2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · Book Reviews

The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #1) by Anne Perry


I’ve read several books in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, but somehow I’ve never managed to read the first one. Well, I’ve managed to correct that! As per usual with this series I listened to it on audiobook, which is what took me so long since I haven’t been driving as much in the summer. Davina Porter did another fantastic job with the narration as I’ve come to expect from her.

The story follows the Ellison family (Charlotte’s family) as they begin to deal with a hangman killing females on a street away. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the killings, just a single female, strangled and mutilated in the night. First it was a maid from another house, then the daughter of a close friend, then another maid from their house, slowly getting closer and closer to their lives. Inspector Thomas Pitt is assigned to the case and regularly interacts with the family in his pursuit of the killer. In doing so, he becomes more and more enamored with Charlotte, as she deals with her own feelings and the crazy family drama that is erupting around her, mostly from her two sisters and her grandmother.

The story is not completely full of twists and turns, but the ones that do occur are quite surprising. I didn’t see the answer until almost right before it was revealed. You meet a multitude of characters, some interesting, some annoying, all well developed, and are pulled in to the world of the upper class. It is interesting to watch the upper and lower classes meet through Thomas Pitt.

This book is a definite ode to the series and a great starting point. I can see why all the other stories are so well developed and unique because this book is what started them all. The story line is unique in its obstacles and turns, but also somewhat mundane. There are the things you expect to happen, but they either happen in a way you didn’t expect or they happen and have an effect on other events that you didn’t expect. I’m not sure I explained that right but I can’t seem to think of another way to say it…

Anyway, if you’ve never read this series, feel free to start right here at the beginning. This is a definite must for any historical mystery readers. Also, any readers who enjoy murder mysteries or are getting into murder mysteries, this is a fantastic read. There are no gory details or steamy scenes. It is a romance, but only as a secondary, possibly tertiary story line. Also, anyone who likes historical fiction, probably not 100% accurate mind you, would also really like this read. I’m glad I finally took the time to read it. I was honestly ecstatic how surprising it turned out.

My rating:

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2015 Pop Sugar Book Challenge · Book Reviews

Treason at Lisson Grove (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #26) by Anne Perry

I was some what let down by this particular Anne Perry book. I am a huge Anne Perry fan and normally her books are creative with lots of twists and turns that make it hard to guess the answers to the mysteries. This one seemed more like a transition book. It was actually predictable for the most part with only a couple surprises. It was still good, but not up to her usual caliber.

If you read the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, you know that pit moves from the police to Special Branch then to the Commander of Special Branch. This is the book where he becomes the head of Special Branch. The book starts with Pitt chasing a suspect and ending up in France. Shortly after, Victor Narroway is accused of theft and relieved of his office. The story follows Pitt as he uncovers the Socialist plot afoot while Narroway seeks to clear his name. He travels to Ireland in order to resolve the issue by approaching the people he betrayed twenty years ago.

The book follows Charlotte and Narroway mostly in my opinion. You seem to get more of him and her than of Pitt. I love Charlotte, but the story was slightly awkward. Charlotte accompanies Naroway to Ireland because Pitt is busy in France and cannot help. Since Narroway is in love with Charlotte everything is just…awkward. Poor Thomas comes home to a mess – Narroway fired, Charlotte gone,…and a new maid. LOL I love the new maid. You don’t read much about her in this book, but she pops up in later stories and I like her.

All in all, not a bad book. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone just starting to read Anne Perry, but if you are trying to read the series, this book is one of the transition reads you need. It’s more a necessity to facilitate the changes that allow for the rest of the series.

My rating:

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2015 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge · Book Reviews

Dorchester Terrace (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #27) by Anne Perry

This is another Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novel I read as an audiobook. So far, I have only had Devina Porter do the narrations, but this time it was Michael Page. It was difficult to adjust at first, but he made the book more serious and gravelly which was a nice addition to this story.

The story intertwines with the adjustments happening in the lives of the Pitts, the Radleys, and Victor Narroway. Victory Narroway is a character I had not run into so far (I’ve been reading the books out of order), but he is a very interesting and complex character. The premise of the story is the attempt to thwart the assassination of a visiting dignitary and easing the fears of an elderly spy who is terrified of revealing secrets that are better left silent. You meet an strong set of characters that are very well developed – I particularly like how Adrianna Blantyre was portrayed. I am not sure why, but I particularly liked her. Lady Vespasia makes a strong appearance in this book as well, which always makes the story more intriguing – she is such a strong and unique character. However, she does not play as much of a flashy role as she sometimes does. She is a very important influence in this book, just much subtler than usual. Also, Charlotte is not as much a part of the story line as I would like. I love her character, but she did not play as much of role as she usually does. She is, however, woven in and out of the story beautifully and I hope that she regains her strong partner position once Pitt settles into his new role.

Anne Perry again does a fantastic job of creating a complex, changing, and surprising story line where twists and turns abound. This is so far the most political book that I have read so far, but this is understandable as it is the first book in which Thomas Pitt takes over as head of Special Branch. The story was political in that it focused on political motives of the vast majority of characters. I am not very strong in unwinding politics or seeing how all of the strings connect, but the author does a fantastic job of not losing you without giving too much away. What I was most impressed by was the emotional impact of the book. So far it is the most emotionally wrenching and pulling that I have seen so far in her work. You feel so much for Thomas and the other members of the story. From the fear, passion, arrogance, insecurity, moral dilemmas, and avarice, you are pulled in every direction by the characters and their desires. The end was as good as the turmoil within the rest of the book. Again, there are aspects of the book that I wish will be concluded in later books, but I can not go into those aspects without spoiling some of the best twists in the book! It is definitely worth the read. Just be prepared to really think and puzzle out events if you are trying to guess the murderers before Pitt!

My rating:

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2015 Pop Sugar Book Challenge · Book Reviews

Belgrave Square (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #12) by Anne Perry

So I want to start out by saying I read this as an unabridged audiobook. The narrator was Devina Porter – so far she has narrated every Thomas Pitt novel I have listened to and she does a fantastic job. My husband got me into the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series this past year. He loves good mysteries and Anne Perry does an amazing job of adding twists and turns that you would never expect. Belgrave Square is not exception. The series are all stand alone books, but usually reference incidents or events in previous books. The author explains anything referenced from other books very well, so you do not get lost at all, but you learn about endings of some of the other cases Pitt has worked on. Not all the time, like in this story, but some times it happens.

The book is full of political intrigue, scandals, blackmail, the concerns and cares of Society, and the trials of the working class. I thought it was a great book. Throughout the book, there are developments and dead ends, sudden changes in people and the mystery of how to survive in Society. Like her other books, the case does not become clear until the very end, keeping you engaged throughout the investigation. I somewhat guessed (not completely correct, but not totally wrong either) who was doing what and being blackmailed for what, but the ending was a surprise, which is always nice. Also, some of the scandals mentioned were quite interesting to follow.

I think I have a tendency to like Charlotte more than Thomas, but I think it is because she can be so clever and daring where Thomas is restricted by his job. We also meet Sergeant Innes in this book. I hope to see more of him in future books, though I don’t think we will. He was a fun character. Also, when the story resolved, I felt there were a few things unsettled. I hope to hear more about the young couple that was trying to get together (I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m not mentioning names) and also what happened to Pitt’s superior and his love interest.

For anyone getting into Anne Perry, I would recommend Silence in Hanover Close (it’s my favorite of her books so far). It was more amusing and surprising than this particular book, but they are both very good and worth the read.

My rating:

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