Cover image for Southampton Row
Title:
Southampton Row
Author:
Perry, Anne.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
573 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780786240661

9780786245024
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller A riveting new Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novel, proving again Anne Perry's mastery of the people, mores, and politics of the Victorian era. With a general election fast approaching, passions are so enflamed between the Tories and the Liberals that Thomas Pitt must forego his long awaited vacation to prevent a national disaster. While Pitt's wife, Charlotte, and their family are safely out of London on vacation, Pitt, aided by the gruff but dogged Inspector Samuel Tellman, his politically astute sister-in law, and Charlotte's resourceful great-aunt Vespasia, seeks to solve the murder of a popular spiritualist.


Summary

A New York Times Bestseller A riveting new Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novel, proving again Anne Perry's mastery of the people, mores, and politics of the Victorian era. With a general election fast approaching, passions are so enflamed between the Tories and the Liberals that Thomas Pitt must forego his long awaited vacation to prevent a national disaster. While Pitt's wife, Charlotte, and their family are safely out of London on vacation, Pitt, aided by the gruff but dogged Inspector Samuel Tellman, his politically astute sister-in law, and Charlotte's resourceful great-aunt Vespasia, seeks to solve the murder of a popular spiritualist.


Author Notes

Anne Perry was born Juliet Hume on October 28, 1938 in Blackheath, London.

Sent to Christchurch, New Zealand to recover from a childhood case of severe pneumonia, she became very close friends with another girl, Pauline Parker. When Perry's family abandoned her, she had only Parker to turn to, and when the Parkers planned to move from New Zealand, Parker asked that Perry be allowed to join them. When Parker's mother disagreed, Perry and Parker bludgeoned her to death. Perry eventually served five and a half years in an adult prison for the crime.

Once she was freed, she changed her name and moved to America, where she eventually became a writer. Her first Victorian novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published in 1979. Although the truth of her past came out when the case of Mrs. Parker's murder was made into a movie (Heavenly Creatures), Perry is still a popular author and continues to write. She has written over 50 books and short story collections including the Thomas Pitt series, the William Monk series, and the Daniel Pitt series. Her story, Heroes, won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best Short Story. Her title's Blind Justice and The Angel Court Affair made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Anne Perry was born Juliet Hume on October 28, 1938 in Blackheath, London.

Sent to Christchurch, New Zealand to recover from a childhood case of severe pneumonia, she became very close friends with another girl, Pauline Parker. When Perry's family abandoned her, she had only Parker to turn to, and when the Parkers planned to move from New Zealand, Parker asked that Perry be allowed to join them. When Parker's mother disagreed, Perry and Parker bludgeoned her to death. Perry eventually served five and a half years in an adult prison for the crime.

Once she was freed, she changed her name and moved to America, where she eventually became a writer. Her first Victorian novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published in 1979. Although the truth of her past came out when the case of Mrs. Parker's murder was made into a movie (Heavenly Creatures), Perry is still a popular author and continues to write. She has written over 50 books and short story collections including the Thomas Pitt series, the William Monk series, and the Daniel Pitt series. Her story, Heroes, won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best Short Story. Her title's Blind Justice and The Angel Court Affair made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

The murder of a medium with ties to a secret society within Parliament threatens to topple the government and uncork the unsavory secrets of those who sought the medium's counsel. The action in this grandly complex addition to Perry's historical mysteries starring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt follows closely from the preceding novel, The Whitechapel Conspiracy (2000), which chronicled an ingenious plot to overthrow Queen Victoria's government. Bow Street Superintendent Pitt (now assigned to the Special Branch, overseeing spies, anarchists, and political revolutionaries) once again faces his archenemy, the insidious Sir Charles Voisey, who is bent on corrupting Parliament from within by becoming an MP. Pitt's assignment is to unmask Voisey before he's elected. As always, Pitt's marriage to the aristocratic and canny Charlotte allows him access to drawings rooms and private parties, while his naturally shabby appearance and copper credentials gain him entree into London's underworld. Perry's Victorian novels attain the societal sweep of Trollope or Thackeray; she has absolute command over both political history and the small, fascinating details of everyday life. Especially noteworthy here are two women characters: Pitt's sister-in-law, an MP's wife who, in the manner of Trollope's Glencora Palliser, thrives on political plotting, and the wife of an ineffectual and arrogant bishop, greatly her inferior, who yet finds a way to affect politics. Fast moving and utterly engrossing. Connie Fletcher


Publisher's Weekly Review

Newcomers to Perry's series about Victorian police officer Thomas Pitt might be baffled by all the backstory from 2001's The Whitechapel Conspiracy in this 22nd entry, but loyal fans should hit the ground reading. Bounced from his beloved job as superintendent at the Bow Street cop shop in the political backlash of the plot against Queen Victoria that he and his aristocratic wife, Charlotte, uncovered in that last book, Pitt not only has to work for the sneaky Victor Narraway of Special Branch but must also give up a much-deserved vacation with his family to look into the murder of a society spiritualist in London's Southampton Row. It seems that Charles Voisey, head of a secret society called the Inner Circle and the man whom the Pitts stopped from coming this close to turning England into a republic (with himself as president), is now running for Parliament as a Tory against a promising Liberal candidate, Aubrey Serracold. Voisey shouldn't stand a chance unless Serracold's wife, one of the murdered medium's clients, really did knock her off. Since Charlotte spends virtually all of the book on Dartmoor, her place in the investigation is ably filled by her sister, Emily, married to another up-and-coming Liberal. As ever, excellent craftsmanship sets this series in the front rank of historical mysteries. (Mar. 1) Forecast: A 15-city author tour, national print and radio advertising as well as a sample chapter in the mass market edition of The Whitechapel Conspiracy (Jan.) should help ensure another run up bestseller lists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In The Whitechapel Conspiracy, the previous Thomas Pitt mystery, Charles Voisey came dangerously close to overthrowing the British crown and government. Head of a secret society, the Inner Circle, Voisey is now running for Parliament, and Superintendent Pitt is again charged with stopping him. But first Pitt must investigate the murder of medium Maude Lamont, one of whose last clients was Rose Serracold, wife of Voisey's opponent. Who killed the spiritualist and why? Did Rose do it, or is someone trying to frame her? Because Pitt's aristocratic wife, Charlotte, is on holiday, his sister-in-law, Emily, wife of an MP, steps in to help. Perry's enthralling tales are equally fine as mysteries and explorations of the minutiae of Victorian culture. Michael Page reads ably with a mid-Atlantic accent, but he cannot compare with David McCallum's wonderful renditions of earlier volumes in the series. Nevertheless, highly recommended.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

The murder of a medium with ties to a secret society within Parliament threatens to topple the government and uncork the unsavory secrets of those who sought the medium's counsel. The action in this grandly complex addition to Perry's historical mysteries starring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt follows closely from the preceding novel, The Whitechapel Conspiracy (2000), which chronicled an ingenious plot to overthrow Queen Victoria's government. Bow Street Superintendent Pitt (now assigned to the Special Branch, overseeing spies, anarchists, and political revolutionaries) once again faces his archenemy, the insidious Sir Charles Voisey, who is bent on corrupting Parliament from within by becoming an MP. Pitt's assignment is to unmask Voisey before he's elected. As always, Pitt's marriage to the aristocratic and canny Charlotte allows him access to drawings rooms and private parties, while his naturally shabby appearance and copper credentials gain him entree into London's underworld. Perry's Victorian novels attain the societal sweep of Trollope or Thackeray; she has absolute command over both political history and the small, fascinating details of everyday life. Especially noteworthy here are two women characters: Pitt's sister-in-law, an MP's wife who, in the manner of Trollope's Glencora Palliser, thrives on political plotting, and the wife of an ineffectual and arrogant bishop, greatly her inferior, who yet finds a way to affect politics. Fast moving and utterly engrossing. Connie Fletcher


Publisher's Weekly Review

Newcomers to Perry's series about Victorian police officer Thomas Pitt might be baffled by all the backstory from 2001's The Whitechapel Conspiracy in this 22nd entry, but loyal fans should hit the ground reading. Bounced from his beloved job as superintendent at the Bow Street cop shop in the political backlash of the plot against Queen Victoria that he and his aristocratic wife, Charlotte, uncovered in that last book, Pitt not only has to work for the sneaky Victor Narraway of Special Branch but must also give up a much-deserved vacation with his family to look into the murder of a society spiritualist in London's Southampton Row. It seems that Charles Voisey, head of a secret society called the Inner Circle and the man whom the Pitts stopped from coming this close to turning England into a republic (with himself as president), is now running for Parliament as a Tory against a promising Liberal candidate, Aubrey Serracold. Voisey shouldn't stand a chance unless Serracold's wife, one of the murdered medium's clients, really did knock her off. Since Charlotte spends virtually all of the book on Dartmoor, her place in the investigation is ably filled by her sister, Emily, married to another up-and-coming Liberal. As ever, excellent craftsmanship sets this series in the front rank of historical mysteries. (Mar. 1) Forecast: A 15-city author tour, national print and radio advertising as well as a sample chapter in the mass market edition of The Whitechapel Conspiracy (Jan.) should help ensure another run up bestseller lists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In The Whitechapel Conspiracy, the previous Thomas Pitt mystery, Charles Voisey came dangerously close to overthrowing the British crown and government. Head of a secret society, the Inner Circle, Voisey is now running for Parliament, and Superintendent Pitt is again charged with stopping him. But first Pitt must investigate the murder of medium Maude Lamont, one of whose last clients was Rose Serracold, wife of Voisey's opponent. Who killed the spiritualist and why? Did Rose do it, or is someone trying to frame her? Because Pitt's aristocratic wife, Charlotte, is on holiday, his sister-in-law, Emily, wife of an MP, steps in to help. Perry's enthralling tales are equally fine as mysteries and explorations of the minutiae of Victorian culture. Michael Page reads ably with a mid-Atlantic accent, but he cannot compare with David McCallum's wonderful renditions of earlier volumes in the series. Nevertheless, highly recommended.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER ONE "I'm sorry," Assistant Commissioner Cornwallis said quietly, his face a mask of guilt and unhappiness. "I did everything I could, made every argument, moral and legal. But I can't fight the Inner Circle." Pitt was stunned. He stood in the middle of the office with the sunlight splashing across the floor and the noise of horses' hooves, wheels on the cobbles and the shouts of drivers barely muffled beyond the window. Pleasure boats plied up and down the Thames on the hot June day. After the Whitechapel conspiracy he had been reinstated as superintendent of the Bow Street police station. Queen Victoria herself had thanked him for his courage and loyalty. Now, Cornwallis was dismissing him again! "They can't," Pitt protested. "Her Majesty herself." Cornwallis's eyes did not waver, but they were filled with misery. "They can. They have more power than you or I will ever know. The Queen will hear what they want her to. If we take it to her, believe me, you will have nothing left, not even Special Branch. Narraway will be glad to have you back." The words seemed forced from him, harsh in his throat. "Take it, Pitt. For your own sake, and your family's. It is the best you'll get. And you're good at it. No one could measure what you did for your country in beating Voisey at Whitechapel." "Beating him!" Pitt said bitterly. He's knighted by the Queen, and the Inner Circle is still powerful enough to say who shall be superintendent of Bow Street and who shan't!" Cornwallis winced, the skin drawn tight across the bones of his face. "I know. But if you hadn't beaten him, England would now be a republic in turmoil, perhaps even civil war, and Voisey would be the first president. That's what he wanted. You beat him, Pitt, never doubt it . . . and never forget it, either. He won't." Pitt's shoulders slumped. He felt bruised and weary. How would he tell Charlotte? She would be furious for him, outraged at the unfairness of it. She would want to fight, but there was nothing to do. He knew that, he was only arguing with Cornwallis because the shock had not passed, the rage at the injustice of it. He had really believed his position at least was safe, after the Queen's acknowledgment of his worth. "You're due a holiday," Cornwallis said. "Take it. I'm . . . I'm sorry I had to tell you before." Pitt could think of nothing to say. He had not the heart to be gracious. "Go somewhere nice, right out of London," Cornwallis went on. "The country, or the sea." "Yes . . . I suppose so." It would be easier for Charlotte, for the children. She would still be hurt but at least they would have time together. It was years since they had taken more than a few days and just walked through woods or over fields, eaten picnic sandwiches and watched the sky. Charlotte was horrified, but after the first outburst she hid it, perhaps largely for the children's sake. Ten-and-a-half-year-old Jemima was instant to pick up any emotion, and Daniel, two years younger, was quick behind. Instead she made much of the chance for a holiday and began to plan when they should go and to think about how much they could afford to spend. Within days it was arranged. They would take her sister Emily's son with them as well; he was the same age and was keen to escape the formality of the schoolroom and the responsibilities he was already learning as his father's heir. Emily's first husband had been Lord Ashworth, and his death had left the title and bulk of the inheritance to their only son, Edward. They would stay in a cottage in the small village of Harford, on the edge of Dartmoor, for two and a half weeks. By the time they returned the general election would be over and Pitt would report again to Narraway at Special Branch, the infant service set up Excerpted from Southampton Row by Anne Perry All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
CHAPTER ONE "I'm sorry," Assistant Commissioner Cornwallis said quietly, his face a mask of guilt and unhappiness. "I did everything I could, made every argument, moral and legal. But I can't fight the Inner Circle." Pitt was stunned. He stood in the middle of the office with the sunlight splashing across the floor and the noise of horses' hooves, wheels on the cobbles and the shouts of drivers barely muffled beyond the window. Pleasure boats plied up and down the Thames on the hot June day. After the Whitechapel conspiracy he had been reinstated as superintendent of the Bow Street police station. Queen Victoria herself had thanked him for his courage and loyalty. Now, Cornwallis was dismissing him again! "They can't," Pitt protested. "Her Majesty herself." Cornwallis's eyes did not waver, but they were filled with misery. "They can. They have more power than you or I will ever know. The Queen will hear what they want her to. If we take it to her, believe me, you will have nothing left, not even Special Branch. Narraway will be glad to have you back." The words seemed forced from him, harsh in his throat. "Take it, Pitt. For your own sake, and your family's. It is the best you'll get. And you're good at it. No one could measure what you did for your country in beating Voisey at Whitechapel." "Beating him!" Pitt said bitterly. He's knighted by the Queen, and the Inner Circle is still powerful enough to say who shall be superintendent of Bow Street and who shan't!" Cornwallis winced, the skin drawn tight across the bones of his face. "I know. But if you hadn't beaten him, England would now be a republic in turmoil, perhaps even civil war, and Voisey would be the first president. That's what he wanted. You beat him, Pitt, never doubt it . . . and never forget it, either. He won't." Pitt's shoulders slumped. He felt bruised and weary. How would he tell Charlotte? She would be furious for him, outraged at the unfairness of it. She would want to fight, but there was nothing to do. He knew that, he was only arguing with Cornwallis because the shock had not passed, the rage at the injustice of it. He had really believed his position at least was safe, after the Queen's acknowledgment of his worth. "You're due a holiday," Cornwallis said. "Take it. I'm . . . I'm sorry I had to tell you before." Pitt could think of nothing to say. He had not the heart to be gracious. "Go somewhere nice, right out of London," Cornwallis went on. "The country, or the sea." "Yes . . . I suppose so." It would be easier for Charlotte, for the children. She would still be hurt but at least they would have time together. It was years since they had taken more than a few days and just walked through woods or over fields, eaten picnic sandwiches and watched the sky. Charlotte was horrified, but after the first outburst she hid it, perhaps largely for the children's sake. Ten-and-a-half-year-old Jemima was instant to pick up any emotion, and Daniel, two years younger, was quick behind. Instead she made much of the chance for a holiday and began to plan when they should go and to think about how much they could afford to spend. Within days it was arranged. They would take her sister Emily's son with them as well; he was the same age and was keen to escape the formality of the schoolroom and the responsibilities he was already learning as his father's heir. Emily's first husband had been Lord Ashworth, and his death had left the title and bulk of the inheritance to their only son, Edward. They would stay in a cottage in the small village of Harford, on the edge of Dartmoor, for two and a half weeks. By the time they returned the general election would be over and Pitt would report again to Narraway at Special Branch, the infant service set up Excerpted from Southampton Row by Anne Perry All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.