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Highgate Rise [Mass Market Paperback]

Anne Perry
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 22 1992
"Perry gets the Victorian mood just right...Settle in with this one on a rainy day."
Clemency Shaw, the wife of a prominent doctor, has died in a tragic fire. But whether the blaze was set by an arsonist aiming for the doctor, or set by the doctor himself, Inspector Thomas Pitt isn't certain. With the scarcity of clues, Pitt turns to Clemency's stuffy, but distinguished, relatives. Meanwhile, Pitt's wellborn wife, Charlotte, retraces the dangerous path that Clemency walked the last months of her life, and finds herself enmeshed in a sinister web that stretches from the lowest slums to the loftiest centers of power....

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Having temporarily abandoned Victorian police inspector Thomas Pitt and his highborn wife, Charlotte, in her last, highly acclaimed novel, The Face of a Stranger , Perry features the duo once again. She exhibits her customary skill in recreating 19th-century London, but here her well-drawn contrasts of upstairs and downstairs Victorian society have added psychological acuity. And her focus on a social issue--the secret ownership by members of high society of appalling slum housing--lends depth to the mystery surrounding the death of Clemency Shaw, a courageous woman who devoted her life-- and may have lost it--to exposing those who built their fortunes on the misery of the poor. Highgate is a posh Victorian neighborhood that becomes the scene of some highly dramatic house fires that consume people dear to Dr. Shaw, Clemency's husband, a free-speaking liberal who is Perry's most dynamic character to date. Just who is the target of these infernos? Thomas and Charlotte seek answers, while Charlotte in particular finds that Clemency's legacy of compassion did not die with her. Rounded out by a host of lively characters, this is a memorable tale.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From 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-
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gracie the Maid gets into the act June 17 2000
By drdebs
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Charlotte and Thomas Pitt's maid, Gracie, has been admiring her mistress's detecting adventures for the past few books, but her participation in this story adds a freshness to the plot and the characterizations. Dedicated readers of the Pitt series know Charlotte, Emily, Thomas, and Great Aunt Vespasia so well now that new characters are always welcome additions to the cast.
In this story Pitt is called in to investigate a mysterious fire and death in Highgate, a prosperous northern suburb of London. While most London policemen are investigating the Jack the Ripper murders at Whitechapel, Pitt must get to the botom of how and why the Shaw house was set ablaze and whether the intended victim was really Clemency Shaw, a modest woman involved in social reform, or her husband Dr. Shaw.
The ending of this mystery was not really up to Perry's usual standards. I was pretty sure who had done the deed from the beginning, but as usual Perry provided some excellent and suprising insights into the other secrets lurking on Highgate Rise.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good, all in all May 2 2000
By Starla
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all the previous Pitt novels in the series, I found arson a refreshing change from the usual murder weapon of choice...the characters were complicated and well-developed, and the murderer was in question until the end--but then Perry picked the most obvious choice for the villain, which disappointed me--I was expecting some great revelation, but instead, we got someone whose motives were already obvious (so obvious I'd written the character in question off my list of suspects ^_^), and the cheesy way the confession came about read like a melodrama. Other than the unconvincing ending, the book was quite good, and Gracie finally got some a share of the adventure! If there's one thing you can count on, Anne Perry always has some interesting development in her characters' personal lives, no matter what the case.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Overall good....but needs a dash of pepper July 20 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Some good writing here, needs a few things though to keep me buying book after book. This story has a very well developed plot, UNTIL the end. It seemed that the most convenient villain was chosen and it left me thinking "No she did NOT do this to me after 342 pages"! The ending came out of nowhere, but not in that clever way that marks a true work of art. The characters were likable, and there were some quote worthy lines in this story, but I kept waiting for some real suspense. Waiting for suspense IS the suspense. However the author does do her homework and there is a ton of edifying information about the living conditions in England during this time period. Nutshell is a good book to read before bed, because it is not hard to put down when you're ready to turn the lights off.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Is not my type of book March 19 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book tries to show you the human rights of the poor people in London while they resolve the mystery of a crime, you will never know who is the killer until the last page, not because the book is good, because it could be anyone of the book, the writer never tells you anything about the real killer.
At the end of the book, nobody does nothing about the human rights or anything else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Next to Cater Street, the best Perry I've read April 22 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Loved this book - just the right mix of "moral" and mystery. I prefer the books where Charlotte and Thomas are both active, and this gives a good mix. The period detail is excellent (as usual)and the mystery is solid too.
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