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Funeral in Blue by; Anne Perry

Funeral in Blue
By: Anne Perry
Ballantine Books 2001 $25.00 344 pages

Anne Perry is a master at the period murder mystery. This double murder of a member of the gentry and of an artist model who is not takes us through the whole class system of England as it existed at the time of our Civil War.
We are confronted by murders and men with motivation and a English Justice system that seems to value speed over most other virtues. I am always delighted as she examines the way the upper crust poses and pontificates while at the same time does most of the things the lower classes do.

I love the trips through their gardens, drawing rooms, parties, attitudes and morals. We in this book see the danger and the damage to those who can not stop gambling no matter what the cost. William Monk and his wife Hester begin to try to unravel the crime and find them selves wondering if the compassionate medical doctor, husband of one of the victims could have done it; or could Hester's brother who one of the victims introduced his wife to gambling.

The doctor, his dead wife and a friend were part of the revolution that swept Europe in 1848. Does the answer lie in Vienna, Monk has to go there to find out about the friend who was in love with the victim and who had visited her in London with out her husband knowing.

One of the smaller stories is the history of William Monk, since a carriage accident he has no prior memory. He is forced to work with a policeman who knew him before and they are like oil and water. We see how each is forced to begin to reexamine the relationship and to reevaluate this other person.

Before Monk can get back the trial starts with the charged man being defended by his father in law. It was his daughter that was loved by all and so very alive who found dead. There are twist and turns enough here to make a Perry Mason program look simple. Anne Perry, as always I eagerly await your next book.

John Acuff
Country Lawyer





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