* Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 27, 2012

I had been working my way through Anne Perry’s William Monk series and had not read one of her Charlotte & Thomas Pitt novels for quite a while. However, I was reading Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel, and Maass, who is Perry’s agent, refers to “Silence in Hanover Close” as her “breakout” novel, attributing her increased sales from that point forward to the enlarged premise of this story … not just crime, but a crime that may also be treason.

The murder of an important employee of the British Foreign Office, and the disappearance of documents which might be relevant to important negotiations with the Germans about dividing up Africa (this in the late 1800s), certainly provides the higher stakes. Perry takes this possibility and develops an exciting detective story.

The unorthodox work of Charlotte and Emily, while Thomas is “otherwise detained,” was a pleasure to savor, and of course there are all the period details that make reading Perry’s work so much fun.

There’s also a major surprise at the end, one that I did not intuit, which brings together all of the unexplained threads that had me properly puzzled. If I have any criticism of the book, it’s that the ending comes about a little too quickly. But it’s a good one.


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