BUCKINGHAM PALACE GARDENS
This terrific outing grabs hold of the reader with the first sentence. It's wonderful to be back with old friends like Thomas Pitt and his loyal maid Gracie. Unfortunately, Pitt's wife, Charlotte, is only on the periphery of this story. Along with an absorbing murder inside Buckingham Palace, you're caught up in the political, social and cultural aspects of London and get a glimpse of life from different class perspectives. You'll relish every aspect of the story.
After some initial questioning, Pitt unhappily concludes that all of guests are suspects. If that isn't complicated enough, all the men are part of a secret group planning a Cape-to-Cairo railroad that would span the African continent, which would have vast political implications. Now all Pitt has to do is figure out how all of this connects when it seems there's no connection. (BALLANTINE, Apr., 320 pp., $26.00)