The Vanishing Man

Charles Lenox Mysteries

Book 12
Sold by Minotaur Books
11
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“Fiction readers who crush on blue-blooded British detectives will fall hard for Victorian-era sleuth Charles Lenox." —The Washington Post

From the critically acclaimed and USA Today bestselling author Charles Finch comes The Vanishing Man, a prequel to his Charles Lenox Victorian series, in which the theft of an antique painting sends Detective Lenox on a hunt for a criminal mastermind.

London, 1853: Having earned some renown by solving a case that baffled Scotland Yard, young Charles Lenox is called upon by the Duke of Dorset, one of England’s most revered noblemen, for help. A painting of the Duke’s great-grandfather has been stolen from his private study. But the Duke’s concern is not for his ancestor’s portrait; hiding in plain sight nearby is another painting of infinitely more value, one that holds the key to one of the country’s most famous and best-kept secrets.

Dorset believes the thieves took the wrong painting and may return when they realize their error—and when his fears result in murder, Lenox must act quickly to unravel the mystery behind both paintings before tragedy can strike again. As the Dorset family closes ranks to protect its reputation, Lenox uncovers a dark secret that could expose them to unimaginable scandal—and reveals the existence of an artifact, priceless beyond measure, for which the family is willing to risk anything to keep hidden.

In this intricately plotted prequel to the Charles Lenox mysteries, the young detective risks his potential career—and his reputation in high society—as he hunts for a criminal mastermind.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Minotaur Books
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Published on
Feb 19, 2019
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781250311382
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In this riveting new William Monk novel, Anne Perry delves into the diverse population of Victorian London, whose disparate communities force Monk to rethink his investigative techniques—lest he be caught in the crosshairs of violent bigotry.

In the course of his tenure with the Thames River Police, Commander Monk has yet to see a more gruesome crime scene: a Hungarian warehouse owner lies in the middle of his blood-sodden office, pierced through the chest with a bayonet and eerily surrounded by seventeen candles, their wicks dipped in blood. Suspecting the murder may be rooted in ethnic prejudice, Monk turns to London’s Hungarian community in search of clues but finds his inquiries stymied by its wary citizens and a language he doesn’t speak. Only with the help of a local pharmacist acting as translator can Monk hope to penetrate this tightly knit enclave, even as more of its members fall victim to identical brutal murders. But whoever the killer, or killers, may be—a secret society practicing ritual sacrifice, a madman on a spree, a British native targeting foreigners—they are well hidden among the city’s ever-growing populace.

With the able assistance of his wife—former battlefield nurse Hester, who herself is dealing with a traumatized war veteran who may be tangled up in the murders—Monk must combat distrust, hostility, and threats from the very people he seeks to protect. But as the body count grows, stirring ever greater fear and anger among the Hungarian émigrés, resistance to the police also increases. Racing time and the rising tide of terror all around him, Monk must be even more relentless than the mysterious killer, or the echoes of malice and murder will resound through London’s streets like a clarion of doom.

Praise for An Echo of Murder

“[Anne] Perry fashions a rich, if blood-spattered narrative from this chapter of history. As the murders [of Hungarians] continue, Monk and his clever wife, Hester . . . struggle to fathom the new climate of hatred. ‘I think it’s fear,’ Hester says. ‘It’s fear of ideas, things that aren’t the way you’re used to. Everyone you don’t understand because their language is different, their food, but above all their religion.’ How times haven’t changed.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Skillful . . . Perry smoothly intertwines themes—war’s lingering cost, tension around immigration and otherness—that challenge in both her period and our own.”—Publishers Weekly
Anne Perry’s acclaimed William Monk novels have captivated readers with their rich texture and masterly suspense, leading The New York Times Book Review to exclaim, “Give her a good murder and a shameful social evil, and Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens’s eyes pop.” Now, the first five books in the spellbinding series are collected in this addictive eBook bundle:
 
FACE OF A STRANGER
 
His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective. With his memory erased after a terrible accident, Monk intends on hiding his condition and starting a new life by tackling a grisly murder case in which each new revelation leads him to the answers he seeks—but dreads to find.
 
A DANGEROUS MOURNING
 
Called upon to investigate the brutal murder of a blue-blooded young widow, Monk is plagued by both his lingering amnesia and an inept supervisor. But when nurse Hester Latterly offers her assistance, together they grope warily through the silence and shadows that obscure the aristocrat’s demise.
 
DEFEND AND BETRAY
 
After a brilliant military career, General Thaddeus Carlyon meets his death not on the battlefield but at a London dinner party. Although his wife confesses to the murder, Monk and Hester suspect deceit. With the trial only days away, they feverishly work to unravel the dark heart of the mystery.
 
Praise for Anne Perry and her William Monk series
 
“Perry’s Victorian mysteries are marvels.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“There’s no one better at using words to paint a scene and then fill it with sounds and smells than Anne Perry.”—The Boston Globe
 
“[The] reigning monarch of the Victorian mystery.”—People
 
“Few mystery writers this side of Arthur Conan Doyle can evoke Victorian London with such relish for detail and mood.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“[A] master of crime fiction.”—The Baltimore Sun
 
“[Among] Perry’s strengths: memorable characters and an ability to evoke the Victorian era with the finely wrought detail of a miniaturist.”—The Wall Street Journal
Master of mystery and historical intrigue Anne Perry once again transports readers to the banks of the Thames in Victorian London for her thrilling new William Monk novel. In Revenge in a Cold River, Monk faces his darkest hour ever as he spars with a quarry hell-bent on vengeance.

When Commander Monk of the Thames River Police is called to investigate the drowning of an escaped prisoner, he’s forced to contend with customs officer McNab, who clearly bears a bitter grudge against him. But the reason is a mystery in itself. Monk’s memory loss—a secret he guards closely—leaves him vulnerable to repercussions from his missing past, especially his exploits overseas in the tumultuous Gold Rush days of San Francisco. And now McNab, as icy and unfathomable as the steel-gray Thames itself, appears intent on using whatever damning facts he can find to his advantage to ruin Monk’s future as an officer of the law.

As Monk explores the possibility of a conspiracy, McNab’s game of cat and mouse escalates, with veiled threats and cryptic insinuations. Snared in an unforeseen trap, a desperate Monk must turn to his wife, Hester, and friend and attorney Oliver Rathbone for help, as his life literally hangs in the balance.

With razor-edged suspense and shocking twists and turns, Revenge in a Cold River is Anne Perry at her most intense—and most satisfying.

Praise for Revenge in a Cold River

“Fascinating and addictive . . . Another strong historical mystery that is true in both culture and manners to its Victorian setting.”—New York Journal of Books

“Perry is a master storyteller whose writing encompasses rich detail and nuance. . . . [Revenge in a Cold River] is her best to date.”—The Star-Ledger

“The storytelling is dazzling, as it always is in a Perry novel.”—The New York Times Book Review 
The brilliant anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone returns in Tessa Harris's vivid and compelling mystery series set in 1780s London. . .

It is not just the living who are prey to London's criminals and cutpurses. Corpses, too, are fair game--dug up from fresh graves and sold to unscrupulous men of science. Dr. Thomas Silkstone abhors such methods, but his leading rival, Dr. John Hunter, has learned of the imminent death of eight-foot-tall Charles Byrne, known as the "Irish Giant," and will go to any lengths to obtain the body for his research.

Thomas intends to see that Byrne is allowed to rest in peace. Yet his efforts are complicated by concern for his betrothed, Lady Lydia Farrell, who breaks off their engagement without explanation. When Dr. Hunter is implicated in the horrific murder of a young castrato, Thomas must determine how far the increasingly erratic surgeon will go in the name of knowledge. For as Thomas knows too well, the blackest hearts sometimes go undetected--and even an unblemished façade can hide terrifying secrets. . .

Praise for The Anatomist's Apprentice

"Densely plotted. . . We await--indeed, demand--the sequel." --The New York Times Book Review

"An absorbing debut. . . Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised." --Publishers Weekly

"Smart misdirection and time-period appropriate medical details make for a promising start to a new series. A strong choice for readers of Ariana Franklin and Caleb Carr." --Library Journal

"CSI meets the Age of Reason with a well-drawn, intriguing cast of characters, headed by the brilliant Dr. Thomas Silkstone. Full of twists and turns, Tessa Harris's debut mystery can confound the most adept reader. Vivid details pulled me right into the world of early forensic sleuthing. A page turner!" --Karen Harper

"Intricate forensic details and a host of intriguing characters drive the story. The author will have you flipping the pages at each unexpected turn in the plot. . .an absorbing read with a shocking twist at the end." --Historical Novel Reviews

"Tessa Harris has delivered a deftly plotted debut. Just when you think the puzzle is solved, she reveals yet another surprising twist which leaves you marveling at her ingenuity." --Carol Carr, author of India Black and The Widow of Windsor

A READING GROUP GUIDE

Discussion Questions

1. What are the parallels between the powerful physicians in the novel and the multinational drug companies of today?

2. How does Thomas develop as a character in this, the second book in the series?

3. Does the course of the War of Independence affect any attitudes toward Thomas in this book?

4. Anatomists in the eighteenth century found corpses so hard to come by that they were forced to turn to grave robbers for a regular supply. Nowadays, more people donate their bodies to science. Would you?

5. Should organ donation be made compulsory?

6. Freak shows have long been considered an affront to human dignity, but in an age with little social welfare, what was the alternative for the severely disabled?

7. Charles Byrne and Count Boruwlaski both have major disabilities but are treated in very different ways. Why is this so, and how would they be treated today?

8. How far do revelations about Lydia's past go to explain her submissive character?

9. Was John Hunter a medical visionary or an evil obsessive?

10. Charles Byrne's skeleton remains on display in the Hunterian Museum in London to this day. Should he be given a proper burial?
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