Mystery Series Reviews | A Dangerous Mourning

Anne Perry, William Monk #2

A Dangerous Mourning is the second of the William Monk series, and we are once again in London. Monk continues to grapple with his loss of memory, trying to do his job daily while wishing for, and waiting for, jolts of memory to return. Ms. Perry keeps us in suspense about Monk’s return of memory, or lack thereof, all the while continuing to build for the reader Monk’s personality as an intelligent detective and an irascible human being. The murder of a young woman, Octavia Haslett, a member of an elite and wealthy family, assists Ms. Perry in establishing Monk’s difficult yet sensitive personality.

Ms. Perry also brings to a conclusion the murder of the first novel as she weaves in the trial of the accused murderer of Joscelyn Grey. While Monk investigates the murder of Octavia Haslett, he and Hester Latterly testify for the defense at this trial. It is here that we are introduced to Oliver Rathbone, the brilliant attorney for the defense, and a man who plays significant roles in subsequent novels.

An ongoing narrative about how William and Hester feel about one another ensues: both of them admiring certain aspects of the other and at the same time finding considerable fault with the personality of the other. Two additional characters play large parts as this series progresses: Lady Callandra Daviot, who supports both Monk and Miss Latterly; and Sergeant Evan, who assists Monk in his investigations.

Early on in his investigation of the death of Mrs. Haslett, Monk discovers and discloses to Octavia’s father that it can be nothing other than a crime committed by someone in the household. Miss Latterly, currently working at an infirmary, once again becomes involved in the investigation.

Next up:  Savage Run by C.J. Box

Harriet Engle, a Staff Assistant at the Manheim Community Library, is an avid reader of several authors who write murder mystery series. Look for her weekly reviews highlighting each of these series.

Note: If you decide to start one of the series being reviewed and wish to read the next in the series, go to, type in the author, and scroll down to see which book was written next under that series. The Manheim Community Library may not have the book you want, but staff will be happy to order it for you from another library.

You can also find and request the next book in the series right from the LSLC catalog. Search the book you have just read from the search bar at the top right of Click on the title to open up the book information and then scroll down to the section marked “Series”. At a glance, you can see the series and where the book you searched is in the series. For series of more than 14 titles, click on the button below that says “See Full Series”. To request another title from this section, just click on the cover and it will take you to the screen to request a copy from the Library System of Lancaster County to be delivered to Manheim Community Library (or another library in the LSLC.)