"No Graves As Yet"
by Anne Perry
Category: Fiction / Mystery
352 pages; ISBN: 0345456521
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Judith Woolcock Colombo
Through Anne Perry’s wonderful Victorian novels, millions of readers have enjoyed the pleasures and intrigue of a past age. Now, in the debut of a new series, this best selling author transports us back to the summer of 1914. This was a time of enchantment when middle and upper class English men and women basked in the security of wealth and power unaware that in a matter of weeks their privileged world would be changed forever by the onslaught of the First World War.
On a sunny afternoon in late June, Cambridge professor Joseph Reavley is watching a student cricket match when his younger brother Matthew arrives from London. Matthew has terrible news. Their parents have died in an automobile crash. Matthew, an officer in the Intelligence Service, also reveals that their father had been en route to London to turn over to him a mysterious secret document that he claimed had the power to disgrace England forever and destroy the civilized world. Matthew tells Joseph that the information in the document implicates members of the royal family in a terrible scheme.
A through search of their parents home fails to uncover the document, and the brothers begin to doubt their father’s sanity. However, while they and their sisters attend their parents’ funeral an unknown intruder searches the house. Fearing for the safety of their younger sister Judith, Joseph and Matthew shares their information with her and warns her to be careful. After checking the site of their parents’ accident, the brothers are certain that someone forced the car off the road. Now not only are they looking for the document but their father’s enemies are also searching for it.
What has happened to this document? Who gave it to their father, a retired member of parliament living a quiet life in the country? Not even Matthew, with his Intelligence connections, can answer these questions. And Joseph is soon confronted with a second tragedy: the shocking murder of his most gifted student, handsome Sebastian Allard, loved and admired by everyone. Or so it appeared.
Soon the news of war becomes more pronounced and the connection between the murder of an Austrian archduke by a Serbian anarchist and a bullet in the head of a brilliant university student grows stronger every day.
I enjoyed this first book in the new series by Anne Perry. I did not find it as interesting as many of the books in her Monk and Pitt series. I liked the main characters, of Joseph, Matthew, and Judith, but they needed to be more developed. Hopefully, Perry will do this as the series progresses. I also thought that the mystery itself needed more work and the plot lagged at times. These, flaws aside, the book is worth reading, and Anne Perry fans have a new and interesting series to look forward to.
Judith Woolcock Colombo: Author of The Fablesinger & Night Crimes
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