No Graves as Yet (World War One Series #1)

No Graves as Yet (World War One Series #1)

3.5 22
by Anne Perry

View All Available Formats & Editions

Through Anne Perry’s magnificent Victorian novels, millions of readers have enjoyed the pleasures and intrigue of a bygone age. Now, with the debut of an extraordinary new series, this New York Times bestselling author sweeps us into the golden summer of 1914, a time of brief enchantment when English men and women basked in the security of wealth and

…  See more details below


Through Anne Perry’s magnificent Victorian novels, millions of readers have enjoyed the pleasures and intrigue of a bygone age. Now, with the debut of an extraordinary new series, this New York Times bestselling author sweeps us into the golden summer of 1914, a time of brief enchantment when English men and women basked in the security of wealth and power, even as the last weeks of their privileged world were swiftly passing. Theirs was a peace that led to war.

On a sunny afternoon in late June, Cambridge professor Joseph Reavley is summoned from a student cricket match to learn that his parents have died in an automobile crash. Joseph’s brother, Matthew, as officer in the Intelligence Service, reveals that their father had been en route to London to turn over to him a mysterious secret document—allegedly with the power to disgrace England forever and destroy the civilized world. A paper so damning that Joseph and Matthew dared mention it only to their restless younger sister. Now it has vanished.

What has happened to this explosive document, if indeed it ever existed? How had it fallen into the hands of their father, a quiet countryman? Not even Matthew, with his Intelligence connections, can answer these questions. And Joseph is soon burdened with a second tragedy: the shocking murder of his most gifted student, beautiful Sebastian Allard, loved and admired by everyone. Or so it appeared.

Meanwhile, England’s seamless peace is cracking—as the distance between the murder of an Austrian archduke by a Serbian anarchist and the death of a brilliant university student by a bullet to the head of grows shorter by the day.

Anne Perry is a sublime master of suspense. In No Graves As Yet, her latest haunting masterpiece, she reminds us that love and hate, cowardice and courage, good and evil are always a part of life, in our own time as well as on the eve of the greatest war the world has ever known.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Intelligently written and historically fascinating.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“You can count on a Perry tale to be superior.”
—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“[A] master of crime fiction who rarely fails to deliver a strong story and a colorful cast of characters.”
The Baltimore Sun

The Reavley Chronicles
The Barnes & Noble Review
This novel kicks off a new suspense series by bestselling author Anne Perry, who puts to effective use her talent for detailing the fine historical minutiae but moves her period setting from Victorian London to Cambridge on the eve of World War I.

When peace-loving professor and chaplain Joseph Reavley and his intelligence officer brother, Matthew, investigate the sudden deaths of their parents, they discover that their father had been in possession of a document implicating the highest echelons of British society in a terrible act of treason. Obviously, with the country on the brink of war, this document threatens the security of Europe.

As the pacifist professor goes head-to-head with his soldier brother, Perry adds an extra twist to an already engaging, action-filled plot. An intriguing political thriller and a grounded whodunit peppered with jealous lovers, blackmail, and underhanded university dealings, No Graves as Yet weaves several story threads into a breathtaking climax. Here is a fascinating, triumphant first installment in what will undoubtedly become another enduring mystery series from Anne Perry. Tom Piccirilli

Publishers Weekly
This absorbing mystery/spy thriller, set in tranquil Cambridge just before the onset of the Great War, marks a powerful start to bestseller Perry's much anticipated new series. In a lush and deceptively peaceful opening scene, college professor and chaplain Joseph Reavley is interrupted while watching a cricket game by his intelligence officer brother, Matthew, who reports the sudden death of their parents in a car crash. This horrifying news sets off a long but compelling investigation by the brothers that takes them across verdant summertime England, looking for a secret document that their father was trying to deliver to Matthew at the time of his death. Against a backdrop of ominous news from the continent, Perry artfully weaves connections between pacifist students at Cambridge, one of whom is also murdered, and German agents who may be planning "a conspiracy to ruin England and everything we stand for." The intrigue is further complicated by jilted lovers and jealous spouses at the university, all with grudges against an alleged blackmailer in their midst who may also be privy to exam cribbing and other illicit goings-on. Perry's title, a quotation from G.K. Chesterton, is a portent of the carnage that soon awaits the youth of England, yet by the final resolution of this gripping case, many graves have regrettably already been filled in Cambridge's serene churchyards. (Sept. 1) Forecast: For Perry fans concerned that her two long-running Victorian series have been losing steam, this fresh beginning, backed by a 12-city author tour, will renew their faith. Expect stronger than usual sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the first of a projected five-book series, the parents of Joseph and Matthew Reavley are killed in an apparent traffic accident. Then Matthew, who works for British intelligence, learns his father may have been killed to recover a secret document. He and Joseph, a clergyman and Cambridge don, investigate their parents' deaths while attempting to find the document and discover its importance. Does it involve the turmoil on the continent that many fear will lead to war, the brewing Irish rebellion, or a plot against the crown? Everything is muddied when a brilliant student of Joseph's is murdered. Perry masterfully intertwines both cases while supplying plenty of Great War-era detail. Joseph is a complex protagonist, though Matthew is somewhat sketchily drawn, and fans of Perry's William Monk and Thomas Pitt mysteries will miss the presence of strong female characters. While Michael Page reads the narrative ably, he overdoes much of the dialog, making the characters sound less emotional than petulant. Recommended for popular collections.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Prolific period-mystery writer Perry (Seven Dials, 2002, etc.) arranges some stately murders in golden Cambridge in the last exquisitely beautiful days before the Great War. It all has to do with treachery at the Highest Levels. John and Alys Reavley, he a former MP and she the wise manager of a comfortable domestic paradise, devoted parents of four, have died a terrible death in the crash of their beautiful, powerful, yellow Lanchester automobile. The deaths are a terrible shock to their already terribly shocked (he’s a brooding widower) oldest son Joseph, but to younger son Matthew, an agent of one of His Majesty’s secret services, the accident may be proof that their father’s portentous final phone call boded real danger. The late Mr. Reavley told Matthew that he held proof of treachery and deceit reaching to the highest levels of society and threatening to stain the Nation’s Honor. Indeed, when the bereft brothers look closer than the local constabulary did at the scene of the accident, it is obvious that the deaths were executions. Matthew knows he must dig for the truth, but the incriminating paper his father was going to show him is nowhere to be found, and since no names were mentioned, Matthew has no idea who in authority to trust. With Matthew burrowing away in London, Joseph becomes enmeshed in mysteries surrounding the death of one of his Cambridge protégés, the great beauty and budding poet Sebastian Allard. Joseph senses that Sebastian’s fatal bullet had something to do with the lad’s racking angst over the possibility of war on the continent. Joseph’s sleuthing becomes quite as absorbing as Matthew’s, and more so as threads of scandal involving adultery, cheating,cowardice, pacifism, and other beastly behaviors become entangled. Oh, and there’s a lower-class but clever detective looking into all this at the same time. Merchant/Ivory fans, Elgar devotees, Upstairs Downstairs freaks, and Galsworthy maniacs will wallow. Others may find it all a bit too stately. Author tour. Agent: Donald Maass

Read More

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
World War One Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt


It was a golden afternoon in late June, a perfect day for cricket. The sun burned in a cloudless sky, and the breeze was barely sufficient to stir the slender, pale skirts of the women as they stood on the grass at Fenner’s Field, para- sols in hand. The men, in white flannels, were relaxed and smiling.

St. John’s were batting and Gonville and Caius were fielding. The bowler pounded up to the crease and sent the ball down fast, but a bit short and wide. Elwyn Allard leaned forward, and with an elegant cover drive, dispatched the ball to the boundary for four runs.

Joseph Reavley joined in the applause. Elwyn was one of his students, rather more graceful with the bat than with the pen. He had little of the scholastic brilliance of his brother, Sebastian, but he had a manner that was easy to like, and a sense of honor that drove him like a spur.

St. John’s still had four more batsmen to play, young men from all over England who had come to Cambridge and, for one reason or another, remained at college through the long summer vacation.

Elwyn hit a modest two. The heat was stirred by a faint breath of wind from across the fenlands with their dykes and marshes, flat under the vast skies stretching eastward to the sea. It was old land, quiet, cut by secret waterways, Saxon churches marking each village. It had been the last stronghold of resistance against the Norman invasion eight and a half centuries ago.

On the field one of the boys just missed a catch. There was a gasp and then a letting out of breath. All this mattered. Such things could win or lose a match, and they would be playing against Oxford again soon. To be beaten would be catastrophic.

Across the town behind them, the clock on the north tower at Trinity struck three, each chime on the large A-flat bell, then followed the instant after on the smaller E-flat. Joseph thought how out of place it seemed, to think of time on an eternal afternoon like this. A few feet away, Harry Beecher caught his eye and smiled. Beecher had been a Trinity man in his own years as a student, and it was a long-standing joke that the Trinity clock struck once for itself and once for St. John’s.

A cheer went up as the ball hit the stumps and Elwyn was bowled out with a very respectable score of eighty-three. He walked off with a little wave of acknowledgment and was replaced at the crease by Lucian Foubister, who was a little too bony, but Joseph knew his awkwardness was deceiving. He was more tenacious than many gave him credit for, and he had flashes of extraordinary grace.

Play resumed with the sharp crack of a strike and the momentary cheers under the burning blue of the sky.

Aidan Thyer, master of St. John’s, stood motionless a few yards from Joseph, his hair flaxen in the sun, his thoughts apparently far away. His wife Connie, standing next to him, glanced across and gave a little shrug. Her dress was white broderie anglaise, falling loosely in a flare below the hip, and the fashionable slender skirt reached to the ground. She looked as elegant and feminine as a spray of daisies, even though it was the hottest summer in England for years.

At the far end of the pitch Foubister struck an awkward shot, elbows in all the wrong places, and sent the ball right to the boundary. There was a shout of approval, and everyone clapped.

Joseph was aware of a movement somewhere behind him and half turned, expecting a grounds official, perhaps to say it was time for lemonade and cucumber sandwiches. But it was his own brother, Matthew, who was walking toward him, his shoulders tight, no grace in his movement. He was wearing a light gray city suit, as if he had newly arrived from London.

Joseph started across the green, anxiety rising quickly. Why was his brother here in Cambridge, interrupting a match on a Sunday afternoon?

“Matthew! What is it?” he said as he reached him.

Matthew stopped. His face was so pale it seemed almost bloodless. He was twenty-eight, seven years the younger, broader-shouldered, and fair where Joseph was dark. He was steadying himself with difficulty, and he gulped before he found his voice. “It’s . . .” He cleared his throat. There was a kind of desperation in his eyes. “It’s Mother and Father,” he said hoarsely. “There’s been an accident.”

Joseph refused to grasp what he had said. “An accident?”

Matthew nodded, struggling to govern his ragged breathing. “In the car. They are both . . . dead.”

For a moment the words had no meaning for Joseph. Instantly his father’s face came to his mind, lean and gentle, blue eyes steady. It was impossible that he could be dead.

“The car went off the road,” Matthew was saying. “Just before the Hauxton Mill Bridge.” His voice sounded strange and far away.

Behind Joseph they were still playing cricket. He heard the sound of the ball and another burst of applause.

“Joseph . . .” Matthew’s hand was on his arm, the grip tight.

Joseph nodded and tried to speak, but his throat was dry.

“I’m sorry,” Matthew said quietly. “I wish I hadn’t had to tell you like this. I . . .”

“It’s all right, Matthew. I’m . . .” He changed his mind, still trying to grasp the reality. “The Hauxton Road? Where were they going?”

Matthew’s fingers tightened on his arm. They began to walk slowly, close together, over the sun-baked grass. There was a curious dizziness in the heat. The sweat trickled down Joseph’s skin, and inside he was cold.

Matthew stopped again.

“Father telephoned me late yesterday evening,” he replied huskily, as if the words were almost unbearable for him. “He said someone had given him a document outlining a conspiracy so hideous it would change the world we know—that it would ruin England and everything we stand for. Forever.” He sounded defiant now, the muscles of his neck and jaw clenched as if he barely had mastery of himself.

Joseph’s mind whirled. What should he do? The words hardly made sense. John Reavley had been a member of Parliament until 1912, two years ago. He had resigned for reasons he had not discussed, but he had never lost his interest in political affairs, nor his care for honesty in government. Perhaps he had simply been ready to spend more time reading, indulging his love of philosophy, poking around in antique and secondhand shops looking for a bargain. More often he was just talking with people, listening to stories, swapping eccentric jokes, and adding to his collection of limericks.

“A conspiracy to ruin England and everything we stand for?” Joseph repeated incredulously.

“No,” Matthew corrected him with precision. “A conspiracy that would ruin it. That was not the main purpose, simply a side effect.”

“What conspiracy? By whom?” Joseph demanded.

Matthew’s skin was so white it was almost gray. “I don’t know. He was bringing it to me . . . today.”

Joseph started to ask why, and then stopped. The answer was the one thing that made sense. Suddenly at least two facts cohered. John Reavley had wanted Joseph to study medicine, and when his firstborn son had left it for the church, he had then wanted Matthew to become a doctor. But Matthew had read modern history and languages here at Cambridge, and then he joined the Secret Intelligence Service. If there was such a plot, John would understandably have notified his younger son. Not his elder.

Joseph swallowed, the air catching in his throat. “I see.”

Matthew’s grip eased on him slightly. He had known the news longer and had more time to grasp its truth. He was searching Joseph’s face with anxiety, evidently trying to formulate something to say to help him through the pain.

Joseph made an immense effort. “I see,” he repeated. “We must go to them. Where . . . are they?”

“At the police station in Great Shelford,” Matthew answered. He made a slight movement with his head. “I’ve got my car.”

“Does Judith know?”

Matthew’s face tightened. “Yes. They didn’t know where to find you or me, so they called her.”

That was reasonable—obvious, really. Judith was their younger sister, still living at home. Hannah, between Joseph and Matthew, was married to a naval officer and lived in Portsmouth. It would be the house in Selborne St. Giles that the police would have called. He thought how Judith would be feeling, alone except for the servants, knowing neither her father nor mother would come home again, not tonight, not any night.

His thoughts were interrupted by someone at his elbow. He had not even heard footsteps on the grass. He half turned and saw Harry Beecher standing beside him, his wry, sensitive face puzzled.

“Is everything . . .?” he began. Then, seeing Joseph’s eyes, he stopped. “Can I help?” he said simply.

Joseph shook his head a little. “No . . . no, there isn’t anything.” He made an effort to pull his thoughts together. “My parents have had an accident.” He took a deep breath. “They’ve been killed.” How odd and flat the words sounded. They still carried no reality with them.

Beecher was appalled. “Oh, God! I’m so sorry!”

“Please—” Joseph started.

“Of course,” Beecher interrupted. “I’ll tell people. Just go.” He touched Joseph lightly on the arm. “Let me know if I can do anything.”

“Yes, of course. Thank you.” Joseph shook his head and started to walk away as Matthew acknowledged Beecher, then turned to cross the wide expanse of grass. Joseph followed him without looking back at the players in their white flannels, bright in the sunlight. They had been the only reality a few moments ago; now there seemed an unbridgeable space between them.

Outside the cricket ground Matthew’s Sunbeam Talbot was parked in Gonville Place. In one fluid motion Joseph climbed over the side and into the passenger seat. The car was facing north, as if Matthew had been to St. John’s first and then come all the way through town to the cricket ground looking for Joseph. Now he turned southwest again, back along Gonville Place and finally onto the Trumpington Road.

There was nothing to say now; each was cocooned in his own pain, waiting for the moment when they would have to face the physical proof of death. The familiar winding road with its harvest fields shining gold in the heat, the hedgerows, and the motionless trees were like things painted on the other side of a wall that encased the mind. Joseph was aware of them only as a bright blur.

Matthew drove as if it demanded his entire concentration, clutching the steering wheel with hands he had to loosen deliberately now and then.

South of the village they turned left through St. Giles, skirted the side of the hill over the railway bridge into Great Shelford, and pulled up outside the police station. A somber sergeant met them, his face tired, his body hunched, as if he had had to steel himself for the task.

“Oi’m terrible sorry, sir.” He looked from one to the other of them, biting his lower lip. “Wouldn’t ask it if Oi din’t ’ave to.”

“I know,” Joseph said quickly. He did not want a conversation. Now that they were here, he needed to proceed as quickly as possible, while his self-control lasted.

Matthew made a small gesture forward, and the sergeant turned and led the way the short distance through the streets to the hospital mortuary. It was all very formal, a routine the sergeant must have been through scores of times: sudden death, shocked families moving as if in a dream, murmuring polite words, hardly aware of what they were saying, trying to understand what had happened and at the same time deny it.

Read More

Meet the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England. Her William Monk novels include Death of a Stranger, Funeral in Blue, Slaves of Obsession, and The Twisted Root. She also writes the popular novels featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, including Seven Dials, Southampton Row, The Whitechapel Conspiracy, and Half Moon Street. Her short story “Heroes” won an Edgar Award. Anne Perry lives in Scotland. Visit her Web site at

Brief Biography

Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
Date of Birth:
October 28, 1938
Place of Birth:
Blackheath, London England

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

No Graves as Yet (World War One Series #1) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
smartChick More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in Anne Perry's outstanding World War I series. Just before the start of World War I, John Reavely discovers something that could destroy the honor of England. While trying to get it to London, he and his wife are killed leaving their grown children to solve the mystery of why they were killed. At the same time, John, the oldest sibling and a professor at Cambridge, tries to cope with the death of one of his outstanding students. The book provides a wonderful look at the world in a much simpler time with great descriptions of how it is changing as a result of the political turmoil in Europe. Eventually, Joseph and his brother connect the death of their parents with the death of the student just as the war starts. I really enjoyed this book and the others in the series. My only disappointment was that the second book of the series was not available as a digital book and I had to go get it rather than downloading it to my Nook. The other 4 books in the series are digital and were downloaded and read with great speed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The characters in this novel do not come alive. Much of the dialog is forced. The characters seem to go in circles instead of moving the story forward. Not what I would expect from Anne Perry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book has an exciting premise; unfortunately, the characters are one-dimensional, the dialogue is stilted, and the plot is predictable. The characters, especially Matthew and Joseph, do not evoke any sense of sympathy from the reader; they lack personality and individuality. In addition, much of the dialogue's tone is flat and lifeless and serves as an ornament, but does successfully advance the plot. So much more could have been done with this appealing plot and WWI setting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first and last Perry book I'll read. The characters are one-dimensional and static, the dialogue is stilted and repetitious, and the plot is poorly presented and transparent. In addition, the work captures nothing of the period surrounding World War I.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1914 in Cambridge, England, Professor and Chaplain Joseph Reavley attends a cricket match when his Intelligence Officer brother Matthew arrives to inform him that their parents died in an automobile accident. Stunned by their deaths, Joseph has no time to mourn as Matthew also tells him that their father had a document that if placed in the wrong hands would defame their country and probably destroy England at a time when the continent is one step away from open hostilities.

Matthew insists that Joseph assist him in recovering the document that he believes cost their parents their lives as their father was bringing this flaming gun to him when the car crashed. Feeling unsure of himself as he is an academian in a pacifist leaning university, Joseph joins his sibling when he learns of the death of a student that may be tied to this mess.

Anne Perry, known for her Victorian mysteries, provides readers with a tremendous World War I espionage who-done-it thriller. The clever story line is filled with action and fully developed characters so that the audience follows a strong spy murder mystery while receiving a savory taste of England at a point when NO GRAVES AS YET caused by the ¿war to end all wars¿ had occurred. Ms. Perry opens her new series in glorious victory.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the characters. ThIs is the second time that I am reading the series and I like it even better than the first tIme!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book title and author: No Graves As Yet By: Anne Perry Title of review: Terrific adventure Number of stars (1 to 5): 5 No Graves As Yet is the second out of five books in Anne Perry’s adventurous series about World War II. In this book Sgt. Reznov (Soviet Union) and his team go through Germany in order to stop the Nazi’s from killing all of the Jews. Sgt. Roebuck (American) and his team go through- out Japan in order to get our revenge on the Japanese for attacking Pearl Harbor. Sgt. Reznov and over 500,000 Soviet Union solders - attack the concentration camps and save as many Jews as possible. America remains neutral until the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor then Sgt. Roebuck and 600,000 United States solders are transported directly to Japan for war. Dr. Smith discovers the atomic bomb. After a month in Japan no American solders are dead but they are running low on ammunition and call for some. When the plane is 5 miles away from their location it is shot down but doesn’t blow up. So the Americans set out to find the crashed plane. It takes the solders 3 hours to get to the ammunition. About the same time the Soviet Union hasn’t lost a single solder but they have the same problem they are also running low on ammunition but when they call for their first plane it is shot down andblowsup. For Sgt. Roebuck and his team this adventure ends off with the Japanese cornering them in after they finally get resupplied. After 34 hours of fighting Corporal Wolfe reaches dispatch and calls for back-up, but they get cornered in as well. As for Sgt. Reznov after the first supplies plane in blown up the Soviets have to use their stealth in order to fight for some ammunition. I personally think that this book is very suspenseful to the point of no return. At night I had to force myself to stop reading. It has some differences from the real WWII but it is just as interesting.