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A Breach of Promise Mass Market Paperback – Sep 7 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ivy Books; Reprint edition (Sept. 7 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804118558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804118552
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #869,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
OLIVER RATHBONE LEANED BACK in his chair and let out a sigh of satisfaction. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia on Sept. 30 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
Simon Jones' reading was disappointing and irritating. It was choppy and brusk, nearly without any emotion or 'feeling'. His voices tended to be the same- nasal and abrupt for men, breathy for women, so it was difficult to tell the characters apart. His unfortunate treatment was very distracting for what is one of Ms Perry's best books and will discourage me from purchasing any more read by him. If you enjoy Anne Perry and wish to listen to her works on tape, I would recommend David McCallum's performances of her Pitt books- they are excellently done. Bottom line: read the book or try the unabridged by a different reader.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book "grabbed" me from the first page. I honestly felt as though I was there with the main characters, participating in their experiences and world. As I'd suspected, my INITIAL guess regarding the reason pretty young Zilla's supposed fiance "backed out" was totally "off-base," and made complete sense when it was ultimately divulged. The writing style is lively, EVERYTHING falls neatly into place, and thus I UNHESITATINGLY classify this novel as a COMPELLING "read." I had trouble putting it down once I got "into" it, and found the details related to life and customs during that period to be enlightening, particularly since I'm not a "well-versed" history buff, per se. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading works of general fiction which are neither exceedingly lengthy nor go into painstaking detail.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anne Perry once again returns to a favorite theme -- People will go to great lengths to avoid exposure of a deeply held secret. In this novel there are several persons who are concealing their pasts and identities and the last revelation is the most surprising.
Her knowledge of Victorian England, of Victorian police procedures at this time and of Victorian class structure and inhibitions is once again revealed by the authenticity of her
narrative.
Anne Perry knows a great deal more than most persons about the most dynamic woman of Victorian England -- Florence Nightingale -- and her knowledge enriches her portrayal of Hester Latterly and of the post-Crimea period in England. Nightingale was a suffragist (one of the first signers of a petition for woman suffrage which was circulated by her friends, John Stuart Mill and his wife Harriet Taylor); one of the first statisticians -- and one of the first members of the Statistical Society in England; a consultant to Queen Victoria and her consort, Prince Albert and a pragmatic and dedicated visionary who spent her life in the service to the sick to which she had dedicated herself when she was only 17. Unfortunately she contracted what was then called "Crimean Fever" during her service in the dreadful British military hospitals of the Crimean War. Recent research indicates that it was probably Brucellosis, caused by
an organism which is and was epidemic and endemic in that region and is characterized by remittant fevers and malaise. (It also occurs in the U.S. among persons who work with cattle and recent cases have been reported in the Western U.S.) Since the germ theory of disease was not available at that time, Nightingale was not diagnosed properly, though she shared the ailment with many others who had served in that region at that time. Hester reflects frequently on her admired mentor and role model, though she mistakenly describes Nightingale's intermittent illnesses as "hypochondria."
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most of Anne Perry's works dwell on the darker aspects of human nature, notably various sexual perversions hidden under the veneer of upper-class and middle-class Victorian society. Some of her recent works especially in the Inspector Monk series have also dwelt upon the status of Victorian women of good families, notably the tremendous barriers imposed to them professionally in medicine. More recently, her books have touched more explicitly upon political issues of the day.
This is a slightly unusual Inspector Monk book, in that there is no sexual perversion hidden as the motive for a murder. I shouldn't give away too much of the plot for those who have not read this book. The story is about the fragility of reputation, the impossibly limited choices available to young women in that society, and the ways in which friendships can be misconstrued.
One of the most effective scenes for me was where Sir Oliver Rathbone (the defense lawyer) is neatly boxed in by a match-making mother, and the way in which he understands and reads the minds of the women around him. This is one of the reasons I have kept this particular book, above all the others.
The story-line is at least initially not as dark as the typical Anne Perry (warning: her works are not for the squeamish), with the first half of the book being about a trial for breach of promise brought against one of the most brilliant young architects who refuses to marry a young woman. Why he refuses to marry her is not made clear until the middle of the story, and it certainly comes as a shock to all concerned. The second half of the book is much darker, in that the murder is driven by the personal greeds of one of the principal characters in the trial.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a must read for those who love unexpected outcomes of the book!! I was assigned to read this for school, but I thoroughly enjoyed it to its fullest! The setting and language used make it a whole different society from today's world. It is an escape from our world, and sets the reader in a world of courtesy, rumors, elegant charm, riches, and scandal, which describe the Victorian England setting. Perry portrays her thoughts and ideas through masterful writing skills which draw the reader right into to the novel, just as if the reader was part of the gallery for Mellville's trial. It is hard to put down, and each chapter does not focus on one character, but portrays the lives of different characters with different occupations and lifestyles. It is also a book that makes you think of the tactics that each character might try next, in order to succeed. So relax, fix yourself a cup of tea, and enjoy your reading time as you travel far back into Victorian England for a story that is riveting and stirring to the emotions, while giving you a good feeling for the 'good guy'!
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