adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $22.95

Buy for $22.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The plaintiffs in a sensational breach of promise suit are wealthy social climbers Barton and Delphine Lambert, suing on behalf of their beautiful daughter, Zillah. The defendant is Zillah's alleged fiancé, brilliant young architect Killian Melville, who adamantly declares that he will not, cannot, marry her. Not even to his counsel, distinguished barrister Sir Oliver Rathbone, will Killian explain his rejection of rich and charming Zillah. Utterly baffled, Rathbone turns for help to his old comrades in crime - Monk, the private investigator who knows his city like the back of his hand, and fearless nurse Hester Latterly. But even as they scout London for clues, from Mayfair to sordid Devil's Acre, the case suddenly and tragically ends. An outcome that no one - except a ruthless murderer - could have foreseen.

©2000 Anne Perry (P)2000 AudioGO

What listeners say about A Breach of Promise

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    218
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    234
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    196
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Favorite Anne Perry Book

"A Breach of Promise" has long been one of my favorite Anne Perry stories. The thing that first drew me to her books is the interesting detail of daily life in Victorian England, especially including the depiction of the place of, and restrictions on, women in that day and age. They were truly chattels under the law, the property (like livestock) of their fathers and then their husbands, totally dependent upon the men in their life. When upper-class women married, their entire fortunes (if any) became the property of their husbands. They were not allowed to work or engage in any past time which might provide them with an income to live on, and their only chance of independence was to survive the death of their husbands with no other male available to inherit.

This book in particular takes a hard look at the prospects of an unmarried woman in that society. It has all the features which I enjoy in reading Anne Perry: well-rounded characters, both the leading characters (Monk, Hester, and Oliver Rathbone) and the secondary and incidental ones. There is also the obligatory trial that occurs in almost every William Monk story. And this book also has a surprise twist that leads to the ending; an ending that is smoother and not as jolting as some of Ms. Perry's "tacked on" climaxes. She also gives us a peek at Monk and Hester's future at the very end.

Although I still miss hearing Davina Porter's narrations of the Anne Perry books, I found Terrence Hardiman's reading to be quite good and better than David Colacci's efforts.

I do wish that all the books of the Pitt and Monk series were available from Audible so that I could listen to the entire series in order. But this book does very well standing alone.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but too long

I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it but I guessed the main issue driving the story. Having said that, I get the historical context but the author focuses WAY too much time on antiquated views on women by men in Victorian England which is way over the top. Come on - enough is enough. The reader gets it. Tiresome. I am also tired of the writing technique where the idiot men are allowed to babble, misinterpret and misconstrue the words and actions of the heroes but the latter just stands there stupefied frozen in rage. How about some enlightenment on the part of the idiots? That can happen in real life - and does. Also Hester is fed some in your face push back by a less enlightened woman and rightfully so. I like Hester as a character but she can be annoying for the right reasons - someone like that today would be cut off socially for being a pain in the neck despite her good works. Way too humorless, takes herself too seriously and hardly someone you would associate with caregiving. Monk is another character who sounds like a neurotic mess in this novel. One last thing I would add is the author needs to tie up loose ends - I notice she doesn't do that with a lot of her novels. The endings are satisfactory but too many loose ends. Do the bad guys get it? Do the good guys live happily ever after? How about an epilogue?

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Fascinating mystery, set in London, 19th century. I thought I had figured it out from foreshadowing. But i had guessed wrong. There was a surprising twist, and another layer to the mystery.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Candy

This is a very detailed story which I feel could of been shortened up quite a bit! It is a good story if one has the patience!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very slow start

This book was much slower than others i have read in the series. The last one third was good enough to take it to four stars.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Compassionate Story

I have loved all of Anne Perry’s books, but this is far and away my favorite. Her exposure in this story of the injustice wrought by human judgements made, not according to “contents of character,” but instead by “accidents of nature” is harrowing but heartwarming in Hester’s and Monk’s responses to evidence of such cruel social injustice. AND, IMHO the denouement is perfection on the page. 👏💖🙏🥰

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another excellent installment

As always, the characters are beautifully written and the story excellent . Nice to see some forward motion in the main characters' various relationships. I was pleasantly surprised by the narrator. Previous audio books I had heard in this series had been narrated by Davina Porter who is wonderful, but I enjoyed Terrance Hardiman very much.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

OK but not spectacular

I've listened to and enjoyed several of Anne Perry's books, but this one falls somewhat below average for her.

To be clear, there are a lot of enjoyable characters in this story. Sir Oliver Rathbone is a good character, and Hester is great.

But the pacing of the story is unfortunate. The first part of the book develops with agonizing slowness. I just don't need that much anguish over an unwinnable case that's going to come to trial. Once we get to the trial things pick up nicely, and bring us an interesting twist. But in resolving that twist, Ms. Perry must have realized that the book had already gone on too long, and gives us a Deus Ex Machina ending that just wraps everything up too quickly.

And second, the story just beat the listener over the head about how bad Victorian society's limited roles for women were. Yes, this is a crucial part of the plot, but there's no reason to keep pounding away once the point has been made the first five or six times.

I enjoyed it enough to finish the story, but can't imagine listening to it again. There are just too many parts that I know I wouldn't want to be sitting through.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Long, but picks up in middle

I have not read the other Monk books. I started with this one because it was included with my audible membership. This made it a little harder to follow the different characters at first. I almost stopped listening a couple times because there was so much detail. It has a nice depth of characters and background. Much of it you can miss and be fine, but it is written well. It picked up about half way through as we learn more about Melville. I was worried the rest of the book would be as slow moving as the first half, and almost stopped there. Then it picked up once they started trying to solve a murder. (I had started to think maybe it wasn't a murder mystery). I got really into it the 4 hours. Then I felt like it ended too soon. Compared to all the detail in the rest of the book, it seemed like there could have easily been another 2 hours of intriguing story to be told. I wanted it to continue, to see the murderer approached and tried, instead of just knowing they would be. However, since there was so much background and detail previously, you can figure out really well what the characters would do. So it does leave you to think about it, but I kind of just wanted her to tell me :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I didn't expect to enjoy this so much!

It's been decades since I've read (listened) to this genre, but my favorite editor and teacher (Lynn Skapyak Harlin) recommends Anne Perry heartily. So I gave it a go. I found the characters engaging, the plot twists exhilarating enough to draw me in deeper, and traveling back to the Victorian era warmed my heart (and reset my feminist resolve). I chose this title somewhat randomly, looking for a first Anne Perry book. I was especially delighted to find the theme of architecture running through the book because I spent almost forty years as a female architect. Hearing the spatial descriptions brought me many smiles. Now I'm trying to decide whether to go back to the beginning of the Monk series or try a different thread.