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Pentecost Alley (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #16)

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The murder of a prostitute named Ada McKinley in a bedroom on decrepit Pentecost Alley should occasion no stir in Victoria’s great metropolis, but under the victim’s body, the police find a Hellfire Club badge inscribed with the name “Finlay Fitzjames”—a name that instantly draws Superintendent Thomas Pitt into the case. Finlay’s father—immensely wealthy, powerful, and dangerous—refuses to consider the possibility that his son has been in Ada McKinley’s bed. The implication is clear: Pitt is to arrest someone ...

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Pentecost Alley (Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series #16)

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The murder of a prostitute named Ada McKinley in a bedroom on decrepit Pentecost Alley should occasion no stir in Victoria’s great metropolis, but under the victim’s body, the police find a Hellfire Club badge inscribed with the name “Finlay Fitzjames”—a name that instantly draws Superintendent Thomas Pitt into the case. Finlay’s father—immensely wealthy, powerful, and dangerous—refuses to consider the possibility that his son has been in Ada McKinley’s bed. The implication is clear: Pitt is to arrest someone other than Finlay Fitzjames for Ada’s demise. But Thomas Pitt is not a man to be intimidated, and with the help of his quick-witted wife, Charlotte, he stubbornly pursues his investigation—one that twists and turns like London’s own ancient streets.

The ritual murder of a prostitute causes no stir in London. But under the victim's body, the police find a Hellfire Club badge that instantly draws Superintendent Thomas Pitt into the case. A BOMC selection. HC: Fawcett. (Fiction--Mystery)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Vibrant . . alluring . . . It is [Perry’s] fine-bladed outrage that draws the blood in this series.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Difficult to put down . . . tricky and beautifully paced.”—The Virginian-Pilot

“Stands as one of her most intricately constructed plots . . . Perry packs a triple wallop into the final pages, one climax following another.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Unfolds in a masterly fashion, sure to satisfy devotees of the classic puzzle.”—Houston Chronicle
“Beautifully crafted, filled with the gaslit atmosphere of a bygone world.”—Cosmopolitan

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The 16th Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery demonstrates Perry's trademark skill for enhancing well-designed mystery plots with convincing historical settings and cleverly drawn relationships among characters. In this outing, Pitt, last seen in Traitors Gate, tackles a case that could cost him his career. As it has been only two years since the unsolved Jack the Ripper murders, the Home Office anxiously anticipates the speedy arrest of the person who has murdered a Whitechapel prostitute with her own stocking. Finlay FitzJames, a young diplomat who is the son of a powerful merchant banker, is the prime suspect, even though the evidence against him is circumstantial: an old Hellfire Club badge, inscribed with Finlay's name, was found under the prostitute in bed, and cufflinks with his initials were discovered in the room. While Pitt grapples with this politically sensitive case, his sister-in-law, Emily Radley, makes friends with Finlay's younger sister, a social butterfly named Tallulah. Thanks to Pitt's diligence (and Emily's and Tallulah's meddling), the case is closed. Or so it seems until another very similar murder occurs. Whitechapel residents are terrified anew, Parliament is filled with grumblings, the Queen conveys her displeasure and newspaper reporters are turning the investigation into a case study in police incompetence and corruption. As Perry edges toward her surprise ending, she crafts her tale with elegance, narrative depth and gratifying scope. BOMC main selection. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Thomas and Charlotte Pitt take on Jack the Ripper in this latest in Perry's best-selling Victorian mystery series.
Kirkus Reviews
Superintendent Thomas Pitt's rise to commander of the Bow Street station has carried him above the sordid run of London crime, but when Whitechapel prostitute Ada McKinley is tortured and strangled two years after the reign of Jack the Ripper, a cufflink and a button from the defunct Hellfire Club on the scene make the case sensitive enough to bring in Pitt. Both articles are traced to Finlay FitzJames, a young diplomat whose wealthy, ruthless father Augustus's massive contempt for Pitt and his mission casts his son in an even more suspicious light. Pitt, keenly aware of the pressure to arrest someone else, is relieved when his own wife Charlotte and her sister Emily Radley, insinuating themselves into the confidence of Finlay's sister Tallulah, uncover an alibi Finlay cannot make public—and even more relieved when he extracts a confession from a pimp that seems to close the case. A trial follows, as well as a speedy execution—and then, to Pitt's horror, there's a second murder exactly like the first, linked to Finlay by still another scrap of haberdashery. If Finlay is innocent, who is so determined to incriminate him? And if he's guilty, how can Pitt bring him to book when he's being ridiculed all over town for hanging the wrong man?

Repetitious and yet perfunctory in probing the suspects; and bits of the truth, at least, are obvious from the beginning. Still, the mystification, and the intensity of Pitt's dilemma, are genuine. Altogether, Perry's best book since Defend and Betray

From Barnes & Noble
The ritual murder of a prostitute causes no stir in London, but under the victim's body the police find a Hellfire Club badge that quickly draws Superintendent Thomas Pitt into the case--and into a second murder that follows the same M.O. From the author of Cain His Brother.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345514196
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Series: Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series , #16
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 245,842
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.86 (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


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

    Table of Contents

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 7 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 12, 2014


      This was my first Anne Perry mystery novel and it is just the beginning. She is an excellent mystery writer. You think you have solved the case but you won't know until you reach the last page. It's difficult to put the book down. She has an excellent understanding of Victorian England I definitly enjoyed reading this book.

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    • Posted December 27, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      Highly recommend.

      I am in the process of reading the entire Thomas Pitt series and can say with a surety that Anne Perry's talent for writing mysteries set in Victorian England is unparalleled. To date, I've read seventeen of the twenty-nine tomes in this series and as an amateur sleuth I will be most unhappy to see the last page of volume twenty-nine. They're all both historically educational and entertaining. Not to mention that one becomes a member of the Pitt [and extended] family once one has read beyond the first volume.


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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 7, 2013


      If you want me to advertise your story go to res three and put its title, original or fanfic (if fanfic specify) who its by and where it is. I will advertise and put a short rating on it in the advertisement.

      0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted September 5, 2013


      Can i be deputy?.

      0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 11, 2012

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      Posted June 11, 2014

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 20, 2013

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