Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pentecost Alley

by Anne Perry
July 20, 2012

I love summer time reading.  I don't necessarily like "beach reads." I just read whatever strikes my fancy.  Some of my favorite summer time reads from childhood to now have been: To Kill a Mockingbird, read while visiting Grandmother, et al, in Nashville. There was a painting of Aunt Mickey along with a very young Mary and two of her brothers (not sure which ones).  I always imagined that Mary and whoever was the dark-headed brother were actually Scout and Jem.  Another summer it was The October Country, read mostly at the breakfast room table over lunches of banana and peanut butter sandwiches.  Journey to the Center of the Earth - read while working as a phone answerer at Ferguson Precast Products in Memphis. Believe it or not (I can't) one summer I read Vietnam: The Definitive Oral History,Told From All Sides. It took me all summer, but I read it!  The entire Chronicles of Narnia, listened to on audio several summers ago.  The Bartimeus Triliogy, listened to last summer on audio.  One summer, a few years ago I read and listened to several mystery books that I would otherwise not have picked up. That was for the mystery-themed summer reading program. 

Since last year I have been reading Anne Perry books. A marathon of Anne Perry books.  I read them in summer, fall, winter and spring, but I really enjoy them the most in the summer. I kind of like the familiarity of the same characters in each book I read.  So, I keep hopping from one Perry book to the next.

Pentecost Alley was really a good one.  As she did with her later Monk books, Perry has taken her detective out of the drawing rooms of the wealthy elite of London and into more diverse locations and situations.  Pitt still deals with the upper class. In fact, since becoming Superintendent, he only deals with crimes involving very wealthy or prominent citizens.  But the situations are becoming more and more interesting.

A prostitute is found murdered. Nothing unusual there, but she has been strangled with her own stocking, a garter placed on her arm, her shoes buttoned together, her fingers and toes broken and water thrown over her face.  Who would commit such a torture and in such an odd way? Perhaps it was Finley FitzJames. After all, one of his cuff links is found in the chair cushion and a pin from the Hellfire Club is found underneath the body.

Pitt becomes involved because of the prominence of the FitzJames family.  Finley had been a member, along with three of his friends, in a club called The Hellfire Club. But he insists that he had nothing to do with the murder of the prostitute. Pitt had better be sure before he arrests Finley or there could be terrible trouble.

That's the situation.  What ensues is good story full of twists and turns. I had this one kind of figured out early on.  But only kind of.

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