Mystery writer Anne Perry is in a class by herself. For the past 25
years and with over 30 novels to her credit, Perry has penned the
start of yet another memorable series with her latest World War I
epic, NO GRAVES AS YET.
While Perry is most noted for her Victorian-era mysteries and
memorable characters such as Thomas and Charlotte Pitt,
and William Monk and Hester Latterly, NO GRAVES AS YET
introduces Joseph Reavley, named after Perry's maternal
grandfather, who was a captain during World War I for England and
served as a chaplain in the trenches.
The fictitious Joseph Reavley in NO GRAVES AS YET is a Bible
languages professor at Cambridge University and, at the onset of
the novel, learns that his beloved parents have been killed in a
car crash. Devastated by this loss, Joseph learns from his brother
Matthew, a top-ranking officer in the British Intelligence Service,
that their father was en route to London to deliver a secret
document about the fate of England.
While both Joseph and Matthew do their best to scour the scene of
the accident for the document and learn about the mysterious crash,
neither of them can figure out how the document fell into the hands
of their father, a simple country farmer, in the first place.
Complete with the pathos most readers expect from a
bestselling author such as Perry, NO GRAVES AS YET is the
consummate page-turner. Perry immerses the reader into all the
lushness of the English countryside before the start of World War
I. And she keeps the story chugging along with numerous plot twists
and a slew of memorable characters that surely will appear in her
Perry creates drama and tension after her characters learn
about the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo
on June 28, 1914, a monumental event that thrust Austria into World
War I. While Perry keeps the reader entrenched within her murder
mystery, she also masterfully weaves into her tale how Britain
eventually had no choice but to declare war on Germany two months
after the assassination of Ferdinand.
This reviewer can't wait for Perry's next offering in this
tremendous series. Don't be surprised if Perry's main character is
thrust out of the classroom and into the bloody trenches of battle
in the next novel.
Reviewed by David Exum on January 22, 2011