Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pitt Books

by Anne Perry
Summer 2012

Individual posts on these Anne Perry books are getting tedious.  The books are getting really good - she has opened up the plots of her Pitt series by bringing some of the peripheral characters to the forefront. Grandmother Ellison, Caroline, Gracie, Dominic Cord and Tellman have major roles in this set of books.  Pitt's job has changed and the villains have become less generic and more threatening to our hero.

I'll just add simple descriptions of each novel (from Perry's website) so that later I can remind myself of what each one is about.

"In affluent Brunswick Gardens the battle over Charles Darwin’s revolutionary theory of evolution intensifies as the respected Reverend Parmenter is boldly challenged by his beautiful assistant, Unity Bellwood, a ‘new woman’, whose feminism and aggressive Darwinism he finds appalling. When Unity, three months pregnant, tumbles down the staircase to her death, Pitt is certain that one of the three deeply devout men in the house has committed the murder, but which one..."
[Dominic Cord is featured in this one]

"The freshly dead body sprawled on the doorstep of General Brandon Ballantyne’s home, is an affront to every respectable sensitivity. The general denies all knowledge of the shabbily dressed victim, but Pitt does not believe him. In the dead man’s pocket he finds a rare snuff box that up until recently graced the general’s study. Pitt must tread carefully as it seems that many men, including his own police boss, are deeply involved in a complex web of blackmail, and further deaths may follow..."
[The "Inner Circle" rears it's ugly head again]

"For Pitt, the sight of a dead man riding the morning tide of the Thames is unforgettable. He lies in a battered punt drifting through the morning mist, his arms and legs chained to the sides of the boat, flowers strewn over his body. Pitt’s search for the victim’s identity leads him into London’s bohemia to the theatre where beautiful Cecily Antrim is outraging society with her bold portrayal of modern woman, and into the studios where masters of light and shadow are experimenting with the fascinating new art of photography."    [This was a good one!  But, as is often the case with the Pitt books, the ending was a bit unsatisfying.  Grandmother Ellison and Caroline are especially featured here.]

"It is Spring, 1892 and Queen Victoria persists in her life of self-absorbed seclusion. The grisly killings of Whitechapel prostitutes by Jack the Ripper remain a frightening enigma. In a packed Old Bailey courtroom, distinguished old soldier John Adinett is sentenced to hang for the inexplicable murder of his friend Martin Fetters. It should be a time for Pitt to rejoice and bask in the praise of his superiors, but through the machinations of the Inner Circle he is sacked from Bow Street and transferred to Special Branch. Far from his family and home he is now in the squalid and dangerous slums of London’s East End, but Gracie, the maid, is there to help him..."
[Vespasia plays a small, but critical role]

"Charles Voisey, of the Inner Circle, plans to run for Parliament against the Liberal candidate, Aubrey Serracold, whose wife attends séances in Southampton Row. But when the stylish clairvoyant is found brutally murdered the scandal could damage Serracold’s reputation and allow Voisey the chance to sweep to power and corrupt Parliament from within. Emily, wife of an MP, steps in to help Pitt with his investigations, as Charlotte and the children are away on holiday at the coast, but are they free from danger...?"
[Timely. I read this while the Republican Convention was going on. This book is quite a bit about politics and the whole political game of running for office.]

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