Funeral in Blue: A William Monk Novel, copyright 2011, is a detective novel authored by Anne Perry and published by Ballantine Books. It is the 12th installment of Perry’s series of detective novels featuring the character William Monk.
The novel is set just after the turbulent year of 1848, the “year of revolutions”, in London, England involving a double murder in the studio of an artist known for his portrait and nude paintings where two women are discovered with broken necks. One woman is a beautiful young model and the other is the wife of Kristen Beck, a highly distinguished Viennese surgeon who emigrated to London after a revolt in Austria and setup a lucrative practice.
The main characters are inspector William Monk and his wife Hester, and their dear friend Lady Callandra Daviott who has a deep love for the surgeon. The surgeon and the artist, Allardyce, become the main suspects in this horrible murder. Since the surgeon is a friend of the Monks they attempt to prove his innocence with notable vigor. They trace his path through the streets of Victorian London and Anne Perry gives the reader a true feel for the life, the people, and the accents of that time. The description of the funerals of London’s elite paint an interesting image of how things had to be properly presented to avoid gossip and shame.
The setting rests in the middle of the Victorian Era when gas lights lined the cobblestone streets and women wore flowing gowns with petticoats beneath. Anne Perry invites the reader into the feel of this time and the characters of London who help make this mystery intriguing. In 1800s England there was a predominate class system and Anne Perry gives an in-depth look into how it affected the people, society and even transportation.
“Anne Perry’s Victorian novels are marvels.”
–The New York Times Book Review
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