©2005 Linda Lael Miller; (P)2007 Recorded Books,LLC
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is the first book in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series. I have almost finished the Monk series set in 1850's London so thought I would try Perry's other series. This one is set in the 1880's in England. I enjoy Perry's stories of Victorian England because she does so much research and places her fictional story into a real scene. I was surprised to learn that it was not acceptable behavior for women to read a newspaper. The father or husband was to read the paper and then read or summarize what he thought was suitable for the women to know. In both of Perry's series she has the woman lead fighting against the restraints that society was placing on women. This book has a series of murders of young women in the Cater street neighborhood where Charlotte lives. Pitt is the investigator on the case and he interviews the Ellison family. The pace of the story is slow with lots of details of family and societal life of the 1880. The suspense builds up as the story goes along. Perry has a excellent command of the English language and builds her plot in an interesting way. Davina Porter narrated the book. She is one of my favorite narrators. If you enjoy this type of mystery stories you will be happy choosing this book..
If you like English Who-dun-its.. you'll like this! The characters are human and Ms Perry's mind is inventive. I've listened to all the available audio's in this series and have always been pleased. The only constructive criticism I could even begin to offer, is that the book's endings are always abrupt. Once the crime is solved, that is it! No nice "wrap up" ... but, the stories are great.. characters likeable and crimes ... unusual. Yes, I'd recommend the series.
I really like this book. I actually started with her second book first then I went back to her first book. Her books are definitely not for everyone. Most of the story is about the Victorian era with the mystery as the back drop. So a lot of the story will be dialogue among the people of the household and day to day events. I think some people could find this quite boring it they like the true type of mystery stories or a fast paced story. I thought her second book left a lot of the smaller stories in the book not finished and the story ended abruptly. This book also ended abruptly but with all the smaller stories completed. I discovered this author after reading some of the reviews for Masie Dobbs. I think anyone that like the Masie Dobbs series will also like this type of book and visa versa.
The actual reader is Davina Porter. I am not sure how the staff managed to get the name of the narrator wrong.
This is a good introduction to the Pitt series and in many way I have liked this book best of all. Davina Porter is a superb narrator and I find it unfortunate that many of the later books have male narrators.
Not really time well spent. This book is more about the interaction between the members of a Victorian era upperclass family then about a Victorian era mystery. I would say 85% of the book has lillte if anything to do with the mystery.
I would not reccomend this book to someone who is looking for a Victorian era mystery because that's not truly what the book is about. It's more about the relationships and prejudices of a Victorian era family.
Mary Poppins' sister
Be more careful in choosing my next audio book. Stop relying on listener's comments that simply say the book was "wonderful" or "marvellous" and start paying more attention to the listener's comments that take the time to actually describe why the listener so liked or so disliked the book.
Many people love Anne Perry's mysteries, so I tried this one, and I was very disappointed. I am going to try one more, just because so many others enjoy her books, but if it is another Victorian soap opera, that will be it for me.
This is my second time through this series. The first time was borrowing from the local library and I am VERY happy to now own them. This first book is exciting and sets the stage for all the others. Love the way Anne Perry writes and without all the sex that many other authors feel the need to add.
If you have not yet met the Pitts, do start here with the first in the wonderful series. These books are marvelous period pieces, but they are so much more. With intriguing characters, the engaging stories are of their time and yet timeless. This book will send you on your way to many hours of happy listening or reading. But do try these recorded versions. The narration by Davina Porter (not by the narrator named in the listing) is excellent. She conveys the necessary changes in characters without ever sounding false. I promise you an enjoyable time.
To call this a mystery seems a misinomer, its more of a Victorian domestic drama with a police inspector thrown into the mix to stir up the family dynamics. What a disagreeable group of people ! I won't be spending anymore time with them. Even the excellent Davina Porter can't save this.
As a fan of Anne Perry's second detective series featuring the protagonists William Monk and Hester Latterly, I was predisposed to like this first novel of her first detective series based on the characters Charlotte and William Pitt. It shows real promise for the rest of the series. Her barbed commentary on the clergy and religion in general suits me very well. She does a wonderful job of portraying the hypocrisies and excesses of Victorian society and how its patriarchal system must have been confining and oppressive for women all classes, but most especially middle class women. While women in the west have somewhat been released from this form of bondage, it is worth noting that we have not nearly reached parity with the men in our society. So, reading about Ms. Perry's feminist Victorian heroines is inspiring and useful to us today. On the other hand, the book becomes a bit overdone and uneven towards the conclusion, which does not portray its heroine in a very intelligent light and which could easily have been conceived to come to a similar heart-pounding climax while not making its main figure appear foolish. The dialog is wonderful and portrayed perfectly by the divine Davina Porter. I am looking forward to the second novel in the series.
Once again, Davina Porter (not Christina Moore) nails the characterization of a broad range of characters, but it's not enough to save a tedious plot. The story could have been accomplished with half the murders, for each of which the reader must sit through pages of hand-wringing, finger-pointing, and internal dialogue of doubts and counter-doubts. The classic antagonism between upper-class Brits and the police was also carried to extremes to make that point. I was hoping for a series to keep me going through the fall and winter, but I could barely finish this first volume. Multiple thumbs down.
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