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Resurrection Row (A Victorian Murder Mystery) [Paperback]

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the fourth novel in the Charlotte and Inspector Thomas Pitt series of high Victorian mysteries, though I've read several others out of order. All of them seem to be a mix of police procedural and social commentary, in which Pitt has to delve into the depths of London's underclass while Charlotte wades through the unpleasantnesses of Society's drawing rooms. Sometimes the latter is better written and more interesting than the former, but in this case the mystery is interesting and also funny in an oddball way. The recently buried keep turning up out of their coffins -- sitting in hansom cabs, or in church pews, or leaning against their own tombstones. All were apparently natural deaths, so Thomas isn't even quite sure for much of the book whether any serious crime actually has been committed. Meanwhile, Mr. Carlisle, an avid and politically astute social reformer, is making converts to his cause of reforming the workhouses by dragooning his social acquaintances into visiting the slums and rookeries. Charlotte (who married down) is a likeable enough character, and her sister, Lady Ashworth (who married up), is well done, but Thomas himself seems to emote too much. Aunt Vespasia, on the other hand, is a marvelous depiction of a grand and starchy old lady who's smarter and more socially aware than most of her contemporaries. Although Perry repeats her bad habit of nearly blowing off the solution to the mystery in favor of sociological commentary, this is a pretty good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection Row - Best in Class Dec 6 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Exceptional. All of the Pitt series is good, but this may be one of the best. As an avid reader of mysteries, I found it wonderfully frustrating to get into the last chapter without actually knowing who the killer was. Better, Perry did it without cheating. Once you get to the solution, you realize that ever clue you needed was right there all along, and each false trail was masterfully done.
My only complaint in this book is that Perry padded large sections with irrelevant musings, and several were actually out of character for the person musing. There is a section with Thomas mulling all of the dead ends in a dispassionate mental voice that is completely different than in any other part of the series, and another with Charlotte using the same cadence, rehashing discarded leads. It feels as if her publisher came back and demanded about twenty more pages, and she scrambled to cram them into an otherwise tight and well-crafted book.
On the other hand, her mastery of the period is incomparable, tossing the assumptions and mundane details of the day into the story in a way that draws you fully into a remarkable and fascinating point in history. The characters are perfect and well-realized, as always, and this book introduces one of my favourite bit players--Aunt Vespasia, the Lady Cumming-Gould. Delightful, insightful, intriguing and unconventional, just like this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The quality is back June 11 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In this fourth in the Pitt series, Anne Perry puts us with one foot in London's seamy underbelly and one in the highest class. She writes with her usual flare for societal quirks and the sensibilities of the Victorian era. She even intermixes a bit of social politicking with the issue of workhouses of the day.
When Lord Augustus Fitzroy-Hammond's decaying body falls from a hansom cab after a late night show, everyone is shocked. After all, he had been buried weeks before. When his body resurfaces again, Thomas Pitt can't dismiss it as coincidence. His investigation uncovers the small secrets that hold people's lives together, and can rip them apart. As more and more decomposing bodies emerge, Pitt's suspicions mount. Why is someone doing this? To cover another crime, or to reveal one?
Anne Perry's Pitt character grows more attractive in every book. Yet, I was disappointed that Charlotte didn't play more heavily in this one. Also, there just aren't enough Charlotte and Thomas together scenes. When she writes glimpses into their marital life, Perry reveals a sweet and comfortable existance, but not often enough!
A great read from a wonderful writer!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bodies won't stay buried! Feb. 11 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
RESURRECTION ROW is the fourth in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series that begins with "The Cater Street Hangman." Once again, Perry creates a fairly strong sense of place with very few details. She uses interesting twists and turns and colorful characters, and once again there's a certain amount of -- let's call it "unpleasantness." Her books aren't pretty. This time we get more insight into Thomas's character, because Charlotte isn't involved as much in this one. And, as with Perry's others, we get a good look at all levels of the class system in place in London at the time. The plot is fascinating and the conclusion is very satisfying.
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