This is the 23rd volume in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, and I will say, from the beginning, that it is probably one of the best that Perry has written. It never ceases to amaze me how the prolific Perry not only churns her Monk and Pitt novels out like clockwork, but that the most recent novel in each of the series is one of the finest – if not the finest – the author has produced.
An Egyptian woman named Ayesha Zakhari is arrested for the murder of a former British officer. Also arrested is her lover, a senior cabinet minister, who assists Ayesha in dumping the corpse into a wheelbarrow in order to dispose of the body. The reasons for the murder are unknown. Victor Narraway, the head of Special Branch, ships Thomas Pitt out to Alexandria to dig up information, hopefully to illuminate the police about a motive for the murder.
Meanwhile, Charlotte becomes immersed in assisting her maid, Gracie, in locating the brother of one of Gracie’s friends, the valet to a troubled young man. Both Martin and his master have gone inexplicably missing. An astute Perry reader already knows what is in store: that the two stories intersect at some point.
The sights, sounds and smells of Alexandria are intensely communicated by Perry and transport us to that exotic locale. The flip side–the disturbing sights, sounds and smells of the downtrodden in the Seven Dials section of London–is, likewise, conveyed with similar intensity.
A fun read for the Perry lover.