Seven Dials

Seven Dials - Anne Perry Pitt, now a member of the Secret Service, is summoned to deal with a murder having impact on a senior member of government (he and/or his mistress are suspected), and eventually, a revelation which might cause international furor. Meanwhile Charlotte is asked to look into the disappearance of a valet. Inevitably the two are connected, in this case through a connection with an atrocity committed by British soldiers in Egypt. The plot involves a trip for Pitt to Alexandria, which allows for some pleasant scene-painting.

I enjoyed this novel; on the whole I have avoided the Pitt mysteries in favour of the Monk mysteries by the same author, but it appears the Pitt family are beginning to take on a certain psychological depth of their own. I felt, in fact, that the author had created so many sympathetic detective protagonists (not just the title couple, but their maid Gracie and her policeman boyfriend, and the head of the Secret Service harbouring a secret of his own) that she had trouble providing enough things for them all to investigate! Anyway, the courtroom conclusion was as theatrical as ever, and nicely covered what was perhaps a rather weak device to get the embattled MP and his striking Coptic Egyptian mistress out of trouble (the butler did it! ). It was a nice touch not to actually introduce us to the mistress until late in the piece, thus allowing us to persist with Pitt in his false image of her as a rather soft, sensuous Arab whereas in fact she is very tall, Nubian, and politically intense.