Fiction & LiteratureMystery, Thriller & CrimeLegal Thrillers & Crime FictionThriller & Crime FictionMystery
A young bridegroom enlists private investigator William Monk to track down his fiancée, Miriam Gardiner, who disappeared suddenly from a party at a luxurious Bayswater mansion. Monk soon finds the coach in which Miriam fled and, nearby, the murdered body of the coachman, but there is no trace of the young passenger. What strange compulsion could have driven the beautiful widow to abandon the prospect of a loving marriage and financial abundance? Monk and clever nurse Hester Latterly, themselves now newlyweds, desperately pursue the elusive truth—and an unknown killer whose malign brilliance they have scarcely begun to fathom.
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As I have mentioned, Anne Perry's books improve with each new novel. Hester and Monk are newlyweds and attempting to adjust to this new lifestyle. Hester has never been a "housewife" and dislikes the confines of cooking and cleaning, and Monk will not allow Hester to work for wages. The story centers on a young widow, Miriam Gardiner, about to remarry. At a casual party, the prospective bride runs away without telling her reason. The coachman who drives her is found murdered five days later, and Miriam Gardiner has disappeared. Monk becomes involved when the future groom, Lucius Stourbridge, needs help locating Miriam. As usual, Perry discusses the problems of the time such as the sorry state of nursing. The majority of nurses could barely read and their wages were poor and consisted of a meal and alcohol. A surgeon might save a patient, but the nursing care after surgery was deadly. Sir Oliver Rathbone appears to defend Miriam and her friend Cleo from murder and from stealing medicine. Perry inserts the dilemma of war veterans that are sick and poor and cannot afford medicine or medical attention. Cleo has been stealing medicine from the hospital to give to these veterans. And of course, the ending is a surprise. I had figured the correct murderer, but not all the issues involved.more