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Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt,…

Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #2) (1980)

de Anne Perry

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9832815,603 (3.67)32
Murders just didn't happen in respectable areas like Callander Square - and yet, there had been two in a short space of time. But Charlotte Pitt was curious. Inspector Pitt's wife had not formed the habit of meddling in her husband's business, but something about this case intrigued her.
Título:Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #2)
Autores:Anne Perry
Informação:Publisher Unknown, Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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Callander Square de Anne Perry (1980)


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Mostrando 1-5 de 28 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
A nice sequel, second in the series, clearly written (the occasional typo, for which I fault her copy editor, if there was one), and with appealing development of the characters we met in the first book. The story is set in a quiet, affluent London square with houses set around a square where bodies were found by gardeners. The author makes good use of her main characters.

I had to write out an index card early on in the book, to keep track of all the various families that inhabit the 7 occupied houses. It's pretty bewildering. Even with the index card for reference, I got people confused, partly because the author laid out a web of relationships and history I had to keep track of, including the disappeared inhabitant of the 8th house. I was able to figure it out by the end of the story, pretty much.

The author does a good job of making the women in the book rounded characters, constrained by the injustices and roles of the period but nonetheless able to take action within those constraints; she didn't make the mistake so many do of giving female characters more physical freedom than actually pertained to them. Her male characters are also not bad, and she manages to convey their unquestioning acceptance of privilege and their condescension to the women in their lives without making them cartoonish. ( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
a chance discovery of two infant bodies leads to a string of tragedies in upper class Victorian London. Insp. Pitts wife assists without his knowledge
  ritaer | Apr 2, 2020 |
Thomas Pitt, a policeman, has been married to his well-born wife, Charlotte, for a relatively short amount of time. Charlotte is pregnant and quite happy with her marriage - she doesn't mind that she and Thomas don't have much money, or that she has to do housework. But that doesn't keep her from meddling in Thomas's work a bit.

Thomas's latest case involves the discovery of two dead infants buried in a wealthy neighborhood. There's no way to tell whether they were stillborn or murdered, although the one that's been dead the longest shows signs of deformities. It's a delicate case: the mother (or mothers?) likely worked or is still working for one of the nearby families. As Thomas questions the various servants, Charlotte and her sister Emily become involved as well.

I haven't read the first book in this series, but it didn't seem to interfere with my enjoyment much. I picked this up during a recent used book shopping trip, due to a recommendation in a comment on a Smart Bitches, Trashy Books post asking for historical romance recommendations involving working class couples. Unfortunately, the first book wasn't available, or I'd have started with that one.

The blog comment indicated that the books were mysteries with romantic elements, which I can sort of see but which set up expectations that Callander Square, at least, didn't fulfill. For example, while Thomas and Charlotte clearly loved each other, they didn't actually spend much on-page time together. I went into this book expecting Charlotte to give Thomas information more regularly than she did. I can't recall if she ever even admitted to Thomas that the "friend" she'd begun helping was actually General Balantyne, who might have had some connection, direct or indirect, to the dead babies. The number of sections from Emily's POV also surprised me.

Also, I didn't remember until after I started reading this that Anne Perry is the mystery author who, when she was 15, participated in the murder of her friend's mother. I'd always previously avoided her books because of that - reading murder mysteries written by someone who has actually committed one seemed...icky. On the plus side, at least there were no explicit on-page murders or "killer POV" scenes.

Anyway, back to the book itself. I really liked the beginning but started to become impatient as I got further in and there seemed to be no progress in the case. True, there were potential scandals galore (exciting!), but if it hadn't been for one particular murder, I doubt the mystery of the buried babies would have ever been solved. One very important detail didn't even come up until the last ten pages or so.

I really wish the book had included a character list/guide, or possibly a set of family trees, because keeping all the names straight was difficult. For a while there, I had a theory about the murderer's identity that involved one character's father, but I couldn't for the life of me remember if his name had ever been mentioned. It didn't help that some of the characters had relatively similar names and/or didn't get mentioned much. I kept on mixing up Carlton and Campbell, for example. And even if I remembered who the characters were and why they were important, I couldn't always remember who their spouses and children were.

Still, I enjoyed all of the various intertwined scandals and was surprised (in a good way?) that things actually worked out fairly well for several of the families, considering. The original mystery, the issue of what happened to the two dead babies, didn't grab me as much, maybe because it tended to be overshadowed by everything else.

One of my favorite things about this book was the way it handled its various female characters. Perry included a whole range of female characters, from annoying and silly to ruthlessly pragmatic. I liked some without reservation, disliked others, and found myself grudgingly respecting a few that I initially thought I'd 100% hate. The one thing nearly all of them had in common was that the men around them underestimated their perceptiveness and the depth of private lives and feelings. Even Thomas occasionally made this mistake, although he was good about listening to and learning from Charlotte, and was never so badly shaken by what he learned as some of the other men.

This was a bit slow for my tastes and didn't have Charlotte and Thomas on-page together as much as I'd expected, but I did enjoy it and plan on reading the next book at some point. I might also go back and read the first one, just to see what I missed.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Feb 17, 2019 |
Inspector Pitt is called upon to investigate the possible murder of two infants buried in the common garden area of Callender Square. The wealthy and distinguished residents resent his intrusion into their lives and his revealing of their secrets. Charlotte Pitt, recently married to Thomas does not intend to involve herself in the investigation, but her sister, Emily, recently married to Lord Ashworth is in a position to call upon the residents of the square and surreptitiously gain information. Charlotte herself is pulled in when Emily arranges a position for her as secretary to one of the residents working on a family history.

I love the intelligence and gregariousness of both Charlotte and Emily. Where Emily is more devious and sly, able to comport herself in society with just the right attitude, Charlotte is rather unable to keep from saying exactly what she thinks. The juxtaposition of their marriages, Charlotte's "beneath her station" and Emily's "above" will, I think, allow the two sisters to assist Pitt on his investigations for many of the following books in this series. I'm delighted with both of them, as well as Pitt himself, who, while being resented by members of the higher society he must question, is also respected by those of whom are able to spot an honest, intelligent and earnest individual...that is, those with little to hide.
I very much look forward to more of these. ( )
  EmScape | Sep 17, 2017 |
late 19th c England
Ins. Pitt — aristocrats / back stabbing gossip unwed maids wives look other way
okay for men / not talked @ / syphilis — good
10 times Edith Wharton + Henry James wrote about

Murders just don’t happen in fashionable areas like Callander Square–but these two have. The police are totally baffled. Pretty, young Charlotte Ellison Pitt, however, is curious.
Inspector Pitt’s well-bred wife doesn’t often meddle in her husband’s business, but something about this case intrigues her–to the point that staid Charlotte Pitt is suddenly rattling the closets of the very rich, seeking out backstairs gossip that would shock a barmaid, and unearthing truths that could push even the most proper aristocrat to murder.
  christinejoseph | Jul 12, 2017 |
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Damiani, MaddalenaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Porter, DavinaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The autumn air hung mild and faintly misty, and the grass in Callander Square was dappled yellow with fallen leaves in the late afternoon sun.
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Murders just didn't happen in respectable areas like Callander Square - and yet, there had been two in a short space of time. But Charlotte Pitt was curious. Inspector Pitt's wife had not formed the habit of meddling in her husband's business, but something about this case intrigued her.

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