a wonderful mystery novel with thomas and charlotte pitt. this story is very personal for charlotte as her sister emily is a suspect in the muder of her womanizing aristocrat husband george march. the trail that thomas and charlotte follow uncovers an insidious web of corruption and depravity that leads both of them from the elegant crescent town house to the hideous london slums, from genteel society to murder again. i truly enjoyed reading this novel. i am a great fan of thomas and charlotte pitt and anne perry. ms. perry writes very interesting about victorian england giving an accurate account of the lives of socitey and lower classes. i would recommend this book to any fan of ms perry and the pitts.
Thomas Pitt is usually the sleuth in Anne Perry's Detective Thomas Pitt series but in "Cardington Crescent" it is his wife, Charlotte, who is the main detective. Charlotte's sister, Emily, and her husband, George, are staying at the Cardington Crescent household with some other relatives for a month long holiday. When George is murdered, the Cardingtons' main concern is to handle this incident as quietly as possible to avoid scandal. The head of the household, Eustace, is quick to blame Emily and suggests she be discreetly put away in a mental institution. Charlotte Pitt, realizing her sister Emily may be accused of a murder she didn't commit, rushes over to the Cardingtons to help with the investigation. Thomas Pitt does examine George's body and astutely sees that George could not have committed suicide as Eustace first suggested but was murdered. Since Pitt is very business investigating another murder, Charlotte takes it upon herself to find out who killed George. When another murder is committed, Emily seems again the likeliest prospect in the Cardingtons' eyes. But Charlotte is as determined to find the real killer as the Cardingtons are to accuse Emily. The story ends with the least likely candidate for murder but it all ties together quite neatly.
On the plus side, I loved the Anne Perry's use of description in that she makes the period so real. She is also quite adept at depicting the emotional lives of these people. It's not an easy task to write about people who must keep their emotions to themselves, showing them in other ways. On the negative side, I'm not a fan of the question and answer technique to get to the truth. Charlotte, like Thomas, spends an awful lot of time just questioning people whose answers lead nowhere. But I guess that's all they had at the time. Overall, a very good suspense novel with terrific characters. Good way to experience a different time and culture without having to travel.
Finally, we almost have Thomas and Charlotte together as a team. Of course, Charlotte almost loses it. Then, Thomas reverts momentarily to his old 'Victorian Male' ways and reprimands Charlotte. I think she put him in his place. Maybe there is still hope we will get a team of Charlotte and Thomas. I can only hope. I am not sure where Emily is going to fit into the picture. Otherwise, the mystery kept me guessing, but still not sure I understand the motives of the murderer. Still recommending!
"A Victorian mystery"....An aristocrat is found dead; his wife is accused of his murder. The wife's sister and her husband uncover a "scandalous web of curruption and depravity that leads them from the elegant Crescent town house to the hideous London slums, from genteel society to murder -- again."
Perry's Victorian sleuths Inspector Thomas Pitt and his redoubtable wife Charlotte returnafter Death in the Devil's Acre and Bluegate Fieldsto poke holes in the stiff fabric of London's high society. While Thomas works on a case involving a murdered woman whose body has been dismembered and left in packages around the city, Charlotte's brother-in-law George is poisoned at the home of his cousin's family on Cardington Crescent. George had been suffering an infatuation for his cousin's wife Sybilla, and the family would like to squelch the suggestion of scandal by leaving the crime unsolved, allowing their circle to believe the poison was administered by his wife Emily Charlotte's sister in a fit of jealousy. Charlotte arrives at Cardington Crescent to clear Emily's name and while she's there, Sybilla is also murdered, strangled with her own long, lovely hair. Thomas and Charlotte work at the mysteries, each cutting through layers of class structure to arrive at the same sordid point, where incest and child neglect intersect. Perry brings the era to life not just by period detail, but with sure-handed characterization and compelling, timeless plot.
When the womanizing aristocrat George March is found dead over his morning coffee, the immediate concern of his shocked Cardington Crescent household is quieting the scandal as discreetlyand quicklyas possible. Unfortunately for Marchs wife, Emily, that means accusing her of the murder. But the family does not take into account Emilys beloved sister, who is none other than the indomitable Charlotte Pitt. Together, Charlotte and her husband, police inspector Thomas Pitt, take on the seemingly irreproachable, upper-crust March clan and uncover an insidious web of corruption and depravity that leads them from the elegant Crescent town house to the hideous London slums, and from genteel society to murderagain.
When George March is found dead over his breakfast, his wife is accused of his murder. Emilys' sister is Charlotte Pitts sister who along with her husband Detective Thomas Pitt are pressed into service to solve the mystery and uncover lots of coruption.