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No Graves as Yet: A Novel of World War I, 1st Edition Hardcover – August 26, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345456521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345456526
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,363,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This absorbing mystery/spy thriller, set in tranquil Cambridge just before the onset of the Great War, marks a powerful start to bestseller Perry's much anticipated new series. In a lush and deceptively peaceful opening scene, college professor and chaplain Joseph Reavley is interrupted while watching a cricket game by his intelligence officer brother, Matthew, who reports the sudden death of their parents in a car crash. This horrifying news sets off a long but compelling investigation by the brothers that takes them across verdant summertime England, looking for a secret document that their father was trying to deliver to Matthew at the time of his death. Against a backdrop of ominous news from the continent, Perry artfully weaves connections between pacifist students at Cambridge, one of whom is also murdered, and German agents who may be planning "a conspiracy to ruin England and everything we stand for." The intrigue is further complicated by jilted lovers and jealous spouses at the university, all with grudges against an alleged blackmailer in their midst who may also be privy to exam cribbing and other illicit goings-on. Perry's title, a quotation from G.K. Chesterton, is a portent of the carnage that soon awaits the youth of England, yet by the final resolution of this gripping case, many graves have regrettably already been filled in Cambridge's serene churchyards.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

PRAISE FOR ANNE PERRY AND HER VICTORIAN NOVELS

“Intelligently written and historically fascinating.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“You can count on a Perry tale to be superior.”
—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“[A] master of crime fiction who rarely fails to deliver a strong story and a colorful cast of characters.”
The Baltimore Sun

The Reavley Chronicles

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More About the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Assassin and The Shifting Tide, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including The Cater Street Hangman, Calandar Square, Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as six holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Grace. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.

Customer Reviews

So many characters and a bit too much introspective pondering.
ljk48
I look forward to reading about what happens to them in the War in the next book in this series.
L. Kelly
The ending was an anticlimax, leaving me glad the book was done.
Old Audio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Huston on October 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a very long time, I read Anne Perry's ongoing series of mysteries set in Victorian England. It didn't matter if they were centered around the husband and wife team of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, or the enigmatic William Monk. But after a while, they started to pale -- after all, the mystery genre fits into a formula of a body is found, an outsider is brought in to find the clues and the people associated with the killing, and eventually justice is served, usually to the delight of the reader who is assured that good will triumph. Read enough of these, and after a time, you can start to pick out what will be happening in the first hundred pages or so. And so, with a sigh of regret on my part, I stopped reading Anne Perry quite so much.

But in 2002 or so, Ms. Perry started a new series of mysteries that are more of historical novel than a set of ongoing whodunits. Set in and around the events of the First World War, and more specifically, one family's survival in the tragedy, there would be a definite beginning and end to the series.

No Graves As Yet is the first novel of the five. It begins in the rich days of June 1914. Joseph Reavley is a teacher at Cambridge University, watching a match of cricket when news arrives of a terrible accident involving his parents, John and Alys, a prosperous middle-class couple. As his siblings gather for the funeral, Joseph realizes along with his brother Matthew that their parents' death may have actually been a murder -- but with little proof, and even less motive, the family has little go on.

Joseph returns to Cambridge, Matthew to London, both of them searching for something to make the horror of the deaths have some kind of sense.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Anne M. Hunter VINE VOICE on December 18, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Anne Perry has developed great depth and skill since her early novels. I think if one is expecting simply a murder/detective mystery one might be put off by the social and moral issues that are at the center of this book. The glimpses of Cambridge University
and Britain's Intelligence Service in 1914 are wonderful. The
characters are so real that I cried several times practically from
the beginning of the book. I can't wait for the next book to arrive.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I eagerly anticipated Anne Perry's new series set during World War I, but this muddled, ill-conceived mystery was a major disappointment. Perry's mysteries revolve around her characters as much as the plot, so the Reavleys are a surprisingly dull and unsympathetic bunch. These alleged Cambridge intellectuals use bad grammar and address each other in mawkish speeches which are ludicrous coming from stiff upper-lip 1914 Britons.
The real problem with No Graves as Yet is that the author failed to do enough research to truly bring this period of history to life. She seems unaware that Cambridge was a center of social and intellectual ferment and misses the opportunity to enliven her narrative and enlighten her readers with cameo appearances by historical figures such as Rupert Brooke. There's a lot of maundering about war and peace in No Graves as Yet, but Perry fails to portray the intense patriotism of the British people, which led even the most radical Socialists to join the army in 1914. The betrayal of that patriotism is the story of World War I and it's especially relevant to today's world. It's a shame that Perry chose to narrowly focus on her flimsy characters and murder plot instead of putting more history into this historical mystery.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It somewhat dismays me that some of the readers' reviews for this book seem to be more concerned with comparing it to the author's Pitt series rather than evaluating it on its own terms. I'm sure the Pitt books were very good, but the fact remains that Anne Perry has chosen to move on. Nostalgia for that series should not cause No Graves As Yet to be treated more harshly than otherwise would be the case.

In any event, I found No Graves As Yet to be a good if not outstanding work. The author's strongest point is her ability to capture a time and place so well with what's usually a fairly brief description. Consider the opening paragraph: "It was a golden afternoon in late June, a perfect day for cricket. The sky burned in a cloudless sky, and the breeze was barely sufficient to stir the slender, pale skirts of the women as they stood on the grass at Fenner's Field, parasols in hand. The men, in white flannels, were relaxed and smiling." I'm not a particularly imaginative sort, yet I had no trouble at all picturing myself at a Cambridge cricket field in 1914, thanks to just three descriptive sentences. Other examples of terse yet vivid descriptions abound throughout the book. Ms. Perry also does a fine job at portraying the atmosphere of fear and suspicion pervading the college where much of the action occurs, as well as the apprehension - often expressed through denial - of upcoming war.

As for the story itself, it was a reasonably interesting mystery with the requisite number of twists and turns, though things were thrown at us very quickly near the end, making for some confusion. I had to re-read the last chapter just to make sure I had it right. Ms. Perry also was able to blend in a little bit of history into the story without making it all seem contrived.
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