Paragon Walk by Anne Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the third adventure with Thomas and Charlotte Pitt. A young woman is butally raped and murdered in elegant Paragon Walk. She is a quiet retiring young woman and no on can figure out how this tragedy happened in such an upscale Victorian neighborhood. Nothing is making sense when even more people are found murdered. Charlotte and her sister, Emily help Thomas Pitt by moving in society in ways he never could.
The story is good, but the best thing is the introduction of Aunt Vespalia, Emily's husband's aunt. She is delightful and a wonderful addition. As usual, the Victorian society assumes that the murder is done by one of the servants and that the murdered young woman must have been immoral even though there isn't a shred of evidence to suspect that. They engage in a frustrating circular argument which goes something like this. If the girl was raped, she must have been immoral. Even though she seems to be sweet, chaste and virginal, we know that she must have been immoral because she was raped. None of the upper class should be questioned in this matter because they don't come from the strata of society that committs crimes; they are upper class hence, they must be innocent.
The ever patient Thomas Pitt has to tiptoe around the upper class sensibilities in order to get any information at all, but he never falters. The help of Charlotte, Emily and Aunt Vespalia is vital in getting around barriers as they drink tea and engage in the gossip that brings out the elusive clues.
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