A personal trip turns perilous after the murder of a British spy in Washington, D.C., forces Elena Standish to face dark family secrets in this exciting 1930s mystery by bestselling author Anne Perry. On a family trip to Washington, D.C., Elena Standish is delighted to visit her mother's parents for their anniversary and celebrate with influential friends of her grandfather, a prominent scientist. Even Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt will attend the party. But the event comes to a sudden and tragic end when one of the guests, Lila Worth, is run over by a car in the driveway outside. Elena realizes that Lila had been trying to tell her something, and when a call from Peter Lucas back home at MI6 confirms that Lila was a British spy, Elena pairs with the American secret service to find out what vital information the young woman had in her possession. To further complicate Elena's trip, her grandfather is arrested for the murder. Desperate to clear his name and save her family from disgrace, she looks more deeply into her grandfather's scientific life and discovers that Lila had been desperately trying to keep the latest developments in nuclear fission out of the Nazis' hands. Her grandfather's business secrets run deep, it appears, and as Elena begins to question his loyalties, she wonders if she can trust anyone in this dark new world order.
Sometimes the personal story of a particular author seems almost as intriguing as the books they write. Such is the life of British author Anne Perry (aka Juliet Marion Hulme). As a child Hulme was very ill with tuberculosis and ended up being fostered out by a family in the Caribbean. She did get better, and the family moved to a private island in New Zealand, where she describes her life as a Swiss family Robinson type existence. She became ill again and during her bouts of illness through her teen years, she missed most of her childhood education. However, her mother had prepared her by teaching her how to read and write by the time she was four. Her heart always seemed to be in writing.
At the age of 15, Juliet and her best friend plotted and killed her friend's mother. The three went for a walk in the park and Hulme dropped a stone, causing the mother to bend over to pick it up, and her friend hit her own mother on the head with a half brick. They had planned on the strike killing her, but they had to strike her 20 times before she was dead. The girls were put on trial and each served five years in prison. It is said that they never saw each other again after being released. For many years, nobody connected author Anne Perry as the teen murderer, Juliet Hulme. In 1994, the film Heavenly Creatures, portrayed Hulme and her friend Pauline Parker with characters being played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey respectively.
Perry's genre of writing covers Victorian Era Detective fiction for the most part. Her novels have been centered around two main characters, Thomas Pitt and William Monk. She has published 47 novels and several collections of stories.
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