Midnight at Marble Arch: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel
Ballantine, 2014 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
Midnight at Marble Arch
continues to follow the exploits of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt in 1896 London. Intertwined with the mystery is the Jameson Raid in South Africa and its political and financial fallout. And, given recent world news in the U.S. and India, her topic is sadly timely - violence against women.
itt was promoted to head Britain's Special Branch in
. His ex-boss, Victor Narraway has been appointed to the House of Lords and finds himself with time on his hands. Which is just as well as he's soon embroiled in the case of a brutal murder. Merchant banker Rawdon Quixwood's wife Catherine was raped and viciously beaten in her own home, and it appears that she let in the killer herself.
t a party, Charlotte Pitt notices that the Portuguese ambassador's daughter Angeles seems terrified of a young man, Neville Forsbrook, a banker's son who keeps forcing his attentions on her. Onlookers blame Angeles for poor social skills or assume she drank too much wine, but Charlotte wonders. When tragedy follows, Charlotte is impelled to pursue the matter further. She discovers that Angeles was raped (and she was not the only one), but Quixwood gives Neville Forsbrook an alibi for the night in question.
young married banker, Alban Hythe, is eventually arrested and tried for Catherine Quixwood's murder - he had been her friend and they had met often. But Victor Narraway is not convinced of his guilt. The usual suspects in the Pitt circle rally to prove Hythe's innocence, including the indomitable Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould - and perhaps there's romance in the air for her as the series develops. I look forward to finding out.
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