Weighed in the Balance (William Monk Series #7)

Weighed in the Balance (William Monk Series #7)

3.7 11
by Anne Perry
     
 

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When Countess Zorah Rostova asks London barrister Sir Oliver Rathbone to defend her against a charge of slander, he is astonished to find himself accepting. For without a shred of evidence, the countess has publicly insisted that the onetime ruler of her small German principality was murdered by his wife, the woman who was responsible for the prince’s exile to

Overview

When Countess Zorah Rostova asks London barrister Sir Oliver Rathbone to defend her against a charge of slander, he is astonished to find himself accepting. For without a shred of evidence, the countess has publicly insisted that the onetime ruler of her small German principality was murdered by his wife, the woman who was responsible for the prince’s exile to Venice twenty years before. Private investigator William Monk and his friend Hester Latterly journey to the City of Water in an attempt verify the countess’s claims, and though the two manage to establish that the prince was indeed murdered, as events unfold the likeliest suspect seems to be Countess Zorah herself.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Victorian amnesiac sleuth William Monk's seventh appearance has him working to clear Countess Zorah Rostova of murder charges. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Victorian sleuth William Monk investigates murder among royals in this latest in a best-selling series (e.g., Cain His Brother, Fawcett, 1995).
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve years after middle-German Prince Friedrich abdicated his throne to marry Gisela Berentz, and four months after the Prince died following a fall from a horse, his intimate friend Countess Zorah Rostova retains Sir Oliver Rathbone, Q.C., to prove her innocent of a charge of slander. The Countess's proposed defense: What she said, publicly and repeatedly, was true—Princess Gisela really did murder her husband. Retaining inquiry agent William Monk (Cain His Brother, 1995, etc.) to gather evidence for the Countess's allegation, Sir Oliver soon finds that there is no evidence. By all accounts, the Prince and Princess were remarkably devoted to each other, and the rumors of a movement to return the Prince, unencumbered by the Princess his mother so disapproves of, to his throne and to a fight for independence from the surrounding states only points suspicion everywhere but toward the Princess. In fact, as Sir Oliver discovers when he's dragged into the Old Bailey, the evidence of fatal poisoning is far less strong against Princess Gisela than against his own client. It would be ironic if the key to the mystery lay with Robert Ollenheim, the paralyzed young patient of Hester Latterly, the nurse Monk cannot help loving—and a coincidence only Perry's most devoted fans will accept.

Indefatigable Perry serves up as arresting an opening as ever—she may write the strongest first chapters in the business—before miring her sleuths in endless dully civil conversations with titled nonentities and in a farcically incompetent trial that Sir Oliver should have tried even harder to avoid.

From the Publisher
 
 
“The denouement is unexpected and ingenious.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“[Takes] the reader clue-hunting through the glittery courts of Venice, London, and a never-never-land principality. It’s all rich as a warm scone slathered with jam and clotted cream.”—St. Petersburg Times
 
“Highly entertaining.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307767806
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/29/2010
Series:
William Monk Series , #7
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
53,921
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Blind Justice and A Sunless Sea, the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Death on Blackheath and Midnight at Marble Arch. She is also the author of a series of five World War I novels, as well as eleven holiday novels, most recently A New York Christmas, and a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Ottoman Empire. Anne Perry lives in Scotland and Los Angeles.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
Date of Birth:
October 28, 1938
Place of Birth:
Blackheath, London England
Website:
http://www.anneperry.net

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Weighed in the Balance (William Monk Series #7) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
JohnG More than 1 year ago
In her William Monk series, Anne Perry writes consistently good books. The stories are all mysteries set in Victorian England with some legal or judicial aspect, because one of the 3 main characters is a renowned barrister (trial lawyer). The setting (including the comments about Victorian society and its class distinctions and differences and how things were back in those days) and the characters are interesting, and the relationships among the 3 main characters add to the drama, interest, and tension in the stories. If you are a mystery reader, even if you've never tried any of the many Victorian offerings that exist, I believe you will be pleased with this novel, but I would recommend starting with the first of the series (The Face of a Stranger) and working up. It would certainly make the relationships among the main characters more understandable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm working my way through all the William Monk books - I find them all very engaging and are real page-turners. I'm trying to do them in order and in doing so, the characters become like old friends. I intend to read all of them.
Sas-sy9 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy reading the William Monk series written by Anne Perry. She has a way of writing that makes you want to keep turning the pages until you come to the end of the book There is a lot of intrigue in these books - a lot of clues that you think will lead to the killer and then you are off on another set of clues in an entirely different directio. I would recommend these books to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and a challenge to see who the culprit really is.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book focuses on the political machinations of a small German realm prior to the unification of Germany. Most of the action is set in either Victorian England or Venice. The plot revolves around a slander suit against Countess Zorah Rostova by Princess (a courtesy title) Gisela. The countess has publicly accused the princess of murdering her husband, Prince Freidrich. The official cause of death was internal bleeding, following a riding accident. The book develops from the perspectives of Ms. Rostova's barrister, Sir Oliver Rathbone, private investigator, William Monk, and his friend, nurse Hester Latterly. The countess is threatened with financial ruin, and Sir Oliver's career is on the line. Ultimately, the defense takes the tack of trying to prove that a murder has taken place. That search goes into unexpected areas. The handling of the trial is masterly, and will please those who stick with the story that long. Much of the rest of the book is slow-going with little happening either in the way of character development or plot advancement. It often seems like filler. If the book had focused on just the trial, this could have been a five star novella. If reduced to that area, there still would have been a few problems. The author never adequately explains why Sir Oliver and the countess faced financial ruin if the suit was lost. Barristers lose suits all of the time. Unless a plaintiff can prove substantial economic damages and malice, slander is not going to cost the defendent very much beyond the defense. Also, if this suit was so risky, it is not obvious why Sir Oliver took the case. The trial has a great strength of doing some marvelous character development with the princess through the testimony that she and others provide. This was a virtuoso accomplishment because the princess is kept well hidden until then by her public image of being one-half of one of Europe's most romantic couples. The book has some interesting things to say about what happens after you get your wish. I suggest that if you do read the book that you consider the potential downsides of what you wish for, as well. Find the truth! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution