Masidza Galavu Galavu من عند النجاجرة، الجزائر
I've waited a few years now for another entry in this series and when I learned that this one was coming out this spring, I pounced on it. It is a worthy successor to all the previous entries. This one starts a bit differently. Monk is chasing a thoroughly despicable character, one who uses and abuses small boys for the entertainment of his clientele, the stodgy, upright Victorian "gentlemen" that Perry portrays so vividly. Monk catches his prey in the first chapter and he and his beloved Hester rejoice. All seems well, but soon a fly finds its way into their ointment. Their friend and frequent ally in the fight against injustice, attorney Oliver Rathbone, is called upon to defend the dastardly prisoner. He accepts the challenge and defends the man with all of his skill, in the process casting aspersions on Monk and Hester and ripping the fabric of their friendship. The man is acquitted and Monk and Hester are devastated. The rest of the book is taken up with the pair's attempts, along with help from their friends and supporters, to redress this injusttice. One of the characters who plays a pivotal role here is the young boy, Scuff, who has helped Monk before. Now the childless Monks take this street child into their home for his protection and it would seem that he will take his place among other recurring characters in this Victorian series. Perry paints the streets and alleyways, great homes and flophouses of Victorian England so vividly that one feels one is there. She has a particular empathy for the horrors suffered by women and children in that closed society and she explores those issues in this as well as all the books of this series and the Pitt series as well. The reader can always be assured that there will be justice at the end of one of these Monk adventures and so there is. In the end, even Rathbone is back on the side of the angels, and all is well once again. Until the next book.