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The Twisted Root
By Anne Perry

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The Twisted Root

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The Twisted Root
Large Print Edition
By Anne Perry
Random House Large Print, (1999)
ISBN: 0-375-40857-6
Genre: Historical Fiction - Mystery

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - August 28, 2002

Anne Perry's heroines all have one thing in common, they are all women who are atypical of their time. The Victorian heroine of The Twisted Root, Hester Latterly is no exception. The Twisted Root is a traditional mystery set in Victorian England which features William Monk as the erstwhile private detective, and the lovely Latterly as his new wife. Together they work to solve the baffling disappearance of Miriam Gardiner.

Gardiner, who is pledged to marry Lucius Stourbridge, disappeared, from a croquet party. The only thing anyone knows is that she left voluntarily in a coach, and the coachman was found murdered. Of Gardiner, no trace can be immediately found. Only the astute Monk, aided by his obstreperous wife, who happens to be a nurse, can get to the bottom of this strange mystery and find the missing woman.

Gardiner proves to be another of Perry's unusual female characters. She is a widow who is about to marry into a family of wealth and prestige, yet she chooses to flee rather than enter into what would be, from Victorian standards, and ideal marriage for her. Her reasons, and how Monk discovers them, help to make a good story great. However Gardiner is not so happy about being found and she is quickly charged with the murder of the coachman, and Monk must prove her innocent before she is hung for the crime.

This novel is full of plot twists, subplots, red herrings, and other tricks of the trade that will keep you guessing until the very end just who did what, and why. Rich in period details and fluid dialog, this is an all-around well-written mystery that will provide hours of reading pleasure.

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