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Death on Blackheath: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel    by Anne Perry order for
Death on Blackheath
by Anne Perry
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Death on Blackheath, the latest in Anne Perry's popular Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries, opens on the discovery of blood, hair, and glass outside the Kynaston home. Why is Special Branch Commander Thomas Pitt involved? Dudley Kynaston is a naval weapons expert involved in research key to national security and his wife's lady's maid, Kitty Ryder, has also disappeared. Was it her blood?

After a cursory investigation, the matter is set aside - Kitty was courting so it's possible that she eloped. Then, three weeks later, a corpse is found, with reddish hair like Kitty's, in a gravel pit just beyond the Kynaston house. Identification is difficult since the body was severely mutilated and the face is unrecognizable. Dudley Kynaston's watch is found at the scene - is someone setting him up and, if so, why?

Naturally, the Pitts' usual partners in investigation get involved - Pitt's former boss, Victor Narraway, and the aristocratic and well connected Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould. Charlotte's sister Emily is restless, worried about the state of her marriage and about losing her looks. She gets in on the action too, concerned that her husband Jack has been offered a job under Kynaston.

They uncover a mystery in Kynaston's past, to do with the death of his beloved brother Bennett after a severe illness in Sweden. Bennett's Swedish wife Ailsa seems to rule the roost in the Kynaston household. Pitt's valued subordinate Stoker becomes obsessed with Kitty Ryder's fate and follows leads in his own time. And another brutalized corpse is found, putting even more pressure on the investigation.

As always, Anne Perry threads these diverse plot strands together into an illuminating tapestry, as the Pitts save the day once again. Fans will appreciate Death on Blackheath.

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