Friday, April 25, 2008

[Book Review] FUNERAL IN BLUE by Anne Perry


Dean Moore reviews FUNERAL IN BLUE by Anne Perry (Ballantine Books, 2001)

When a double murder is reported, Kristian Beck, a surgeon, becomes the prime suspect. His wife and an artist’s model were the two victims. Beck is arrested, accused, and put on trial for the murders. A short list of the other suspects includes the artist the model worked for, the owner of a gambling house, a previous acquaintance of the Becks, a complete stranger, and even a rebuffed lover.

Anne Perry's writing is excellent. The reader is kept in suspense until the very end and must decide which of the many plot details may or may not be critical to solving this mystery. One example is the gambling debt that has driven the surgeon and his wife to near poverty. Also, a previous acquaintance has paid visits to London to see the surgeon’s wife. Beck did not know of these visits, even though the two men were close friends.

Funeral in Blue features private investigator William Monk, who can also be found in at least 10 other Anne Perry titles. Other primary characters are well-developed. By the end of this book, many of the characters seemed like long-time acquaintances. The wonderful, historical detail of London in the mid-nineteenth century is also appealing. The ending to this mystery is a real surprise and worth the read.

Dean Moore, Frayser Branch Library

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