Highgate Rise (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #11)

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Overview

Clemency Shaw, the wife of a prominent doctor, has died in a tragic fire in the peaceful suburb of Highgate. But the blaze was set by an arsonist, and it is unclear whether she or Dr. Shaw was the intended victim—or did the doctor himself set the blaze in order to inherit his wife’s large fortune? Baffled by the scarcity of clues in this terrible crime, Inspector Thomas Pitt turns to the people who had been closest to the couple—Clemency’s stuffy but distinguished relatives. Meanwhile, Pitt’s wellborn wife, ...

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Highgate Rise (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #11)

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Overview

Clemency Shaw, the wife of a prominent doctor, has died in a tragic fire in the peaceful suburb of Highgate. But the blaze was set by an arsonist, and it is unclear whether she or Dr. Shaw was the intended victim—or did the doctor himself set the blaze in order to inherit his wife’s large fortune? Baffled by the scarcity of clues in this terrible crime, Inspector Thomas Pitt turns to the people who had been closest to the couple—Clemency’s stuffy but distinguished relatives. Meanwhile, Pitt’s wellborn wife, Charlotte, retraces the dangerous path that Clemency walked in the last months of her life, finding herself enmeshed in a sinister web that stretches from the lowest slums to the loftiest centers of power.

The Victorian mystery series starring Inspector Thomas Pitt and Charlotte Pitt reaches new heights. When Dr. Stephen Shaw's fancy Highgate Rise home is burned to the ground with his wife inside, the Inspector and his wife must solve a baffling mystery. "Rounded out by a host of lively characters, this is a memorable tale."--Publishers Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“When it comes to the Victorian mystery, Anne Perry has proved that nobody does it better.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Give her a good murder and a shameful social evil, and Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens’s eyes pop.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Perry gets the Victorian mood just right. . . . Settle in with this one on a rainy day.”—Booklist
 
“Descriptions of London’s Upstairs/Downstairs society [are] historically illuminating.”—St. Petersburg Times
 
“Rounded out by a host of lively characters, this is a memorable tale.”—Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
YA-- London in the 1890s is the setting for this page-turner. Inspector Thomas Pitt has been called in to help solve a murder in a fashionable suburb of the city. Clemency Shaw, the wife of a prominent physician, has been killed in a fire deliberately started in her house, but it's unclear whether she was the intended victim. As the inspector searches for clues, facts unravel and lead readers to the East End and an investigation of slum landlords. Through such characters as Clemency Shaw and Inspector Pitt's wife, Charlotte, Perry reveals the role of women in Victorian society--a time of boredom for middle- and upper-class women and extreme hardship for the working class. A gripping mystery as well as a look into the London of gas lights and foggy nights. --Roberta Lisker, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA-
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345523761
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Series: Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series , #11
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 239,283
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (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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