Belgrave Square (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #12)

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Overview

When an obscure moneylender named William Weems is murdered in the humble Clerkenwell district, there are no mourners—and there is more than a little discreet rejoicing among those whose meager earnings he so mercilessly devoured. Yet when Inspector Pitt finds in the murdered man’s office a list containing the names of some of London’s most distinguished gentlemen, he begins to realize the magnitude of his duty. William Weems, it transpires, was no common usurer but a vicious blackmailer. Fortunately, Pitt’s ...

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Belgrave Square (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #12)

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Overview

When an obscure moneylender named William Weems is murdered in the humble Clerkenwell district, there are no mourners—and there is more than a little discreet rejoicing among those whose meager earnings he so mercilessly devoured. Yet when Inspector Pitt finds in the murdered man’s office a list containing the names of some of London’s most distinguished gentlemen, he begins to realize the magnitude of his duty. William Weems, it transpires, was no common usurer but a vicious blackmailer. Fortunately, Pitt’s clever, well-born wife, Charlotte, has entrée to London’s best society. Her insights prove to be invaluable to Pitt’s investigation as she observes, at glittering balls and over gossipy tea tables, a world of passion, power, and greed that the police are seldom permitted to see.

The 12th mystery in the beloved Inspector and Charlotte Pitt Victorian mystery series, now a hardcover success. When a moneylender named William Weems is murdered, there is discreet rejoicing among those whose meager earnings he devoured. But the plot thickens when Inspector Pitt finds a list of London's distinguished gentlemen in Weems' office.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Pulsates with the sights and sounds of Victorian London.”—The Pittsburgh Press

“[Anne] Perry’s characters are vivid and well-drawn. . . . If you want to be privy to the romance, politics, and scandal of Victorian London, this descriptive, leisurely paced mystery may well be your cup of Earl Grey tea.”—Houston Chronicle

“A well-plotted puzzle . . . Perry’s compassionate characterizations demonstrate the extremes of Victorian society, from the chilling conditions of the poor cowering on doorsteps to the poise of the warm and well-dressed inside.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Perry [is the] reigning monarch of the Victorian mystery.”—People
 
“The author has the eyes of a hawk for character.”—The New York Times Book Review

Library Journal
In the 12th Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery, the Victorian police detective and his wife explore society's upper crust after a moneylender is murdered. While the victim may have been killed by someone he was blackmailing, evidence points to aristocrats as well as members of the police force itself. This 1992 tale is the first Perry novel to reveal the existence of the Inner Circle, a secret society of the powerful and influential that will dog Thomas through several subsequent investigations. Because of her sister's pregnancy, Charlotte stands in as her politician brother-in-law's hostess and discovers clues helpful to the case. One of the better entries in the series because of the variety of suspects, a fascinating glimpse at sexual mores, and discussions of such figures as Lily Langtry and Oscar Wilde, Belgrave Square builds to a truly surprising climax. Davina Porter provides her usual exceptionally smooth reading. Highly recommended.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The masterful Perry ( Bethlehem Road , LJ 6/1/90) again re-creates Victorian London, where Inspector Pitt strives to solve the murder of a usurer with sinister connections to several distinguished gentlemen.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345523679
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Series: Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series , #12
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 213,442
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Perry
ANNE PERRY is the bestselling author of the World War I novels No Graves as Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep; as well as five holiday novels: A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Visitor, A Christmas Guest, A Christmas Secret, and A Christmas Beginning. She is also the creator of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England. Her William Monk novels include Dark Assassin, The Shifting Tide, and Death of a Stranger. The popular novels featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt include Long Spoon Lane, Seven Dials, and Southampton Row. Her short story "Heroes" won an Edgar Award. Anne Perry lives in Scotland. Visit her website at anneperry.net.

Biography

Born in London in October 1938, Anne Perry was plagued with health problems as a young child. So severe were her illnesses that at age eight she was sent to the Bahamas to live with family friends in the hopes that the warmer climate would improve her health. She returned to her family as a young teenager, but sickness and frequent moves had interrupted her formal education to the extent that she was finally forced to leave school altogether. With the encouragement of her supportive parents, she was able to "fill in the gaps" with voracious reading, and her lack of formal schooling has never held her back.

Although Perry held down many jobs—working at various times as a retail clerk, stewardess, limousine dispatcher, and insurance underwriter—the only thing she ever seriously wanted to do in life was to write. (In her '20s, she started putting together the first draft of Tathea, a fantasy that would not see print until 1999.) At the suggestion of her stepfather, she began writing mysteries set in Victorian London; and in 1979, one of her manuscripts was accepted for publication. The book was The Cater Street Hangman, an ingenious crime novel that introduced a clever, extremely untidy police inspector named Thomas Pitt. In this way an intriguing mystery series was born…along with a successful writing career.

In addition to the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels, Perry crafts darker, more layered Victorian mysteries around the character of London police detective William Monk, whose memory has been impaired by a coach accident. (Monk debuted in 1990's The Face of a Stranger.) She also writes historical novels set during the First World War (No Graves as Yet, Shoulder the Sky, etc.) and holiday-themed mysteries (A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Secret, etc), and her short stories have been included in several anthologies.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Anne Perry:

The first time I made any money telling a story I was four and a half years old—golden hair, blue eyes, a pink smocked dress, and neat little socks and shoes. I walked home from school (it was safe then) with my lunchtime sixpence unspent. A large boy, perhaps 12 or 13, stopped me. He was carrying a stick and threatened to hit me if I didn't give him my sixpence. I told him a long, sad story about how poor we were—no food at home, not even enough money for shoes! He gave me his half crown—five times sixpence! It's appalling! I didn't think of it as lying, just escaping with my sixpence. How on earth he could have believed me I have no idea. Perhaps that is the knack of a good story—let your imagination go wild, pile on the emotions—believe it yourself, evidence to the contrary be damned. I am not really proud of that particular example!

I used to live next door to people who had a tame dove. They had rescued it when it broke its wing. The wing healed, but it never learned to fly again. I used to walk a mile or so around the village with the dove. Its little legs were only an inch or two long, so it got tired, then it would ride on my head. Naturally I talked to it. It was a very nice bird. I got some funny looks. Strangers even asked me if I knew there was a bird on my head! Who the heck did they think I was talking to? Of course I knew there was a bird on my head. I'm not stupid—just a writer, and entitled to be a little different. I'm also English, so that gives me a second excuse!

On the other hand I'm not totally scatty. I like maths, and I used to love quadratic equations. One of the most exciting things that happened to me was when someone explained non-Euclidean geometry to me, and I suddenly saw the infinite possibilities in lateral thinking! How could I have been so blind before?

Here are some things I like—and one thing I don't:

  • I love wild places, beech trees, bluebell woods, light on water—whether the light is sunlight, moonlight, or lamplight; and whether the water is ocean, rain, snow, river, mist, or even a puddle.

  • I love the setting sun in autumn over the cornstooks.

  • I love to eat raspberries, pink grapefruit, crusty bread dipped in olive oil.

  • I love gardens where you seem to walk from "room to room," with rambling roses and vines climbing into the trees and sudden vistas when you turn corners.

  • I love white swans and the wild geese flying overhead.

  • I dislike rigidity, prejudice, ill-temper, and perhaps above all, self-righteousness.

  • I love laughter, mercy, courage, hope. I think that probably makes me pretty much like most people. But that isn't bad.
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      1. Also Known As:
        Juliet Hulme
      2. Hometown:
        Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
      1. Date of Birth:
        October 28, 1938
      2. Place of Birth:
        Blackheath, London England

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