Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Angel Court Affair by Anne Perry

The Angel Court Affair: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel by Anne Perry --- 273 pages

I am a fan of Anne Perry's Victorian mystery series, both the Pitts, and the William Monk books, so I am sad to say I was disappointed in The Angel Court Affair, the thirtieth book in this series of Victorian police thrillers.

The premise was intriguing: a charismatic and controversial evangelist comes home to England to preach her unsettling new doctrine. At a time when the world is already reeling from social, scientific, and political turmoil, some people are desperate for a new revelation to guide them, while others see established belief as the last bastion of defense against chaos.

Is Sofia Delacruz the saint her followers exalt, or a charlatan as her detractors --- including her estranged cousin --- claim?  Unfortunately, Sofia is kidnapped early in the proceedings, and becomes only a shadow character fleetingly glimpsed throughout the remainder of the novel. Thomas and Charlotte (who has unfortunately become pretty much a minor character in the series since Thomas took command of Special Branch) and their daughter Jemima spend interminable pages lamenting their disillusionment with conventional religion.

The story only regains its direction when Thomas turns to Lady Vespasia and her new husband, Victor Narroway (Thomas's former mentor), for assistance. With their help Thomas finally discovers the connection between Sofia and her abductor. Fraud is indeed at the root of the crime, but not religious fraud.  Thomas and Victor race against time to find the place where Sofia is being held prisoner before the abductor disposes of her.  

Click HERE to read a review from Publishers Weekly.

Click HERE to read a review from the LDS website Wheat and Tares which casts some light on the religious aspects of the plot.

Click HERE to read comments on GoodReads.


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