I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I expected a cozy, or possibly a Holmes imitation. Not having read Anne Perry before, I did not realize that she believes in character development.
Characters are as important as plot. I have read some books that are all plot and they always leave a sense of incompleteness, even when it gives a good read otherwise. Frankly, I struggle with character development, so I need to read more of Perry and others who create whole human beings for their stories.
I will warn you not to make a judgment on the first chapter. It is all about character development. We meet Charlotte and her whole family in their natural world of a well-to-do family in Victorian London. My thinking as I read it was: I don’t need to know so much about the married older sister and her less successful husband who live in the house; the younger sister who is out to catch a man and keep him; the caring mother; or the stern father who rules the house.
But all that information was important, none of it was a waste of my time. Every detail provided clues as early as the first chapter about how the story might end. Even so, I was well along before I began to suspect the right person.
I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed following the complex lives of Ellison family.