Anne Perry - anyone here a fan?

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Anne Perry - anyone here a fan?

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Ago 19, 2006, 2:58 pm

Anne Perry's series of Victorian London-set mysteries seems to have quite a decent following in the mystery world, but even though that's my favourite historical period I'm not a great fan. I've read one (Belgrave Square I think it was) and I thought the style and characters weren't particularly distinguished. (The plot I can hardly remember, except it had something to do with digitalis poisoning.)

Anyone here like Perry and, if so, what's her best book?

Ago 19, 2006, 5:49 pm

Of her Thomas Pitt series, I think Cater Street Hangman is probably the best, though I have to admit it's been quite awhile since I read anything by her. I thought the Pitt series fizzled out after a few.

Her William Monk series, however, kept my interest all the way up to the very latest I think. The Monk books are also set in Victorian England, like the Pitt series, but Monk (whose story begins with Face of a Stranger) is the more interesting detective in my opinion because not only does he have to solve a murder, he also has to solve the mystery of himself.

Ago 20, 2006, 8:31 pm

I've read the majority of the Pitt series - enjoyed the first (Cater Street Hangman), but they've lost something as the series progresses. Still, I read them -- bought the last one while stranded in the airport. They're rather forgettable now.

As for the Monk series, I'm slowly making my way through them. I hit a brick wall with one of them that I could totally not get into, so I stopped reading it and haven't picked up the next in the series.

She's also got another series - WWI, I think. I haven't heard any rave reviews about that series, but there's 3-4 books out so far. I have the first hiding somewhere in my library, but haven't bothered to read it yet. Not sure if I want to.

Ago 20, 2006, 9:50 pm

I much prefer the Monk series to the Pitt series; the Pitt series is a little heavy on the conspiracy theories to suit my taste. The WWI series is good enough; I've read the first book and have yet to get my grabby hands on the second one from the library. It was also slightly conspiracy-focused but a good read nonetheless.

She's also written a fantasy series, starting with Tathea, which I cannot stand because it's incessantly preachy.

But I give the Monk series a definite thumbs-up. There isn't a book within that series that stands out particularly as the best one, but you could maybe give The Sins of the Wolf a try.

Mar 22, 2007, 1:38 pm


have you started that WWI book yet? Is it any good?

I read Tathea a long time ago and while it didn't capture my interest like Lord of the Rings or other fantasy books have, it was a well-written book I thought. Very vivid imagery. The little demon with the slotted eyes still gives me the creeps.

Mar 22, 2007, 9:12 pm

Nope, haven't started it yet. But I've got 4 hours on a train tomorrow, so perhaps I'll toss it in my bag (along with a backup just in case).

Mar 22, 2007, 9:46 pm

Not any more.

I used to grab her books as soon as they came out, but I have found that her Pitt series, at least, has become, not to put too fine a point on it, ridiculous. I have noticed, not just with Perry, that when an author begins to rely on secret conspiratorial groups for her villain, it's time to bail. Julie K. Smith's Skip Langdon series started to hare off in that direction, too; fortunately, she had the sense to dump Langdon and create the Tabitha Wallis series.

Mar 22, 2007, 9:51 pm

I don't like spoilers, so I try to read a series in order. I don't want to have someone widowed in the first one I read, then pick up another where he or she meets the spouse.

The Cater Street Hangman is the 1st Pitt book, and very good. As I recall, you can read another 10 or more in the series before encountering the conspiracy stuff.

To me the development of the characters and their relationships is an important part of the Monk series. Why not start with the first book?

I've read the first 2 of the WWI series. I'm not too sure about the plot line, but her writing keeps me going anyway. I'm a fan.

Abr 10, 2007, 5:25 pm

I enjoy her books to a degree. The problem I have, is that the characters overreact to an absurd degree about nearly everything. I still check her books out of the library.

10midtowngirl Primeira Mensagem
Editado: Jul 4, 2007, 12:25 pm

I always pick up Anne Perry's books as soon as they come out. The Monk series is my favorite - I've been reading it for the last ten years and I have never been bored with it.

The Pitt books did tend to lose a little steam, but IF YOU LIKE conspiracies (and I do very much), then The Whitechapel Conspiracy is a great book to read. Of all the Pitts, it is my favorite (along with Traitor's Gate and Pentecost Alley).

The WWI series had a great start but got a little muddled and confusing in the last two books - I need to reread all of them to get a better sense of what was going on.

I have tried working my way through Tathea twice, but got very overwhelmed in the middle of it, and have not read the sequel Come Armageddon. I will try again this summer.

What I love most about Ms. Perry's books, beyond the historical detail, is the characters. I have been reading her books for so long they are like old friends to me. My favorite character of all is Hester from the Monk series.

Ago 3, 2007, 3:51 pm

I'm listening to Dark Assassins by Anne Perry now, and I have to say I agree with vidalia11 (#9) in that the characters seem to react to every little thing so strongly that it becomes overly melodramatic. But, then, perhaps it's the way things were in Victorian times ~ with all that sexual and emotional repression going on, feelings had to come out in some other more acceptable way. :)

Editado: Ago 17, 2008, 4:03 pm

>5 waiting4morning: waiting4morning
I've read three of these WWI books and I'm not impressed. I think the 4th is the final one and I think its because they aren't being well-received. I loved all of Perry's early works but the repetitiveness of 'pulled a face' ...sensitivity and intelligence...there was nothing to say...those and other phrases which are over-used, have made her writing less enjoyable.

I really like the Monk novels - the early ones.

I was shocked when I heard she had murdered someone when she was a young teen - but I'm getting over that.

Also, if you go to YouTube there are several 'episodes' of Ian Rankin interviewing Perry which is pretty good.

That was several subjects, only one of which you asked, waiting4, but I got off track as usual.

Ago 17, 2008, 8:09 pm

Hi, silver ~ I seem to be following you all around today, though this is the first thread I've posted on. I swear I'm not a stalker! :)

I haven't read her WWI books and am glad now after hearing what you and others have said about them.

Her latest Pitt mystery ~ Buckingham Palace Gardens ~ was pretty good, I thought, after a stretch of not-so-good ones. It came back to Pitt the Murder Detective as opposed to Pitt the Conspiracy-Investigator and featured Gracie and hardly any Charlotte.

Thanks for the tip on the Ian Rankin interview.

Editado: Ago 19, 2008, 11:29 am

Hi silver,

I'm particularly interested by this snippet from the Rankin-Perry interview:

It's the fact Hulme refers to herself as an "accessory" that I find interesting - I'm sure that if Rankin hadn't pressed her on it, she'd have left it at that (and, by extension, made those ignorant of the case believe that she didn't actually participate in the killing itself). As it was, Rankin made sure we knew that Perry "jumped on her" and it was "a sustained and brutal attack".

Personally, I think Perry should have refused the interview. I understand that former killers must use mental strategies to allow them to live their lives without a constant burden of guilt weighing them down, but it IS disconcerting to hear her say things like "it for me no longer exists".

Nov 3, 2010, 11:25 pm


Jan 9, 2011, 11:58 am

Huge, Huge fan of Anne Perry. I've read everything she's written. My personal favourite is the William Monk series, but they are all good.

Jan 10, 2011, 11:20 pm

I read the first Pitt book and have read the first four of the Monk series; I have the next three in the series waiting for me. I'm more interested in the developing relationship between Monk and Hester at this point than in the mysteries, as several things about A Sudden, Fearful Death bothered me quite a bit.

Abr 15, 2011, 11:34 am

I LOVE Anne Perry - but like some on here - I enjoy the romantic side of her stories as well as the mystery side - and I'm definitely not into graphic details. I'm probably more of a "cozy mystery" fan.

Abr 15, 2011, 3:55 pm

I've got the first Pitt book on my shelf right now, but haven't read it yet. But I've heard a lot of good things, so I'm looking forward to it.

Is the tv-series Monk based on Anne Perry's books? I mean the series with the very neurotic, has tons of OCD's Monk. I can't stand him, to be honest, but tv-shows have a habit of not following the books very well. (Bones on tv is far more socially inept than Bones in the books).

Abr 15, 2011, 4:19 pm

No, the two are not related. Perry's Monk is a Victorian-era detective who, in the first book, wakes up in the hospital after an accident, having lost his memory. He hides this from his boss (he works for the police) and tries to solve a murder case while also trying to figure out his own history/character/relationships. (These aren't spoilers--you'd get the same information from the book jacket.)

Perry's Monk is intelligent, handsome, somewhat ruthless. His character and those of some of the other characters are slowly developed over the course of the series. The nurse Hester Latterly is at least as important in the series as he is.

Abr 15, 2011, 5:00 pm

Oh good :). That means I can actually try that series. The tv-Monk seriously gets on my nerves; I'd never survive reading a book with him as the main character :).

Ago 10, 2011, 10:44 am

I'm another big Anne Perry fan. She's my author instead of mass market junk, when I need a quick no brainer read.

Read all the Pitt series (23? -- early and White Chapel are the best ones) and am saving the Monk series (I have the first 3). I have 5 girlfriends who are Perry fans as well -- for the same reasons. The WWI series was okay.

Aunt Vespasia is one of my all time favorite characters...

Ago 10, 2011, 12:16 pm

I read her Sherlock Holmes Pastiches, she couldn't get the voice right at all.

Set 13, 2011, 3:43 pm

I discovered Anne Perry's Cater Street Hangman, right after I had written the first draft of my own Victorian mystery (set in San Francisco) and I loved it, (and hated it because as I shopped around my own book, editors kept comparing the two.) I went on to become a college history professor, not publishing that historical mystery until 20 years later, but I continued to read Anne Perry during all those years as the primary author of Victorian mysteries.

For some reason I never warmed to the Monk series as much as the Charlotte-Pitt ones, and while I continued to buy and read both series, I confess, it has increasingly been more for the development of the characters than the plots, which have become more and more far-fetched and yet formulaic in my mind.

I have read 2 of the WWI series, and did enjoy them, and but haven't been motivated to read the rest of the series, and I am having trouble pinpointing why. I think Perry's vision is a bit dark for me (my own work is much lighter and I guess I see myself as more of an Austen than a Bronte fan, if that makes sense to any of you.)

Having seen the movie, Heavenly Creatures, about Perry's past, I have always thought that the darkness I saw must have come from that past. On the other hand, years ago I attended a local mystery writers conference where she was the keynote speaker, and she was delightful, and I was star struck as I stood beside her in the common bathroom, as we both brushed our teeth!

In short, I think how one responds to Perry, and which series you like best, will be very much a matter of taste. I would agree with many of the comments, do start at the beginning of both series. If you don't like the first ones, I very much doubt you will like the latter, although I do know friends who feel that while the Pitt series has degenerated, that the Monk series has gotten better.

If you do turn out to like her, you certainly have lots of pleasurable reading ahead of you!

M. Louisa Locke

Set 13, 2011, 11:13 pm

I guess I see myself as more of an Austen than a Bronte fan, if that makes sense to any of you

That makes perfect sense to me!

Editado: Nov 3, 2011, 10:16 am

>24 mlouisalocke: I confess, it has increasingly been more for the development of the characters than the plots, which have become more and more far-fetched and yet formulaic in my mind.

I've just read two of her Monk novels, to more or less the same conclusion.

Engaging characters and wonderful evocation of an era, but the sleuthing within doesn't really shine in itself, comes into roadblocks that feel sometime contrived, and comes to a conclusion only thanks to some last minute fairly out of the blue revelation and guilty party cave-in.

Jul 19, 2012, 5:20 pm

I guess I've been more drawn to the Monk series - I've finally caught up to the last book coming up in August. I felt like the author did a good job of developing the characters. She has certainly held my attention with Monk and his trying to find out more about his past after suffering from amnesia. She has enough back stories with each character to keep me coming back to see what happens.

Jul 31, 2013, 3:40 pm

>4 Risako: I loved the WWI series and have read them all, though at times the descriptions of life in the trenches was very depressing. I also prefer the Monk series to the Pitt series, though I haven't read many Pitt books and have to assume they get better as they go along (?). I think Perry is an excellent writer.

Ago 1, 2013, 9:24 am

I started to read one of her books once. I didn't bother to finish it.

Nov 28, 2013, 9:40 am

I love the Pitt series, although I've only read the first one. I'm definitely hooked there. I haven't read her Monk series and don't think I will, despite many believing its her best. I simply dislike (main) characters with amnesia, so that kind of spoils the book for me before even starting it.

Nov 21, 2017, 6:03 pm

My father is quite taken with the Anne Perry books and got me to start reading them. I am interspersing reading them with reading other series I started some time ago and am only on the third book. One thing I've noticed and wanted to comment on was the William Monk might be a great detective but it seems that he needs (at least in book 2 and 3) Hester to provide some critical insight into each case or he flounders. I was searching to see if anyone else had that opinion when I happened upon this discussion.

Nov 21, 2017, 6:38 pm

She's patchy - I've read a few of the Charlotte-Pitt ones and gradually lost interest. I tried Long Spoon Lane but gave up fairly quickly, it was so boring. Then a very short Christmas story: A Christmas Promise - that was OK, plenty of Victorian squalor and atmosphere. There's another one on my pile somewhere, which I'll read when I need something quick and light. Cardington Crescent which is a Charlotte-Pitt.

Nov 24, 2017, 4:38 pm

I like her writing. I've read one Monk and the first 3 Pitt novels and intend on continuing with both series.

Nov 28, 2017, 3:50 pm

I think I've only read one of the Charlotte-Pitt series, but I've read quite a few of the Monk series and generally enjoy it. I think Hester is at least as interesting at Monk and I kind of like the very slow development of their relationship.