I liked it, but I didn't love it. This is the first in a series that I will certainly continue, and I imagine that the later books in the series will be better. The series follows a police detective in mid-19th century London. This particular novel used the old story that the detective has completely lost his memory, but doesn't want anyone to know as he returns to his cases and his life.
To be concise - I liked the detective story and the world building. I thought the author very much overdid it with the class divisions in the society of the time (it was an important point to make, but we were a bit beat over the head with it). I also don't really think it was necessary to use the amnesia angle - I won't say more as to not give anything away.
Believe it or not, this was my first book by Anne Perry. I know, where have I been? Of course I had heard of her, but I never got the chance to read her until now. Finally.
This book is somewhat of a legal procedure book with some courtroom drama scenes. It's not the pages and pages of courtroom procedure and legalese though. I'm going to call it "light" legal drama because the main characters are lawyers and defendants. The action mostly takes place, however, behind the scenes while the main character is doing due diligence trying to get his client declared innocent of a murder charge.
I liked the main character, Daniel Pitts, a lot. He's young, smart and interested in right and wrong. Along the way, Daniel discovers that someone very close to him could be responsible for his recent client's wife's death whom he is representing. A case he must quickly (21 days) solve in order to help his client stay away from the hanging rope.
The plot twists used to figure out this very strange murder scene are cray, cray. The story was told in such a way that I didn't even question the fire. One that turns out to be a huge missing link in the story of the murder.
I loved this book and I hope to get to read more of Anne Perry in the future.
Thanks to Random House Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Per FictFact.com's Book Release Calendar:
A Baby for the Viking Wolf - Gwen Knight #42 in Howls Romance
A Reaper at the Gates - Sabaa Tahir #3 in An Ember in the Ashes
Ace of Shades - Amanda Foody #1 in The Shadow Game
Angels Fall - J.A. Huss, Johnathon McClain #2 in Original Sin
At the Table of Wolves Kay Kenyon #1 in Dark Talents
Bad Neighbors Maia Chance #2 in Agnes & Effie Mystery
Bull of the Woods Ainsley Booth, Sadie Haller #5 in Frisky Beavers
Close Cover - Lexi Blake #16 in Masters and Mercenaries
Corey Dale Mayer #16 in Seals of Honor
Cyborg Fever Grace Goodwin #5 in Interstellar Brides: The Colony
Dead Weight Pandora Pine #4 in Cold Case Psychic
Edge of Insanity S E Smith #6 in Alliance
Farewell, My Cuckoo Marty Wingate #4 in Birds of a Feather Mystery
For Love of Distant Shores Adrian Tchaikovsky #3 in Tales of the Apt
Her Guardian Angel - Larissa Ione #14 in Demonica #15.5 in Masters and Mercenaries
His to Claim Shelly Bell #2 in Forbidden Lovers
His to Protect Carly Phillips #3 in Bodyguard Bad Boys
Homecoming By The Sea Kathi Daley #1 in Haunting By The Sea
Inquisition David Gibbins #10 in Jack Howard
Isle of Blood and Stone Makiia Lucier #1 in Isle of Blood and Stone
Justify Me J. Kenner #4.5 in Stark International
Lord of the Pies Nell Hampton #2 in Kensington Palace Chef
Mafioso 3 Nisa Santiago #2 in Mafioso
Magi, Vol. 29: The Labyrinth of Magic Shinobu Ohtaka #29 in Magi
Masked Desire Alana Delacroix #2 in The Masked Arcana
Misadventures of a Rookie Toni Aleo #12 in Misadventures
Natural Mage K. F. Breene #2 in Magical Mayhem
Nightblade's Honor Ryan Kirk #2 in Blades of the Fallen
Nothing to Gain Claire Boston #2 in The Blackbridge Series
Rafe Maryann Jordan #2 in Heroes At Heart
Rebellion's Fury Jay Allan #2 in Flames of Rebellion
Rescuing Sadie Susan Stoker #6.5 in Delta Force Heroes
River of Fire Erin Hunter #5 in Warriors: A Vision of Shadows
Say You Won't Let Go Corinne Michaels #3.5 in Return to Me
Shoot First Stuart Woods #45 in Stone Barrington
Skyjack K. J. Howe #2 in Thea Paris
Sunny Jason Reynolds #3 in Track
Taste of Wrath Matt Wallace #7 in Sin Du Jour
The Cowboy's Outlaw Bride Cora Seton #2 in Turners Vs Coopers
The Crooked Castle Sarah Jean Horwitz #2 in Carmer and Grit
The Cutting Edge Jeffery Deaver #14 in Lincoln Rhyme
The Dark Clouds Shining David Downing #4 in Jack McColl
The Fairies of Sadieville Alex Bledsoe #6 in Tufa
The Fates Divide Veronica Roth #2 in Carve the Mark
The Gate House Secret Debra Burroughs #4 in Jenessa Jones Mysteries
The Heroic Legend of Arslan Vol. 8 Hiromu Arakawa #8 in The Heroic Legend of Arslan
The Neon Boneyard Craig Schaefer #8 in Daniel Faust
The Shadow of Death Jane Willan #1 in A Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery
The Thief - J.R. Ward #16 in Black Dagger Brotherhood
The Third Brother Andrew Welsh-Huggins #5 in Andy Hayes
The Year of Us Jessica Sorensen #4 in Sunnyvale
Twenty-One Days - Anne Perry #1 in Daniel Pitt
Twenty-One Days Anne Perry #33 in Thomas Pitt
Who Gives a Hoot? Jacqueline Kelly #3 in Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet
Winter Glass Lexa Hillyer #2 in Spindle Fire
I'm still here! We've had a crazy few months at my place. I've had three sets of tonsils removed from various people in as many months. The two five year olds weren't so bad. The 33 year old? That was a special kind of fun. Seriously, the adult caregiver in charge should get drugs too. And I still have that full-time job thing that requires my attention. Unfortunately for me, the 33 year old from my house who just had surgery is also the head of the department I work in. Apparently since we share a mortgage, children, and weddings rings I get to do all of his work on top of my own work. I'm not really sure I get paid enough for that. Actually, I'm 100% positive I don't get paid enough for that.
I have read books since I last reviewed. I think. I'm pretty sure I have. Maybe not. I don't really know. I'm not really even sure what day it is.
My latest task for Historical Mystery Clue was to read a book with a black cover. I bought this book nearly two years ago for my Kindle when it was 99 cents. The goal was to read it when I bought it. The book came fairly highly recommended by people with similar tastes to my own. This book is also on The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List's Classic Historical Mysteries list. To me that implies it is a must read for fans of that particular genre. The other two books on the classics list are A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters and The Crocodile in the Sandbanks by Elizabeth Peters. I have now read all three classics. I was not impressed with any of them. I haven't even continued with the series in the case of the later two.
So what was my problem with the book? It wasn't an overly complex book. I could have easily polished it off in a day if I had the time or the desire. The fact of the matter is, I didn't have the desire. Early on I found myself annoyed with the sisters. It was like Mean Girls meets Victorian London. The bickering and the nit-picking was almost more than I could take. I had the mystery figured out pretty early on. What kept me reading was the need to know if I was right. I was right. However, to find out I was right, I had to deal with pages and pages of sisters bickering, grandma bickering, and mom fighting with the mother-in-law. It was tedious.
Based on how the book ended, I'm going to guess there's less of sister bickering in the coming books. Hoping this is true, I'm going to pick up the second book in the series to see if this series really does live up to the hype.