Perry, Anne 1938- (Juliet Marion Hulme)
Perry, Anne 1938- (Juliet Marion Hulme)
Born Juliet Marion Hulme October 28, 1938, in London, England; daughter of Walter A.B. (an industrial engineer) and H. Marion (a teacher of the mentally handicapped) Hulme. Education: Educated privately. Politics: Liberal. Religion: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). Hobbies and other interests: Has been a volunteer driver for a hospital automobile service.
Home—Rosshire, Scotland. Agent—Meg Davis, MBA Literary Agents Ltd., 62 Grafton Way, London W1P 5DW, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Flight attendant in Northumberland, England, 1962-64; assistant buyer for a department store, Newcastle, England, 1964-66; Muldoon & Adams (insurance company), Los Angeles, CA, property underwriter, 1967-72; freelance writer, 1972—. Worked variously as a clerical worker, retailer, air stewardess, ship and shore stewardess, and limousine dispatcher.
"THOMAS AND CHARLOTTE PITT" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS
The Cater Street Hangman, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1979.
Callander Square, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1980.
Paragon Walk, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1981.
Resurrection Row, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1981.
Rutland Place, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1983.
Bluegate Fields, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1984.
Death in the Devil's Acre, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1985.
Cardington Crescent, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1987.
Silence in Hanover Close, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1988.
Bethlehem Road, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1990.
Highgate Rise, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1991.
Belgrave Square, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1992.
Farriers' Lane, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1993.
The Hyde Park Headsman, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1994.
Traitors Gate, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1995.
Pentecost Alley, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1996.
Ashworth Hall, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1997.
Brunswick Gardens, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1998.
Bedford Square, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1999.
Half Moon Street, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2000.
The Whitechapel Conspiracy, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2001.
Southampton Row, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2002.
Seven Dials, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2003.
Long Spoon Lane, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2005.
Africa Passage, Headline (London, England), 2007.
Buckingham Palace Gardens, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2008.
"MONK" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS
The Face of a Stranger, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1990.
A Dangerous Mourning, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1991.
Defend and Betray, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1992.
A Sudden, Fearful Death, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1993.
The Sins of the Wolf, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1994.
Cain His Brother, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1995.
Weighed in the Balance, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1996.
The Silent Cry, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1997.
A Breach of Promise, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1998.
The Twisted Root, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1999.
Slaves of Obsession, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2000.
Funeral in Blue, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2002.
Death of a Stranger, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2002.
The Shifting Tide, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2004.
The William Monk Mysteries: The First Three Novels (contains Face of a Stranger, Dangerous Mourning, and Defend and Betray), Ballantine (New York, NY), 2005.
Dark Assassin, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2006.
"WORLD WAR ONE REAVLEY FAMILY" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS
No Graves as Yet: 1914, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2003.
Shoulder the Sky: 1915, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2004.
Angels in the Gloom: 1916, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2005.
At Some Disputed Barricade: 1917, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2007.
We Shall Not Sleep, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2007.
"HISTORICAL CHRISTMAS" SERIES; MYSTERY NOVELS
A Christmas Journey, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2003.
A Christmas Visitor, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2004.
A Christmas Guest, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2005.
An Anne Perry Christmas: Two Holiday Novels, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2006.
A Christmas Secret, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2006.
A Christmas Beginning, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2007.
The Fashionable Funeral (mystery novel), Fawcett (New York, NY), 1992.
(Editor) Anne Perry Presents Malice Domestic 6: An Anthology of Original Traditional Mystery Stories, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Tathea (fantasy novel), Shadow Mountain (Salt Lake City, UT), 1999.
A Dish Taken Cold (mystery novel), Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1999.
The One Thing More (historical novel), Headline (London, England), 2000.
(Editor) Death by Horoscope, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2001.
Come Armageddon (fantasy novel), Headline (London, England), 2001.
(Editor) Much Ado about Murder, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2002.
(Editor) Death by Dickens, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2004.
Letters from the Highland (nonfiction), Granite Publishing (Orem, UT), 2004.
Also author of Riders Ready! Contributor to audiobook Price of Desire, edited by Ed McBain, Audio Renaissance, 2005. Contributor to a book on the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Brit- ish Isles, Cambridge University Press. Author of introduction, Crime Through Time III, edited by Sharan Newman, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2000.
The following were adapted to audio by Random House: Cain His Brother, 1995, Pentecost Alley, 1996, Weighed in the Balance, 1996, and Brunswick Gardens, 1998. Chivers Audio Books adapted A Sudden, Fearful Death to audio in 1995. Also adapted to audio are Defend and Betray, The Face of a Stranger, At Some Disputed Barricade, and The Sins of the Wolf.
Anne Perry's distinctive mysteries are notable for their representation of Victorian England, their independent and industrious female sleuths well ahead of their time, and their preoccupation with morality and the motives behind human behavior. Perry typically employs an investigative team made up of a man and a woman in her stories. In the "Thomas and Charlotte Pitt" novels, for example, the team consists of the blue-blooded Charlotte Pitt and her husband, Inspector Thomas Pitt. Herbert Mitgang, reviewing Belgrave Square for the New York Times, noted that while the Pitts "came from different stations in society, they are happily married and form an ideal detective team." With her husband working through official channels, Charlotte pulls the strings of her highborn status to bring Victorian England's villains to task. In the "Monk" series of novels, Perry's sleuthing team consists of William Monk, a private detective, and nurse Hester Latterly.
Through both of these series, Perry presents the rigidity and pomposity of Victorian society with a keen eye for detail and an indulgent sense of humor. Yet she does not forget the painful social inequities of that era, a condition that she often highlights in her books. In Bethlehem Road, for example, the Pitts investigate a series of political assassinations, turning their suspicious eyes on an avenging suffragette who has lost her child and property because of England's punishing divorce laws. In other books, the author examines child abuse, sexual exploitation, slum landlords, and the confined lives of ambitious, talented women with no outlet for their gifts. Rosemary Herbert wrote in her review of The Face of a Stranger for the New York Times Book Review that the author's "intent has been to entertain the reader with well-paced action and strong plot lines while uncovering societal woes."
The first novel in the "Monk" series, The Face of a Stranger, also marks the debut of the second Perry team. Monk and Hester's first case is that of a dead nobleman whose murder offers Monk the chance to rediscover lost memories of his own life following a carriage accident. The ending offers a revelatory solution to both plot lines. In Cain His Brother, Monk's task is to locate Genevieve Stonefield's missing husband. Genevieve fears her husband has been killed by his violent twin brother. The further Monk delves into the case, the greater the obstacles he must overcome. On one hand, New York Times Book Review critic Martin Seymour-Smith faulted Perry's historical setting as being "not quite of the sort to attract a student of Victorian England" and claimed "the plot is patently impossible, the solution is obvious." However, Booklist reviewer Emily Melton praised Perry's work and called for "high marks for superb plotting, fine writing, intriguing characters, and outstanding historical detail."
In 1994, Perry's own true-life mystery was revealed. After the release of the film Heavenly Creatures, Perry was pressured to admit that in 1954, as a British teenager living in New Zealand under her real name, Juliet Marion Hulme, she was convicted of helping her best friend murder the friend's mother. The film is based on the newspaper account of the incident. This disclosure, which came just as Perry was to embark on a twenty-three-city tour to promote Traitors Gate, surprised the publishing world and her legions of loyal readers. Perry told John Darnton in the New York Times that admitting her past to her friends and business associates was "one of the worst days of my life." She shared her story in numerous interviews, even while she expressed surprise that anyone would find it of interest. She told Darnton: "It never occurred to me that forty years on, something that had been dealt with and paid for, that anybody would care anymore."
Eventually, attention turned once again to Perry's work. Reviewing Traitors Gate for the New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio wrote that "Ms. Perry's infallible feeling for the historical moment yields animated political debate over the colonization of Africa, glittering views of Victorian society at play and tantalizing glimpses of a confident, assertive creature known as the ‘new woman.’ … Along with deeply affecting scenes as a funeral in the country, these are the true wonders and pleasures of Ms. Perry's art."
"Perry is at her most atmospheric and compelling in Bedford Square," another Pitt mystery, commented Barbara Valle in the Library Journal. When the body of a local peddler turns up on the front doorstep of respected General Brandon Balantyne's posh Bedford Square home, Pitt discovers that the deceased is a disreputable ex-soldier. Balantyne denies knowing the man, even after the deceased's snuff box is found in Balantyne's pocket. The general, it seems, has a secret, and Pitt thinks that finding out what it is will prevent more bodies from turning up. Pitt's investigation reveals that Balantyne has recently received letters threatening blackmail, but it is unclear how the dead man and the blackmail threat connect. When he learns that other prominent and powerful men have also been threatened in a similar way, Pitt delves deeper to find the overlooked clues in the peddler's death, connections to the extortionist's demands, and common bonds among the seemingly disparate targets of blackmail. "Yet again, Perry delivers an astute and gripping examination of life behind Victorian England's virtuous façade," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Perry's "expert presentation of Victoriana, plus a goodly dose of suspense, makes this turn-of-the-century police procedural a must have," remarked Booklist contributor Emily Melton.
London's Whitechapel district was a terrifying place in 1888 because, during that year, the infamous Jack the Ripper plied his gruesome and deadly trade among the local prostitutes. Four years later, at the opening of The Whitechapel Conspiracy, John Adinett is on trial for his life in the killing of his friend and social equal, Martin Fetters. Police superintendent Thomas Pitt delivers the testimony that results in the powerful Adinett's conviction and execution, but instead of earning him a promotion, it lands him in a harsh London slum district in Whitechapel, stripped of his position as superintendent and monitoring the activities of local anarchists. Charlotte Pitt, distressed at the separation from her husband, steps in to find out why he has been treated so poorly; she is assisted by housekeeper Gracie and Thomas's subordinate officer, Tellman. She finds that Adinett was a member of a secretive group of powerful and wealthy men who were deeply disturbed by Pitt's actions in convicting one of them. More disturbing is the treasonous and deadly plot that Charlotte uncovers that ties in with the Ripper murders, leads through the royal family to the Prince of Wales, and threatens to shatter the British monarchy and English way of life. Reviewer Laurel Bliss, writing in the Library Journal, stated that "Perry deftly weaves the different threads of her story into a powerful tale of corruption, patriotism, and loyalty." "This is one of Perry's most intricate and satisfying Victorian novels about Thomas and Charlotte Pitt," remarked reviewer Valle in another Library Journal review. "Perry pulls out the stops and delivers one of the finest performances of her career," concluded a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
The murder of a junior British diplomat opens the next Pitt mystery, Seven Dials. Not only was the lad killed, but his body was found in the garden of a beautiful and mysterious Egyptian woman, Ayesha Zakhari, who has been romantically linked to a prominent British cabinet minister. It appears on the surface that she is the killer, but Pitt's investigation shows that Zakhari is not the villain that he has been led to believe. She is, however, the mistress of minister Saville Ryerson, who was also at the murder scene, and Pitt is instructed to help protect Ryerson in any way he can. He begins to suspect that the case is part of a much larger political plot, so he travels to Egypt in search of definitive answers. Meanwhile, Charlotte is involved in a search for a missing valet, Martin Garvey. As the investigation takes her into the notorious Seven Dials district of London, the two cases intersect in ways that none of the participants expected. "As usual with Perry, the mystery ripples out in complications and new dangers," noted Booklist reviewer Connie Fletcher, who concluded that the novel is a "fine puzzle." A Publishers Weekly contributor observed that "Perry once again delivers a complex and satisfying tale that fans of the series will devour."
The title location of Long Spoon Lane is the site of an anarchist bombing in Perry's next Pitt mystery. Inspector Pitt arrives in the middle of the night to the aftermath and destruction. The bombing was apparently in retaliation for some high-level London police corruption. When the body of Marcus Landsborogh is discovered, questions arise about the well-connected aristocrat's involvement with anarchist groups. The police accuse the arrested bombers of killing Landsborogh, while the belligerent anarchists declare that the only ones who wanted him dead were the police themselves. In the aftermath of the incident, members of Parliament suggest giving broadened powers to the police in order to let them move decisively against the anarchists—a proposal equivalent to a Victorian-era Patriot Act. The idea is supported by the fiery MP Tanqueray and his associate, Wetron, who is head of a secretive group of rich and powerful men called the Inner Circle. The novel then proceeds to explore numerous themes of the use and abuse of government power. As Pitt pursues his investigation, suspicion falls on Wetron himself as the force behind the anarchists. Pitt must determine the connection between Wetron and the anarchists, as well as the extent of his plan, before important rights are trampled in the rush to foil the anarchists. "The period setting allows both some thoughtful debate on a difficult problem and a solution more reassuring than anything you'll find in tomorrow's papers," observed a Kirkus Reviews contributor. "Perry manages to paint a convincing historical backdrop with echoes of modern-day fears of urban terrorism," a Publishers Weekly reviewer similarly noted.
Perry alternates between writing books in the "Thomas and Charlotte Pitt" series and the "Monk" series. In The Shifting Tide Monk is hired by merchant Clement Louvain to locate a cache of ivory stolen from Louvain's ship, which has just arrived from Africa. While he investigates, Hester, who now runs a free medical clinic for prostitutes, looks for ways to keep the financially precarious clinic open and operating. Hester is surprised when Louvain drops off a woman at her clinic, claiming her to be the abused wife of a friend. When the woman dies, it is discovered that she suffered from the bubonic plague, which demands that the clinic be quarantined until the disease has run its course. The connection between Louvain and the dead woman seems deeper than simple concern for a friend, however. During his search for the missing ivory, Monk discovers that the watchman was killed in the robbery, and his sense of justice demands that he do all he can to see that the man's killers are held accountable for the crime. The novel "is more talky than usual for the author and drags in places, but, as always, the characters and their milieu remain vivid," commented Library Journal reviewer Michael Adams. As in her other works, "Perry uses her characters and story to comment on ethical issues that remain as relevant today as they were in Victorian times," noted a reviewer in Publishers Weekly.
Perry draws on some of the minor characters introduced in her "Charlotte and Thomas Pitt" mystery series for a second series of mystery novels, set during the holiday season. She introduces the series, referred to as her "Historical Christmas" series, with A Christmas Journey, which was published in 2003. The story starts with the end of the season in London, when most of society turns their attention toward the holidays, which are fast approaching. Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, taking advantage of the fact that her husband is abroad, decides to attend a party thrown by her friend, Omegus Jones, and so leaves her children behind in London to attend the festivities at Jones's home, Applecross. She anticipates a particularly gay event, given that the nation is enjoying a time of peace, even though she has heard some speculation that the lull will not last long given the stirrings going on in the Crimea. However, the party is less than peaceful, due to a confrontation between Vespasia's friend Isobel Alvie and Gwendolyn Kilmuir, a widow who is in attendance. When Gwendolyn is discovered dead the next morning, an apparent suicide, Isobel is blamed for tormenting her. Saddened and remorseful for her actions, Isobel travels with Vespasia for company to speak with Gwendolyn's mother, and only then will they learn what truly prompted the suicide. Harriet Klausner, in a review for the Books ‘n’ Bytes Web site, remarked that Perry's novel "may be a mid-nineteenth century tale, but the deep messages remain valuable in today's society," adding that "the story line is kept from being light fluff by a strong cast."
The next installment in Perry's "Historical Christmas" series is A Christmas Visitor. The complex tale revolves around new widow Antonia Dreghorn, whose husband Judah, one of four brothers, is killed in an accident when he slips on some wet rocks and strikes his head. After the tragedy, Antonia learns that her husband's good name is about to be dragged through the coals as Ashton Gower plans to accuse both him and Antonia's godfather, Henry Rathbone, of having colluded to steal his property from him. Gower had been accused of forging his ownership papers by Peter Colgrave, an assessment that Henry agreed with at the time. This was enough to land Gower in prison for forgery, at which point Colgrave went ahead and sold the estate to Judah. Looking into the situation all of these years later, Henry is determined to get to the bottom of Gower's accusations, particularly given the strange timing of Judah's accidental death. The novel ties back to Perry's "Monk" series through Henry, who is father to Oliver Rathbone, a recurring character in those books. Harriet Klausner, again reviewing for the Books ‘n’ Bytes Web site, dubbed the book "a fabulous Victorian cozy," and went on to conclude that "Ms. Perry provides a wonderful Yuletide historical mystery."
In A Christmas Guest, Charlotte's mother, Caroline Fielding, is saddled with an unexpected visitor: her former mother-in-law, sent to the Romney Marshes to spend Christmas with her ex-daughter-in-law and her scandalously-younger actor husband, Joshua. Grandmama's mood is lightened, however, by the arrival of Maude Barrington, a distant relative of Joshua's, who regales the old woman with stories of her many years of travel in the Muslim world. After Maude is discovered dead in her room, however, Grandmama undergoes a change of heart. "Like Grandmama herself, Maude was a visitor at Romney Marshes because her family didn't want her with them," explained Bookreporter.com contributor Terry Miller Shannon. "She wishes she had let Maude know how much she admired her. In retrospect, she feels great pangs at the loss of someone who could have been a true friend." When Grandmama visits Maude's family, she discovers still more oddities that captivate her. Soon, like her granddaughter, she becomes involved in the investigation of the mystery surrounding Maude's death.
In A Christmas Secret, Perry reintroduces the Reverend Dominic Corde and his wife Clarice, another set of minor characters from the "Charlotte and Thomas Pitt" series. The Cordes are spending the holidays in Cottisham, Oxfordshire, substituting for the local vicar, Reverend Wynter, who is spending his Christmas in travel. Within hours, the couple realizes that the village belies its apparent idyllic atmosphere. This feeling is confirmed when Clarice discovers Reverend Wynter's corpse in the cellar of the vicarage. "There are wounds that are hard to explain as a heart attack or fall," stated Jennifer McCord in her Bookreporter.com Web site review, "so Clarice suspects murder. Dr. Fitzpatrick, who comes to examine the body, is skeptical, but Clarice and Dominic investigate the murder anyway by talking with the parishioners." "Someone's professed love for the vicar," a Kirkus Reviews contributor explained, "was clearly a mask for something far more disturbing." "Engaging characters, a vivid sense of time and place, and a cozy setting," Sue O'Brien concluded in Booklist, "add enjoyment to this Victorian mystery."
A Christmas Beginning continues Perry's "Historical Christmas" series. The book follows Superintendent Runcorn, Monk's former boss, as he attempts to get away from the stress of his job for the holiday season. However, his work seems to follow him, as he escapes London for an isolated island in Wales only to find himself involved in a murder investigation. Olivia Costain, the victim, was the local vicar's sister and of a childlike disposition before she was brutally murdered, stabbed in the stomach. The local police are not up to the investigation, so help is called for from the mainland. However, as Runcorn observes the way things are going, he realizes that no one is taking into consideration the very basic fact that it is obvious Olivia knew her killer. Runcorn finds himself getting drawn further and further into the case, even as various other characters from life at home continue to pop up and wreck havoc. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews commented that this installment in the series "works best as a study of Runcorn's lower-class inhibitions and how he learns to deal with them." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised Perry's depiction of Runcorn and his approach, stating that his "modest, unflashy ways carry this moody, understated mystery."
Perry inaugurated a new series set during World War I with No Graves as Yet: 1914. At the novel's opening, Joseph and Matthew Reavley are devastated when their parents are killed in a car accident. Surprisingly, British intelligence agent Matthew learns that his father was supposed to be carrying a secret document to give to him. The accident may actually have been a murder committed by a shadowy figure called the Peacemaker, who seeks to stop war between England and Germany in any way possible. Michael and Joseph, a clergyman and Cambridge educator, become determined to find out what happened to their parents and recover the missing document, which is said to contain national security information that threatens the foundation of Britain's honor. Meanwhile, Joseph's grief is compounded by the death of one of his favorite students, and an Austrian archduke is assassinated by a Serbian anarchist, an event that will trigger the war to end all wars. Michael and Joseph must tie these events together even as they grieve, and before irreparable harm is done to the country they love. "Perry masterfully intertwines both cases while supplying plenty of Great War-era detail," remarked Adams in another Library Journal review. Library Journal contributor Bliss commented that readers and fans of Perry's other novels will appreciate the author's "deft touch with language, her intricate unfolding of events, and her clear examination of the foibles of human beings."
Shoulder the Sky: 1915 is the second book in the series. In this installment, Joseph has taken his ministerial duties directly to the trenches at the front, not only serving the spiritual needs of the soldiers there but also putting himself in danger by helping recover the wounded and the dead from the mud and barbed wire of the "no man's land" between the combatants. One of the bodies he recovers is that of Eldon Prentice, an arrogant and egotistical war correspondent. No one who knew him is saddened by his death, and many seem glad he is dead. As the story unfolds, however, it becomes clear that Prentice was not killed by a German, but was instead done in by one of his own countrymen. Unable to let the injustice stand, Reavley begins to investigate the reporter's murder. In London, Michael seeks answers to the identity of the Peacemaker, and their sister, Judith, becomes an ambulance driver at the front. "Questions about the morality of war resonate throughout this harrowing novel," noted Booklist contributor Stephanie Zvirin. In addition, "the characters' emotions and thoughts capture the confusion, frustration, and determination of those fighting the war," noted reviewer Pam Johnson in the School Library Journal. Perry suffuses the story with her "trademark passion against injustice and evil," Bliss further remarked in the Library Journal.
Perry concludes the saga of the Reavley family in We Shall Not Sleep. In the book, the three siblings have come to the verge of discovering the identity of the Peacemaker, the person they believe is responsible for the murder of their parents. A defecting German officer offers to betray the Peacemaker to the British authorities, offering the trio a chance at a final resolution. "This moving mystery focuses more on the message than the murder," a Kirkus Reviews contributor stated, "but it brings one of history's pivotal times back to life through sharp period detail." "Anne Perry has honored this time in history with her series," declared Jennifer McCord in her Bookreporter.com Web site assessment of the novel. "The struggles portrayed by the characters—both those of impeccable character and those who are flawed—are memorable. The overall series mystery of the Peacemaker's identity keeps readers on the edge of their chairs all the way to the end." "At the finish," concluded a Publishers Weekly contributor, "Perry neatly and satisfactorily ties up all the loose ends from the preceding novels."
In Buckingham Palace Gardens, Perry continues her "Thomas and Charlotte Pitt" series. The story begins rather explosively when the body of a prostitute is discovered in a linen closet at Buckingham Palace on the morning following a raucous revelry thrown by the Prince of Wales in the absence of his mother, Queen Victoria. Anxious to avoid scandal and to keep the Prince's name out of the papers, the palace calls in Thomas Pitt to investigate the situation and to determine who is responsible for the plight of the poor working girl. In order to track the behavior of the various members of the royal household, Pitt has one of his own maids go to work within the confines of the palace as a spy, a nice touch given that his wife, Charlotte, does not work the case with him due to its sensitive nature. With a little effort, Pitt rules out the members of the household staff, which leaves party guests—business associates with whom England might build a railroad in Africa—and the Prince himself as suspects. A writer for Publishers Weekly declared the Prince an unlikely suspect, noting that he is easily dismissed by readers, but concluded that "Perry does a nice job with some plot twists."
Throughout her works, Perry reveals an interest in the internal lives of her characters, wielding psychological insight that adds to the great appeal of her books for many readers. "My major interest is in conflict of ethics," Perry once told CA: "especially involving honesty with oneself, which is why the Victorian scene, with its layers of hypocrisy, appeals to me. My other favorite periods are the Spanish Inquisition and the French Revolution, because of the question of free agency and the use of force to make others believe as we do, in what we believe to be their best interest.
"I am not sure what motivates me; a fascination with people, motives, the belief that the written word is the means by which we can give something of ourselves, hopefully the best of our pleasures and beliefs, to everyone else who can read, in any country, and in the present or the future. My own joy in reading, and the wealth gained, has been immeasurable. The world never stops growing, becoming more complex and more marvelous to one who can read."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Novelists, 6th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Book, January, 2001, Jennifer Braunschweiger, review of The Whitechapel Conspiracy, p. 77; January-February, 2003, Anna Weinberg, "Secrets and Lies: Anne Perry Has a Knack for Getting at the Darker Truths," profile of Anne Perry, p. 22.
Booklist, March 15, 1993, Emily Melton, review of Farriers' Lane, p. 1308; March 15, 1994, Emily Melton, review of The Hyde Park Headsman, p. 1331; October 15, 1994, Emily Melton, review of The Sins of the Wolf, p. 404; August, 1995, Emily Melton, review of Cain His Brother, p. 1911; October 15, 1995, Karen Harris, review of A Sudden, Fearful Death, p. 421; January 1, 1996, Emily Melton, review of Pentecost Alley, p. 749; September 1, 1996, Ilene Cooper, review of Weighed in the Balance, p. 31; January 1, 1997, Emily Melton, review of Ashworth Hall, p. 779; July, 1997, Emily Melton, review of The Silent Cry, p. 1776; September 1, 1998, Emily Melton, review of A Breach of Promise, p. 7; January 1, 1999, Emily Melton, review of Bedford Square, p. 793; August, 1999, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The Twisted Root, p. 1988; October 1, 1999, John Mort, review of Tathea, p. 326; February 1, 2000, Bill Ott, review of Half Moon Street, p. 997; May 1, 2000, Mary McCay, review of The Twisted Root, p. 1627; June 1, 2000, Connie Fletcher, review of Slaves of Obsession, p. 1799; October 1, 2000, Jeanette Larson, review of Callander Square, p. 368; May 1, 2001, Mary McCay, review of Farriers' Lane, p. 1615, Karen Harris, review of Callander Square, p. 1616, and Mary Frances Wilkens, review of Slaves of Obsession, p. 1617; July, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Death by Horoscope, p. 1986; August, 2001, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Funeral in Blue, p. 2053, and Whitney Scott, review of The Whitechapel Conspiracy, p. 2143; November 1, 2001, Nancy Spillman, review of Bedford Square, p. 494; December 1, 2001, Connie Fletcher, review of Southampton Row, p. 607; February 1, 2002, Karen Harris, review of Resurrection Row, p. 955; July, 2002, Connie Fletcher, review of Death of a Stranger, p. 1798; November 1, 2002, Connie Fletcher, review of Seven Dials, p. 452; June 1, 2003, Connie Fletcher, review of No Graves as Yet: 1914, p. 1711; November 15, 2003, Candace Smith, review of No Graves as Yet, p. 614; February 15, 2004, Connie Fletcher, review of The Shifting Tide, p. 1004; July, 2004, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Shoulder the Sky: 1915, p. 1800; December 15, 2004, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Long Spoon Lane, p. 691; March 1, 2005, Stephanie Zvirin, review of A Christmas Visitor, p. 1213; August, 2005, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Angels in the Gloom: 1916, p. 1953; Stephanie Zvirin, review of Dark Assassin, p. 22; November 1, 2006, Sue O'Brien, review of A Christmas Secret, p. 33; February 15, 2007, Joanne Wilkinson, review of We Shall Not Sleep, p. 42.
Charlotte Observer, March 15, 2002, review of Southampton Row.
Entertainment Weekly, December 19, 2003, Caroline Kepnes, review of A Christmas Journey, p. 82; December 10, 2004, Tina Jordan, review of A Christmas Visitor, p. 101; December 15, 2006, Tina Jordan, review of A Christmas Secret, p. 91.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2001, review of Funeral in Blue, p. 1171; December 1, 2001, review of Southampton Row, p. 1650; August 15, 2002, review of Death of a Stranger, p. 1180; November 1, 2002, review of Much Ado about Murder, p. 1575; December 1, 2002, review of Seven Dials, p. 1738; June 1, 2003, review of No Graves as Yet, p. 776; July 15, 2004, review of Shoulder the Sky, p. 654; March 1, 2005, review of Long Spoon Lane, p. 264; September 15, 2006, review of A Christmas Secret, p. 932; February 1, 2007, review of We Shall Not Sleep, p. 95; September 1, 2007, review of A Christmas Beginning.
Kliatt, November, 2002, Liz LaValley, review of Tathea, p. 27; September, 2003, Bette D. Ammon, review of Seven Dials, p. 57; March, 2004, Bette Ammon, review of No Graves as Yet, p. 53; September, 2004, Janet Julian, review of The Shifting Tide, p. 65; January, 2005, Janet Julian, review of Shoulder the Sky, p. 50.
Library Bookwatch, January 6, 2003, review of Seven Dials, p. 42; March 15, 2005, Michael Adams, review of The Shifting Tide, p. 124; April 1, 2005, Theresa Connors, review of Cardington Crescent, p. 132.
Library Journal, February 1, 1997, Nancy Pearl, review of Ashworth Hall, p. 111; August, 1997, Michelle Foyt, review of The Silent Cry, p. 140; February 1, 1998, Michelle Foyt, review of Brunswick Gardens, p. 116; October 1, 1998, Michelle Foyt, review of A Breach of Promise, p. 139; January, 1999, Laurel Bliss, review of Bedford Square, p. 165; October 1, 1999, Laurel Bliss, review of The Twisted Root, p. 139; November 1, 1999, Jennifer Belford, review of A Breach of Promise, p. 140; February 1, 2000, Barbara Valle, review of Bedford Square, p. 133; August, 2000, Jean Langlais, review of Slaves of Obsession, p. 167; October 1, 2000, Barbara Valle, review of Half Moon Street, p. 166; November 1, 2000, Marjorie Lemon, review of Callander Square, p. 154; February 1, 2001, Laurel Bliss, review of The Whitechapel Conspiracy, p. 128; August, 2001, Rex Klett, review of Death by Horoscope, p. 170; September 15, 2001, Barbara Valle, review of The Whitechapel Conspiracy, p. 130; March 15, 2002, Marjorie Lemon, review of Funeral in Blue, p. 126; August, 2002, Laurel Bliss, review of Death of a Stranger, p. 151; August, 2003, Laurel Bliss, review of No Graves as Yet, p. 134, and Michael Adams, review of Seven Dials, p. 152; September 15, 2003, Theresa Connors, review of Death of a Stranger, p. 106; April 1, 2004, Michael Adams, review of No Graves as Yet, p. 137; June 1, 2004, Barbara Hoffert, review of Shoulder the Sky, p. 102; September 1, 2004, Laurel Bliss, review of Shoulder the Sky, p. 126; March 15, 2005, Michael Adams, review of TheShifting Tide, p. 124; April 1, 2005, Theresa Connors, review of Cardington Crescent, p. 132; July 1, 2005, review of Silence in Hanover Close, p. 131.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June, 2000, Michelle West, review of Tathea, p. 41.
National Review, May 6, 1996, Anthony LeJeune, review of Cain His Brother, p. 54.
New York Times, June 12, 1992, Herbert Mitgang, review of Belgrave Square, p. C21; February 14, 1995, John Darnton, "Author Faces up to a Long, Dark Secret," profile of Anne Perry, p. B1; November 5, 1995, Martin Seymour-Smith, review of Cain His Brother, p. 20.
New York Times Book Review, August 5, 1990, Marilyn Stasio, review of Bethlehem Road, p. 29; November 18, 1990, Rosemary Herbert, review of The Face of a Stranger, p. 40; June 16, 1991, Marilyn Stasio, review of Highgate Rise, p. 21; October 18, 1992, Frederick Busch, review of Defend and Betray, p. 36; March 20, 1994, Marilyn Stasio, review of The Hyde Park Headsman, p. 22; October 2, 1994, Amy Boaz, review of The Sins of the Wolf, p. 32; March 19, 1995, Marilyn Stasio, review of Traitors Gate, p. 29.
People, September 26, 1994, Pam Lambert, "Blood Memory," profile of Anne Perry, p. 57; November 13, 1995, Ruth Coughlin, review of Cain His Brother, p. 46.
Publishers Weekly, February 6, 1987, Sybil Steinberg, review of Cardington Crescent, p. 87; June 22, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of Bethlehem Road, p. 48; September 14, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of The Face of a Stranger, p. 113; April 5, 1991, Sybil Steinberg, review of Highgate Rise, p. 138; August 2, 1991, review of A Dangerous Mourning, p. 65; February 17, 1992, review of Belgrave Square, p. 49; July 27, 1992, review of Defend and Betray, p. 50; February 8, 1993, review of Farriers' Lane, p. 79; September 6, 1993, review of A Sudden, Fearful Death, p. 86; January 24, 1994, review of The Hyde Park Headsman, p. 42; January 2, 1995, review of Traitors Gate, p. 61; March 27, 1995, Dulcy Brainard, "Anne Perry: ‘A Structure in Which to Grow,’" p. 64; July 31, 1995, review of Cain His Brother, p. 72; January 22, 1996, review of Pentecost Alley, p. 62; September 2, 1996, review of Weighed in the Balance, p. 116; January 13, 1997, review of Ashworth Hall, p. 58; July 14, 1997, review of The Silent Cry, p. 67; January 19, 1998, review of Brunswick Gardens, p. 374; August 31, 1998, review of A Breach of Promise, p. 51; February 15, 1999, review of Bedford Square, p. 89; August 23, 1999, review of The Twisted Root, p. 49; August 30, 1999, review of Tathea, p. 57; March 6, 2000, review of Half Moon Street, p. 86; June 5, 2000, review of Half Moon Street, p. 62; September 11, 2000, review of Slaves of Obsession, p. 73; October 23, 2000, "What's Your Motive?," profile of Anne Perry, p. 43; November 6, 2000, review of The Whitechapel Conspiracy, p. 73; January 1, 2001, review of A Dish Taken Cold, p. 71; June 4, 2001, review of The Whitechapel Conspiracy, p. 27; June 25, 2001, review of Death by Horoscope, p. 53; November 5, 2001, review of Funeral in Blue, p. 30; January 14, 2002, review of Southampton Row, p. 43; March 11, 2002, Daisy Maryles and Dick Donahue, "A Perry Good Yarn," review of Southampton Row, p. 18; September 9, 2002, review of Death of a Stranger, p. 46; January 6, 2003, review of Seven Dials, p. 42; June 30, 2003, review of No Graves as Yet, p. 59, and Ralph Menconi, "Murder on the Eve of War," interview with Anne Perry, p. 60; August 18, 2003, review of Come Armageddon, p. 62; March 29, 2004, review of The Shifting Tide, p. 42; June 26, 2004, review of Shoulder the Sky, p. 41; February 14, 2005, review of Long Spoon Lane, p. 57; October 10, 2005, review of A Christmas Guest, p. 38; January 23, 2006, review of Dark Assassin, p. 190; October 16, 2006, review of A Christmas Secret, p. 31; February 5, 2007, review of We Shall Not Sleep, p. 40; August 13, 2007, review of A Christmas Beginning, p. 44; January 28, 2008, review of Buckingham Palace Gardens, p. 41.
School Library Journal, September, 1991, Roberta Lisker, review of Highgate Rise, p. 294; March, 1994, Claudia Moore, review of A Sudden, Fearful Death, p. 246; March, 2002, Patricia White-Williams, review of Funeral in Blue, p. 261; February, 2005, Pam Johnson, review of Shoulder the Sky, p. 157.
Weekly Standard, January 3, 2005, John L. Breen, "Murdering History: How the Past Became Fair Game for Detective Stories," review of Death by Dickens, p. 31.
Writer, March, 2004, "Dealing with the Past," profile of Anne Perry, p. 9.
Anne Perry Home Page,http://www.anneperry.net (December 10, 2005).
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (December 10, 2005), autobiography of Anne Perry; Joe Hartlaub, review of Angels in the Gloom; Terry Miller Shannon, review of Long Spoon Lane; Joe Hartlaub, reviews of A Christmas Visitor, Funeral in Blue, and Shoulder the Sky; Rox Shea, review of A Christmas Journey; David Exum, review of No Graves as Yet; Amee Vyas, review of The Cater Street Hangman; Jennifer McCord, review of At Some Disputed Barricade: 1917; Jennifer McCord, review of We Shall Not Sleep; Jennifer McCord, review of A Christmas Secret; Kate Ayers, review of Dark Assassin; Terry Miller Shannon, review of A Christmas Guest.
Books ‘n’ Bytes Web site,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (May 9, 2008), Harriet Klausner, review of A Christmas Journey and A Christmas Visitor.
Curled up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (December 10, 2005), Rashmi Srinivas, review of No Graves as Yet.
January Magazine,http://www.januarymagazine.com/ (December 10, 2005), Linda Richards, author interview.