act, as if he could at the same time close the horror from his inner vision. “I called Tyndale, the man who called you. He is the principal manservant in this guest wing. I told him that one of the women from the previous evening had been found dead, that he must keep all servants from that corridor; serve breakfast to the other guests in their rooms. Then I asked for the telephone and called you.”

    “Is His Royal Highness aware of this event?” Narraway asked.

    Dunkeld blinked. “Naturally I had to inform him. He has given me full authority to act in his name and get this ghastly tragedy cleared up with the utmost haste, and absolute discretion. You cannot fail to be aware of the scandal it would cause if it became public.” His eyes were hard, demanding, and the very slight lift in his voice suggested he needed reassurance of both Narraway’s intelligence and his tact. “Her Majesty will be returning next week, on her way from Osborne to travel north to Balmoral. It is imperative that your investigation is entirely accomplished before that time. Do you understand me?”

    Pitt felt his stomach knot, and suddenly there was barely enough air in the room for him to breathe. He had been here minutes, and yet he felt imprisoned.

    He must have made a slight sound, because Dunkeld looked at him, then back at Narraway. “What about your man here?” he asked abruptly. “How far can you trust his discretion? And his ability to handle such a vital matter? And it is vital. If it became public, it would be ruinous, even affect the safety of the realm. Our business here concerns a profoundly important part of the Empire. Not only fortunes but nations could be changed by what we do.” He was staring at Narraway as if by sheer will he could force some understanding into him, even a fear of failure.

    Narraway gave a very slight shrug. It was a minimal, elegant gesture of his shoulders. He was far leaner than Dunkeld, and more at ease in his beautifully tailored jacket. “He is my best,” he answered.

    Dunkeld looked unimpressed. “And discreet?” he persisted.

    “Special Branch deals with secrets,” Narraway told him.

    Dunkeld’s eyes turned to Pitt and surveyed him coolly.

    Narraway rose to his feet. “I would like to see the body,” he announced.

    Dunkeld took a deep breath and stood up also. He walked past Pitt and opened the door, leaving them to follow him. He led the way along the corridor with its ornately plastered and gilded ceiling, and up another broad flight of stairs. At the top he turned right past two doors to where a young footman stood at attention outside a third door.

    Continues...

    Excerpted from Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry Copyright © 2008 by Anne Perry. Excerpted by permission.
    All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 34 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (14)

    4 Star

    (15)

    3 Star

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 11, 2010

      Not Your Average Victorian Mystery

      Numerous mystery authors have chosen the Victorian era as the setting for their stories, but what makes this book (and series) unique is its wonderful character development, engaging plot, and excellent details giving insight into Victorian life and culture. In this book, the mystery occurs inside Buckingham Palace with the Prince of Wales himself a central character. Dirk Pitt must investigate a strange and gruesome murder that takes place in the palace while the Prince is entertaining many prominent and important guests. This book is a fun read- interesting characters, numerous clues and plot twists, and a lead character that is as delightful in the 25th book as he is in the first.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 25, 2012

      To below

      Read Willowsong's story chapter two at spray result two
      ~Willowsong

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 25, 2012


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    • Posted July 23, 2012

      Example: Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

      One of the best Thomas and Charlotte Pitt stories.

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    • Posted December 30, 2010

      So much fun to read.

      Another fantastic Pitt mystery. I love the role of Gracie in this storyline. A quick read.

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    • Posted November 11, 2009

      Thomas works alone!

      This is the first of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels where Charlotte and the series secondary characters have minimal impact on the storyline. It is so well written that you don't notice it until you get to the end of the book and realize that they had minimal impact on the entire plot. This is a great addition to a wonderful series of murder mysteries.

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    • Posted September 21, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      Anne Perry Scores Another Homerun in the Game of Mysteries

      Bucking Palace Gardens is yet another intriguing plot from the pen of Anne Perry. Thomas Pitt must again save England from forces that might otherwise rip asunder the cloth that binds the English people and their leaders (This time it's the royal ones.) The plot has enough twists and turns to satisfy the most ardent fan of the red herring. Thomas (Charlotte is barely present.) and the irrepressible Gracie combine forces to solve the knotty question of who killed the Crown Prince's illicit visitor. In addition to the fast moving plot, details of Victorian and royal life enthrall and educate the reader in the most entertaining way. A great read for both Perry fans and those who wish they were!

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted August 3, 2009

      An insider's look

      The latest intallment of Anne Perry's intriguing Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, "Buckingham Palace Gardens," amply demonstrates why her books are so popular.
      The reader will find three-dimensional characters, a tight plot, intriguing historical detail, and in this case, descriptions of the home of the British royal family. Perry uses a nice balance of description without boring. Best of all, Perry achieves a cinematic feel by using body language to reveal characters' true emotions. I can't think of another contemporary writer who does it better.
      The historical details have led me to read a biography of Princess Alexandra. I was not aware of her deafness, only of the Prince of Wales' philandering.
      The plot involves finding the body of a prostitute in a linen closet at Buckingham Closet. Obviously, this will require a top-notch investigator, and Special Branch's Thomas Pitt must use all his wit and resources to solve the case. In this instance, the Pitts' clever and courageous maid, Gracie, goes undercover to assist.
      For history buffs, this novel is set during the time of Empire building in Africa. Powerful men, intent on building a railway from Cape Town to Cairo, provide a colorful group of suspects for Pitt.
      My only complaint is that Pitt's clever wife, Charlotte, is not involved in solving the case. But then, she couldn't really go undercover, could she? Here's hoping that outing #26 for the couple will put her back to work on the team.

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    • Posted August 1, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      Stepping back in time with Anne Perry

      This was the first book that I've read by Anne Perry. My reasoning for choosing it was due to my fascination with the Royal Family and it's history, the english Victorian times, and wanting to read a good mystery. I was pleasantly suprised from the start at the flow of the book and how easy it was to turn page after page and emerse myself deeper in the story. A "murder" in Buckingham Palace? Very unique storyline and I found it very unsuprising how Perry wrote about the Palace being "shut off" from the rest of the world, so NO one on the outside could ever know what's going on within those walls. There was a bit of the old broken english/cockney talk that one had to read maybe out loud to understand what the character was really saying, but it fit the period of the times. Excellent book! I read it in less than a week and will look forward to reading it again.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 6, 2009

      Anne Perry - Buckingham Palace Gardens

      I love the genre of Anne Perry's writing. Her characters are marvelous and believable. This particular plot and its setting was extraordinary even for Anne Perry. Her descriptions of the inner workings of the palace were excellent. I find it very interesting to be informed of what is considered "ordinary" in what we the masses consider to be "extraordinary". I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted May 10, 2009

      one of Perry's best

      I've read everything by Anne Perry and I think this is one of my favorites

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    • Posted December 9, 2008

      more from this reviewer

      This is a superb Victorian mystery

      In 1893, the Prince of Wales invites four affluent businessmen and their wives to Buckingham Palace to discuss a proposal to construct a Pan Africa rail line. After the ladies turn in for the night the Prince offers special entertainment to the male quartet. The next morning a servant finds a mutilated corpse in a closet. The deceased was part of the previous night¿s entertainment.-------------- Special Services Branch agent Thomas Pitt is assigned to solve the murder without bringing unneeded attention to the Royals. He is accompanied by his wife Charlotte and their maid Gracie Phipps, who goes undercover as part of the staff. With the help of the two females, Thomas eliminates the entire huge staff as suspects. Instead he focuses on the prince himself and his eight guests although the sleuth fears if it turns out to be the heir or if he fails to solve the case, the monarchy could be in trouble.------------------- This is a superb Victorian mystery as Anne Perry brings alive the era through the investigation inside Buckingham and the increasing question of why a monarchy in the modern age. The story line is fast-paced as Thomas understands fully what failure could mean while the two women working for him add depth to the whodunit. Fans of the series will fully appreciate the latest tale even of knowledge of history ironically eliminates one of the nine suspects.------------------ Harriet Klausner

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