Crack another case with William Monk.
©1991 Anne Perry; (P)1995 Recorded Books, LLC
"As tension mounts in the household and a handsome and disliked footman becomes a scapegoat, Monk covertly arranges to introduce Hester Latterly, who served with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea and has helped Monk before, as a nurse in the Moidore home. Although a grave miscarriage of justice occurs and Monk is dismissed from the police force for a matter of conscience, the strong-willed pair persists in pressing the case to its chilling conclusion." (Publishers Weekly)
"Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens's eyes pop." (New York Times Book Review)
"A richly textured, masterfully plotted, thoroughly enjoyable read." (Kirkus Reviews)
This is the first book in the William Monk series to which I have listened and I absolutely loved it. I intend to listen to as many of the series as I can. I enjoy Davina Porter's wonderful reading and accent which are perfect for this engaging Victorian novel. I am already involved with Nurse Latterly, Monk and the dashing lawyer, Oliver Rathbone and can't wait to meet them again.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
The second William Monk book deals primarily with the power of the wealthy and the aristocracy (the male members thereof) to hide all manner of scandalous situations, in order to avoid any hint of scandal to touch their families. Which often was accomplished through manipulation of information and the blaming of scapegoats among the servants or other members of the lower classes. In such men's eyes, the wellbeing, and even the lives of servants and similar creatures are easily sacrificed in order to keep their own and their families' reputations unsullied.
In "A Dangerous Mourning," a widowed daughter of Sir Basil Moidore is found stabbed in her own bed in her father's house. Monk is assigned to the case along with his assistant, Sergeant Evan. As the investigation proceeds, certain evidence is turned up pointing to a disliked footman in the household, but Monk feels that there is something wrong going on. In order to find out what that something is, he enlists Hester Latterly to help by becoming private nurse to Sir Basil's wife (mother of the murdered woman).
Because Monk is not convinced that the footman did it, and believes that there is insufficient evidence, he refuses a direct order from Runcorn, his boss in the police, and is fired/resigns from the force. Sergeant Evan is then forced to arrest the footman and the case is closed. Being forced to become a private investigator in order to make a living, Monk continues the investigation through Hester. No, this does not mean Monk and Hester have made up all their differences: they still argue as often as not and are continually offending each other. However, they do recognize a certain intelligence and integrity in each other, and a similar dedication to equity and justice.
As I read this second book, I became more aware of Perry's skill at describing people, both physically and in character. Really quite good!
In addition, it occurred to me that it is important to read these William Monk books in order. Not only do characters reappear from previous books, but references are made in one book to cases which occur in previous books. For instance, this book contains references to the Gray case, which was the case in the first Monk book. And book 3, which I am now reading, refers to matters arising both in the Gray case, and in the Moidore case (book 2). So, while the books can be enjoyed in any order, the greatest enjoyment comes in chronological order.
However you decide to read these booksk, you are sure to have a wonderful time!
Narrative makes the world go round.
This drags a bit in the middle, with modern sensibility and vocabulary peeking through in places, but overall I think it a very good listen for fans of period mysteries with "PG" ratings. Perry's endings always seem to compensate for the mean.
As usual, Davina Porter adds value to the listen with her excellent narration.
Self-admitted lazy reader who delights in listening to audiobooks!
I probably wouldn't listen to the book again, but not because I didn't enjoy the narrator or the story, but because there are so many more stories out there to read or listen to. I'll never live long enough to hear them all!
This was my second Anne Perry tale and I am completely hooked. I can't wait to read more of her books. Anytime I see Davina Porter as the narrator of a book, I am almost guaranteed to find it a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
In this Monk series, she tackles modern day questions and issues in a 1850’s Victorian era. I must admit, the twists this story took surprised me. I really didn’t think she’d allow “it” to happen, but she did! (trying not to give any spoilers!). This book kept me on an emotional roller-coaster. No, I didn’t guess who-dun-it until the last page. And, of course, we have the typical Perry ending.. abrupt! Once the solution is revealed, the story ends.. no nice emotional tidying up.
Ms. Porter is, as usual, phenomenal as the narrator. She lends class and believability to every part she portrays.
I recommend this book highly for anyone enjoying a great mystery in a PG setting!
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is book number 2 in the Monk series. I finished book 1 and could hardly wait to listen to number 2 and now I completed this one, of course, I can hardly wait to download number 3. Anne Perry brings to life the 1850s London. Hester's experience in the Crimean War sent me off to read up on that War. Enjoy the interaction between Hester and Monk and am excited to read the book when they get together. Davina Porter brings the book to life, she is a great narrator.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
The Inspector Monk series seems to be getting off to a wonderful start. I am not surprised, as I also enjoy the writing of Anne Perry in her other Thomas Pitt series as well. In listening to this one, it would help, though is not strictly necessary, to have read the first book, "Face Of A Stranger," for two reasons. It introduces the relationship and personalities of Monk and nurse Hester Latterly, since it appears they will be the feature players going forward. We learned a great deal more about them, as characters, in the first novel. Secondly, this book has more than the usual references to what happened in the first book; indeed, even continues that story just a bit. It give the reader sort of an epilogue to the first.
That being said, this book is quite good. It could be read as a stand alone novel. It concerns the death of a young widowed daughter who was living in the home of her parents, and appears to have been murdered in her bed. Inspector Monk is called in, and he is brought under great criticism (and worse) by his boss for daring to believe that the distinguished members of the family should be scrutinized as thoroughly as their downstairs staff. Because there is illness in the house, he calls in Hester Latterly (whom he met in the first book) to be their nurse, and his secret eyes and ears there.
Monk is not a man who will bow to pressure, or take the easy explanations. Nor is Hester Latterly. Though they have a personally conflicted relationship, they respect each other, and work well together at solving crimes. This appears to be a good series. I felt this one was a slight bit less exciting than the first, but not enough to lower it in "Star Value." I look forward to hearing more of these books, so far thinking they are quite good. Highly recommend.
Really good in so many ways. Well written; language and dialogue ring true; the main characters are very well developed and the myriad of secondary characters far more carefully developed than in many books. Strongly feminist and class-conscious (in fact the only objection I have to it is that the protagonists' views and behavior are a little unrealistically modern on those subjects...but that's fine if you know what to expect). Although the series is named William Monk, the female protagonist, Hester Latterly, does most of the detecting in this book. Davina Porter does a great job narrating.
I am new to this series and am glad I finally found it. I've read other Anne Perry series and really love historical mysteries like these. The characters are believable, the stories are good. The narrator is really excellent. Look forward to more. Which Audible had the entire series available.
"An enjoyable listen."
A good solid listen from a competent writer. It?s all here: period detail and atmosphere; a well constructed plot and believable characters. If you like a mystery set in the nineteenth century; this one won?t let you down. Perhaps it?s a little slow and ponderous in parts and the ending is rather abrupt but the measured pace is in keeping with the period setting. Don?t start with this book though; they?re written to be listened to in series
"A good listen"
A good listen. Solid storyline, well read. Particularly enjoyed the development of characters in this book - essential to listen to them in order to fully appreciate this.
"A dangerous mourning-very engrossing"
Thought I would give Anne Perrys William Monk 'ago', this was the second book in this series I have listened to and I am hooked.
This story was engrossing right to the end and I actually gasped at the' reveal.'
You can feel the two main characters gaining respect for each other, and I'm sure they will get closer in time, which is another aspect to the story.
Davina Porters narration is pefect, she has a lovely lilt to her voice which encourages you to listen for hours.
The memorable moment was the reveal
She has a lovely voice, not annoying at all
When William was sacked, in my mind I was shouting at his boss ' YOU IDIOT' I hope back in Victorian times that the police force were not like you, but sadly I think they were
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