The Sins of the Wolf
Anne Perry's Victorian mystery The Sins of the Wolf calls out for a
fireplace, a long winter's night, and a reader with the pleasure of
time. The matriarch of a prominent Edinburgh family has been poisoned
and her nurse charged. But it soon becomes clear that mother has been
murdered by one of her own children, or one of their spouses. This is
then a novel about family values, albeit with an unsettling twist.
With invention and skill, Perry leads her reader along the convoluted
path to truth, revealing at each turn the myriad secrets and evasions
around which this extended family is structured. Near the novel's
end, the nurse heroine and her detective friend find themselves
literally locked in a secret room hidden within the family's
publishing establishment, the center of a lawless and deceiving
enterprise guarded by the family's aloof and respectable public face.
No easy, happy view of family life here, but neither a picture without
parallel moments of grace and dignity and love. All this good, if
harrowing, fun served up against the richly-drawn backdrop of
Victorian London and Edinburgh (complete with testimony at the
sensational trial by Florence Nightingale). And throughout, Perry
weaves in lures about earlier stories and future prospects for nurse
and detective. Closing the pages of The Sins of the Wolf, a reader
can only find herself on the way to the bookstore and more Anne Perry.