Pentecost Alley In the sixteenth murder mystery featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, their detective wits are stretched to the limit as a grotesque death sparks off an investigation into horrific hidden scandals.
It is barely two years since the prostitutes of London's East End were terrorized by Jack the Ripper. Now, in dismal Pentecost Alley, a killer is at work in the backstreets of Whitechapel once more. Not that the grisly murder of a mere whore is enough to merit the expertise of Superintendent Pitt of Bow Street. Society regards such women as less than human, deserving all they get. But beneath the mutilated body of the young girl there is a strange badge. The insignia proclaims it to be an emblem of the Hellfire Club, and on the back is engraved the name Of Finlay FitzJames.
So begins Pitt's curious association with the wealthy and immensely influential FitzJames family: Augustus, the powerful bully of a father; bored, glamorous Tallulah, who swiftly befriends Pitt’s energetic sister-in-law; and foppish Finlay, born into privilege and happy to make use of it. Pitt cannot afford to make one false move. For what Victorian jury would take the word of a common prostitute against that of a FitzJames? 'The Pitt books are characterised by well-observed period detail, a fascination with miscarriages of justice and the high drama of the law, and intense scrutiny of family secrets.' Robert McCrum, Guardian
'Pentecost Alley demonstrates Perry's trademark skill for enhancing well-designed mystery plots with convincing historical settings and cleverly drawn relationships... as Perry edges towards her surprise ending, she crafts her tale with elegance, narrative depth and gratifying scope.' Publishers Weekly
First British Edition HarperCollins (1996)
Traitor's Gate See Review by
The most heinous of crimes: treason. Superintendent Pitt is up against the most sensitive and politically demanding case of his career, in which a traitor is at work in the Colonial Office. The field of suspects is limited to a handful of highly distinguished public servants. At the same time, Pitt is quietly investigating the tragic death of his childhood mentor, who has apparently taken a dose of laudanum. Pitt is convinced that there is a link but, despite the ostensible co-operation of great men in government, he can find no way forward. It takes a second sensational death to reveal the tangled truth, and to put at risk not only Pitt's life but that of his wife, Charlotte… 'The fifteenth Victorian murder mystery featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt again demonstrates Anne Perry's ability to evoke the era with the finely wrought detail of a miniaturist.' Wall Street Journal
'Perry re-creates the sights, smells and dissonant clamour of late-Victorian London while capturing the spirit of the age's rigid yet shifting social structure.' Publisher’s Weekly
Paperback - HarperCollins (1996)
The Hyde Park Headsman See Review by
Slaughter on the Serpentine.
London,1890, and Thomas Pitt's promotion to Superintendent of Bow Street is as bad as he's feared. He must delegate to resentful colleagues as the most horrific killings since the Whitechapel Murders terrorise the city, beginning with the discovery of a headless body on the Serpentine. Is there a madman on the rampage?
Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner is rampaging around Pitt's office, demanding results, or else more heads will roll. Pitt's instincts tell him that there is more to it than a lunatic at large. Yet, despite his unmatchable detective skills, there is no evidence.
For once, Charlotte Pitt is too busy to help her husband. Her brother-in-law is standing for Parliament; her mother is unsuitably fond of a young actor; and, most important, the Pitts are to move house. But in the panic of packing, it is Charlotte who happens upon a startling solution... `The author distributes delicacies like sweetmeats at a funeral - best savoured for their morbid aftertaste' New York Times Book Review
Bluegate Fields How does the naked body of an obviously upper-class sixteen-year-old boy come to be lying in the filthy sewers of Bluegate Fields, one of London's most dangerous slums? Not only is his presence here a mystery, but he appears to have been raped, and his body bears the unmistakable signs of syphilis.
Inspector Thomas Pitt of Bow Street is shocked to the core, and baffled by the unco-operative attitude of the boy's parents, Sir Anstey and Lady Waybourne, who refuse to answer the questions of the police. Granted, such a sordid and terrible case is no subject for Victorian drawing-rooms, but Pitt begins to feel that they are trying to hide something from him.
The obvious suspect is the boy's tutor, the humourless and unlikeable Maurice Jerome, but even when several witnesses come forward to testify against him he continues to protest his innocence - even to the foot of the gallows. Pitt, too, remains sceptical, as does his astute and well-born wife, Charlotte. With her entree into aristocratic society, she believes she may have a better chance than her husband of breaking down the wall of secrecy behind which the Waybournes are guarding their bruised sense of propriety. But she has little time and only her sister Emily to help her.
Death in the Devil's Acre Murder was hardly rare in the teeming slums of London in 1887, but the discovery made by a patrolling policeman in the infamous Devil's Acre, on a bitter January night, was enough to stun even the most hardened residents of that insalubrious quarter…
Why should a respectable, well-to-do doctor have been stabbed to death and brutally if inexpertly mutilated in the slaughterhouse of a London slum? Inspector Thomas Pitt of Bow Street is mystified as he stands watching the police surgeon carrying out his gruesome examination in the cold morning light. He cannot know that the horrific nightmare is only just beginning, and that he will be called back to view three more bodies in the Devil's Acre, all stabbed in the back, all with the same ghastly mutilation. Is some manic killer stalking the dark alleys of the Devil's Acre, terrorising its denizens and shocking Pitt to the core?
There are precious few clues to help Pitt in his hunt for the killer, but he is blessed with the enthusiastic help of his aristocratic wife Charlotte, whose clever, feminine mind and valuable insider's knowledge of the subtle intricacies of Society perfectly complement Pitt's experienced investigator’s instinct. Together they embark on a race to unravel a treacherous mystery which will leave no one - not the lowest brand of ruffian nor the noblest aristocrat- totally unscathed