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Weighed in the Balance


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About the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Blind Justice and A Sunless Sea, the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Death on Blackheath and Midnight at Marble Arch. She is also the author of a series of five World War I novels, as well as eleven holiday novels, most recently A New York Christmas, and a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Ottoman Empire. Anne Perry lives in Scotland and Los Angeles.


The byzantine politics and aristocratic squabbles of a small German principality called Felzburg exasperate and puzzle William Monk in his seventh distinctive appearance (after Cain His Brother). Monk, a Victorian-era "agent of inquiry," is still haunted by a baffling amnesia, and he feels that his associates‘the rigidly proper barrister Sir Oliver Rathbone and the uncompromising and outspoken nurse Hester Latterly‘have taken on more than they can handle when Sir Oliver decides to defend Countess Zorah Rostova against a slander charge. The patriotic Zorah has accused Princess Gisela of Felzburg of murdering her husband, Prince Friedrich, heir to the throne, who presumably had died as a result of a fall from a horse. Gisela is suing. The issue of slander is almost lost in all the politicking. Gisela and Friedrich had lived in English exile, Gisela having played a sort of Wallis Simpson role to Friedrich's Edward. But Friedrich dreamed of returning triumphant to Felzburg in order to defend the statelet's independence against the unifying tide of Germany. Zorah's defense requires that Monk polish his image, refine his abrasive nature and interview some devious, scheming‘and perhaps murderous‘aristocrats. Was Friedrich poisoned? Was Gisela the intended target? Who profits? Are personal or political motives dominant? Perry indulges her characters in a bit too much unproductive speculation, but the novel springs to life in the courtroom scenes, where careful investigation and astute teamwork produce some astonishing revelations that presage the end of Victorian propriety and an era's pretense of innocence. Major ad/promo; Mystery Guild main selection; author tour. (Oct.)

Victorian sleuth William Monk investigates murder among royals in this latest in a best-selling series (e.g., Cain His Brother, Fawcett, 1995).

"The denouement is unexpected and ingenious."--Los Angeles Times "[Takes] the reader clue-hunting through the glittery courts of Venice, London, and a never-never-land principality. It's all rich as a warm scone slathered with jam and clotted cream."--St. Petersburg Times "Highly entertaining."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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