by Anne Perry
Most people judge according to their own experiences. We think what we need to think, in order to hold on to our own worldview and validate what we must believe. It is a matter of survival, although it may seem merely to be prejudice to someone else. It takes a lot of courage to turn your world upside down and start again. Most people have enough practical worries of survival not to look for philosophical ones.”
****a few general spoilers ahead****
The last of the Charlotte/Thomas Pitt novels ended on a triumphant note as Thomas was knighted by the Queen for his services. After all of his difficult challenges and tribulations, it was a fitting and perfect end. Much to my joy, the baton has been taken up in this new novel by his son, Daniel Pitt, a newly minted young lawyer. This effectively gets Anne Perry back to murder mysteries as opposed to foiling anarchists and other threats to the state and will be welcomed by most of her loyal readers. We have seen Daniel, and his sister Jemima, grow up through the 32 books of her first series. Twenty-one Days begins approximately 10 years later and has Daniel assigned to help defend and save from execution a biographer, Russell Graves, whose latest work purports to expose Vincent Narraway, Thomas’s mentor, and his wife, the beloved Vespacia Cumming-Gould, as manipulators and blackmailers whose actions fueled their ambition rather than in service to their country. As the closest of associates to Narraway, Daniels father, Thomas, comes in for his fair share of this imminent threat to reputations and legacies. Like his father and Charlotte before him, Daniel has to wrestle with ethics, duty, truth, and love for and loyalty to his family and the values they hold dear.
I won’t go into more regarding the plot, but this first in the series has a lighter tone than many of Anne Perry’s previous books, and I welcome it. It is full of twists, questions, red-herrings, and shocks (to those who didn’t see them coming). It introduces a bevy of new characters that are set up to be staples of this new series. This particularly includes Daniels probable future love interest Miriam fford Croft, a remarkable and brilliant woman, ahead of her time, and also not quite 15 years older than Daniel. Thomas and Charlotte make more than brief cameo appearances in this new beginning. Sadly, Narraway and Vespacia have both passed away, but Jemima is, I think, waiting in the wings. Although she now lives in New York and is a married mother of two, I suspect that she will figure in this continuation of the Pitt dynasty in future books. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets her own series! After all, she is married to a policeman, like her mother. And heaven knows, domestic happiness and motherhood never stopped Charlotte from providing invaluable assistance to her husband’s career in crime and intrigue. **4 1/2 out of 5 stars**
April 18, 2018