Cover image for The twisted root
The twisted root
Perry, Anne.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
346 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Clearfield Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
East Aurora Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Kenilworth Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Lackawanna Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Lancaster Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Orchard Park Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Concord Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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In a stunning feat of the imagination, Anne Perry encloses readers within the magic circle of her genius and brings to life the lost world of England's Victorian Age. Hoofbeats clatter on cobblestones, gaslight glimmers through fog, and in the exclusive privacy of elegant drawing rooms, powerful men and women once again live the splendor and shame of that matchless era. With The Twisted Root, Perry holds us rapt with a chilling story of love, betrayal, and consummate evil. As private investigator William Monk listens to young Lucius Stourbridge plead for help in tracking down his runaway fiancée, he feels a sense of heavy foreboding. Miriam Gardiner disappeared suddenly from a croquet party at the luxurious Bayswater mansion of her in-laws-to-be, and has not been seen since. But on Hampstead Heath, Monk finds the coach in which Miriam had fled and, nearby, the murdered body of the coachman. There is no trace of Miriam. What strange compulsion could have driven the beautiful widow to abandon the prospect of a loving marriage and financial abundance? Monk's attempt to answer that question proves a challenge, as Miriam Gardiner's fateful flight ends in a packed London courtroom where brilliant barrister Oliver Rathbone wages an uphill battle to absolve her from a charge of murder. And in a race with the hangman, Monk and clever nurse Hester Latterly--themselves now newlyweds--desperately pursue the elusive truth . . . and an unknown killer whose malign brilliance they have scarcely begun to fathom.

Author Notes

Anne Perry was born Juliet Hume on October 28, 1938 in Blackheath, London.

Sent to Christchurch, New Zealand to recover from a childhood case of severe pneumonia, she became very close friends with another girl, Pauline Parker. When Perry's family abandoned her, she had only Parker to turn to, and when the Parkers planned to move from New Zealand, Parker asked that Perry be allowed to join them. When Parker's mother disagreed, Perry and Parker bludgeoned her to death. Perry eventually served five and a half years in an adult prison for the crime.

Once she was freed, she changed her name and moved to America, where she eventually became a writer. Her first Victorian novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published in 1979. Although the truth of her past came out when the case of Mrs. Parker's murder was made into a movie (Heavenly Creatures), Perry is still a popular author and continues to write. She has written over 50 books and short story collections including the Thomas Pitt series and the William Monk series. Her story, Heroes, won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best Short Story. Her title's Blind Justice and The Angel Court Affair made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Perry's methodical "agent of inquiry" William Monk is back in another historical puzzler set in Victorian England. More comfortable now with his status as an independent investigator and mellowed somewhat by his recent marriage to nurse Hester Latterly, Monk takes on the troubling challenge of finding Miriam Gardiner, who disappeared from a garden party at the home of her wealthy, much younger fiance, Lucius Stourbridge. Lucius wants her back, even after the coachman who drove her away turns up dead and Miriam is accused of the crime. In the meantime, Monk's beloved Hester, who has some investigative credentials of her own, is quietly searching for the thief who is raiding hospital medicine stores, adjusting to her new marriage, and crusading for hospital reforms. The tangents dovetail neatly, with Perry delivering her usual leisurely paced story suffused with period details, many of which focus on the conventions of gender and class that so marked the times. What's best, however, is the denouement, when the guilty party and the meaning of the title are dramatically unveiled in a packed London courtroom. --Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this 10th entry in the popular series featuring prickly English investigator William Monk and his equally prickly bride, nurse Hester Latterly (A Breach of Promise, etc.), Perry mulls over the moral justification of criminal acts. Just back from his honeymoon in the summer of 1860, Monk tries to locate Mrs. Miriam Gardiner, a comely widow who inexplicably fled in a coach from her wealthy young fianc‚'s home. Monk's search takes him to Hampstead Heath, where the coachman's body is foundÄmurdered, he deduces, by a single blow to the head. Could Miriam have struck that deadly blow as she fled, and if so, why? Cornered at last, Miriam refuses to explain her behavior or implicate the coachman's murderer, even though Monk suspects she's the victim of some atrocity. Meanwhile, Hester gears up to defend Cleo Anderson, a saintly nurse who admits to filching hospital supplies to treat impoverished war veterans. Plot mechanics grind away as Perry strains to connect the two crimes, resolving matters with an ending that reads like Henry Fielding without the laughs. Fans of earlier Monk and Latterly mysteries may enjoy Perry's sometimes overwrought depiction of the two-career couple negotiating who cooks supper, but the many other anachronisms just don't wash (says Hester's colleague: "you want to have nurses visit the poor in their homes? You are fifty years before your time"). Despite the characters' tendency to sermonize self-righteously, Perry's theme is the hazy nature of guiltÄa topic sure to intrigue those who've followed her career. For thrills, however, readers should turn to other books in the series. Mystery Guild selection; Random House audio. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is the tenth William Monk mystery by the prolific and talented Perry. A beautiful widow named Miriam Gardiner has disappeared, leaving behind a distraught fianc‚ and a dead coachman. Monk is called in to find Gardiner and then must uncover the truth when she is charged with murdering the coachman. Oliver Rathbone agrees to represent her, but she refuses to defend herself. Whose secret is she willing to die to protect? A compelling subplot involving Hester, Monk's wife, and a dying war veteran adds emotional depth to the story. Perry sticks to her proven formula: a desperate and impassioned effort to save someone who is wrongfully accused. There is strong characterization, particularly of the newly married Monk and Hester. Not Perry's best, but still highly recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/99.]ÄLaurel Bliss, New Haven, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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