As the nineteenth century draws to a close, most of Europe is in political turmoil, and terrorist threats loom large across the continent. Adding to this unrest is the controversial Sofia Delacruz, who has come to London from Spain to preach a revolutionary gospel of love and forgiveness that many consider blasphemous. Thomas Pitt, commander of Special Branch, is charged with protecting Sofiaand shielding Her Majestys government from any embarrassment that this woman, as beautiful as she is charismatic, might cause. When Sofia suddenly vanishes and two of her female disciples are gruesomely murdered, Pitt is challenged as never before. Is Sofias cousin, wealthy banker Barton Hall, somehow involved? And why has handsome cricket star Dalton Teague insinuated himself into Pitts investigation? Fearful that this sensational crime may trigger an international incident, Pitt welcomes the help of three allies: his clever wife, Charlotte; her great-aunt, Lady Vespasia; and Victor Narraway, Pitts friend and former commander at Special Branch. From the narrow streets of Toledo and a lonely monastery high in the hills of Spain, to the halls and wharves of London, Pitt and his friends race against time in their desperate bid to catch a murderer.
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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