Buckingham Palace Gardens
The Prince of Wales has invited some experts to Buckingham Palace to consider a project to build a Cape-to-Cairo railroad through the heart of Africa in the late 1800s. Drinking and entertainment by prostitutes brought into the palace is followed by a ghastly killing. Sadie, one of the prostitutes, is found ghoulishly murdered, her throat and abdomen slashed. Special Service’s Thomas Pitt and Victor Narroway of the Special Branch are called in quickly to investigate the crime and quietly put away the party responsible.
The majority of this mystery concerns the snobbish resistance of the upper classes to the inquiry ordered by the Prince, the skewed and complex interrelationships of all the parties involved, and the passions hidden behind past and present attitudes toward the British expansion in Africa. Thomas Pitt himself is forced to face some unpleasant attitudes and actions in himself that must yield to a higher purpose and destiny in order to guarantee success in this important phase of his detective career.
Anne Perry does a superb job of weaving together this tapestry of far-reaching political plans, decadence within the royal family, and large entrepreneurial vision gone awry because of small human nature.