A Sunless Sea, by Anne Perry

Second paragraph of third chapter:

A group of men passed him, trudging along the road towards the docks. A vegetable cart passed the other way, piled with carrots and greens of one sort or another, and a few ripe apples.

Honestly not sure why I picked this up. It turns out to be 18th in s series of 24 (so far) novels about a Victorian detective, William Monk, who here gets sucked into an 1864 London murder, linked to the government’s involvement in the opium trade. I bounced off a number of points. The nicer characters have much too sympathetic political views for their time (for comparison, there is an awful chapter in the otherwise not too bad The Next Generation, by John Francis Maguire MP, published in 1871, about the Chinese and opium). The middle-class women of the book seemed to me rather more politically emancipated than could really have been expected in 1864. The actual murder plot was a bit improbable, and the motivation of the suspect who is first arrested for the crime seemed incomprehensible to me. On the other hand, there is a good and sensitive appreciation of London’s geography. And on doing a bit more digging, I discovered that the author knows at first hand what it’s like to be a woman on trial for murder. However, I don’t think I will look out for more of her work based on A Sunless Sea. If you want, you can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2015. Next on that list is The Ghosts of Heaven, by Marcus Sedgwick.

One thought on “A Sunless Sea, by Anne Perry

  1. Several volumes of the Lymond Chronicles are set in France, as well as Scotland and England.

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