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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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?

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Way too PC!!!

I bought this book because it was an Ann Perry. I didn't even listen to it because I have always liked her books but this one was so busy trying to be "politically correct" that I knew the secret within minutes of the first consultation. I kept hoping I was wrong and continued to listen but no . . . This book was just badly written. All the main characters suddenly became stupid or bad at their jobs. Soooooo disappointed!!!

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A fan ..

The relationships, settings historical information and satisfying puzzles have me hooked to stay with the whole series,.. this is #9 so happily I have up to 23 to go .. so far.

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One of my favorite Monk mysteries

Interesting story with a startling turn of events in the middle. A lot here about gender, as is common in Perry's books, but this one is particularly interesting. I've read many Monk mysteries and this is one of my favorites.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good one for Anne Perry

Any additional comments?

There were enough twists and turns to keep my interest. It took a while for me to catch on to the subtle foreshadows. Very nicely done. It was done well right to the end.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.