I have read the 112nd book for the book challenge. It was Callander Square (The Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Series) by Anne Perry.
Two small bodies are discovered buried in the common garden at Callander Square. They are of two babies, both deformed. Inspector Thomas Pitt is called in to investigate and must interview all the residents of Callander Square in an effort to determine whose children these were.
This crime hits home with Thomas as Charlotte is pregnant with their first child. Lady Emily is determined to help with the investigation, too. She decides to pay visits to some of the ladies of the Square to learn their secrets.
Thomas learns that Reggie Southern has an eye for his parlourmaids. He learns that Southern has bedded one of his parlourmaids and that a former parlourmaid had had an abortion and had died. His wife pretends she does not know about these transgressions. The doctor, Freddie Bolsolver, has been blackmailing Southern. Who else is he blackmailing?
Charlotte takes a job sorting the military papers of General Balantyne. Lady Emily wants her to keep an eye on Christina Balantyne, who has had an affair with Max the footman and is pregnant by him. The son Brandy has gotten another woman of the Square pregnant when it was discovered that her husband could not produce children and she desperately wanted children. The husband understands his wife’s need for children and will raise the child as his own. Lady Augusta Balantyne is trying to find someone to marry Christina.
Charlotte also befriends Jemima, the governess of Reggie Southern. Brandy Balantyne has fallen in love with Jemima and wants to marry her.
Also on the Square are the Campbells. They are close to the Bolsolvers.
Then the body of Helena Doran is found in the abandoned house in the Square. She has been strangled and she was pregnant. She disappeared two years ago and her boyfriend Alan Ross was devastated. There was a rumor of an older lover, a married man. Now Thomas must find who killed Helena. He looks to the older men–General Balantyne, Reggie Southern, Garson Campbell.
Then suddenly, Freddie Bolsolver is found murdered. Stabbed to death in the common garden. Who else was Freddie blackmailing? Thomas knows the answer. He goes to the house of the killer and tries to make the arrest but there is a struggle. It is Garson Campbell who has syphyllis. He was Helena’s lover who killed her. His wife goes into the upstairs room and takes laudandem and kills herself. But she leaves a note explaining that she killed the babies in the garden because they were deformed by the disease. Campbell is taken into custody.
This was a good mystery story. There were many twists and turns. I enjoy the time period of this story. The Victorian period is fascinating to me. Charlotte manages to help Thomas in his investigations even though she is a stay-at-home wife. And even Lady Emily gets involves in this mystery.