Triple Jeopardy

By Anne Perry

I enjoyed the second in the new Daniel Pitt series even more than the inaugural book. The mystery in this one was much more accessible and engaging. I was shocked at the ending, though not surprised. Even though very byzantine it was logical and even plausible. The book is capped by a dandy courtroom drama and I love the last sentence in the book. I just wish it wasn’t the last sentence. Anne is infamous for ending her books very abruptly. At this point, its kind of her signature.

The best thing about the book was that we see a whole lot of the family and the return of Jemima. I was gratified to learn more of the relationship with her husband Patrick who was introduced to us in her short story, A New York Christmas. They are still very much in love and the parents of two young girls. They still have important discussions and even disputes concerning loyalty, justice, one’s place in society, trust, and important priorities. We see they have a deep connection besides their love, yet they are each their own person with their own perspectives. Given some hints in this book, I suspect it won’t be long before we see much more of Jemima and Patrick even though they will be heading back to the United States for the time being. I have been reading about the Pitts for 35 years so they are kind of like my fictional family.

I admire and esteem Miriam, but have mixed feelings concerning the attraction between her and Daniel. I think he is just too young for her. We’ll see. Going by past history with 3 other couples, I fear I see the handwriting on the wall.

Unlike this one, which I kind of put off reading, I will dive right into the next in the series. After all, we still have the reintroduction of Emily and her family to look forward to.**5 out of 5 stars**

July 3, 2019

Twenty-One Days

by Anne Perry

Most people judge according to their own experiences. We think what we need to think, in order to hold on to our own worldview and validate what we must believe. It is a matter of survival, although it may seem merely to be prejudice to someone else. It takes a lot of courage to turn your world upside down and start again. Most people have enough practical worries of survival not to look for philosophical ones.”

****a few general spoilers ahead****

The last of the Charlotte/Thomas Pitt novels ended on a triumphant note as Thomas was knighted by the Queen for his services. After all of his difficult challenges and tribulations, it was a fitting and perfect end. Much to my joy, the baton has been taken up in this new novel by his son, Daniel Pitt, a newly minted young lawyer. This effectively gets Anne Perry back to murder mysteries as opposed to foiling anarchists and other threats to the state and will be welcomed by most of her loyal readers. We have seen Daniel, and his sister Jemima, grow up through the 32 books of her first series. Twenty-one Days begins approximately 10 years later and has Daniel assigned to help defend and save from execution a biographer, Russell Graves, whose latest work purports to expose Vincent Narraway, Thomas’s mentor, and his wife, the beloved Vespacia Cumming-Gould, as manipulators and blackmailers whose actions fueled their ambition rather than in service to their country. As the closest of associates to Narraway, Daniels father, Thomas, comes in for his fair share of this imminent threat to reputations and legacies. Like his father and Charlotte before him, Daniel has to wrestle with ethics, duty, truth, and love for and loyalty to his family and the values they hold dear.

I won’t go into more regarding the plot, but this first in the series has a lighter tone than many of Anne Perry’s previous books, and I welcome it. It is full of twists, questions, red-herrings, and shocks (to those who didn’t see them coming). It introduces a bevy of new characters that are set up to be staples of this new series. This particularly includes Daniels probable future love interest Miriam fford Croft, a remarkable and brilliant woman, ahead of her time, and also not quite 15 years older than Daniel. Thomas and Charlotte make more than brief cameo appearances in this new beginning. Sadly, Narraway and Vespacia have both passed away, but Jemima is, I think, waiting in the wings. Although she now lives in New York and is a married mother of two, I suspect that she will figure in this continuation of the Pitt dynasty in future books. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets her own series! After all, she is married to a policeman, like her mother. And heaven knows, domestic happiness and motherhood never stopped Charlotte from providing invaluable assistance to her husband’s career in crime and intrigue. **4 1/2 out of 5 stars**

April 18, 2018

Murder on the Serpentine

By Anne Perry

I hope this is not the last of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, but if it were, it could not have ended better!* I have read the whole series, in order, as they came out. Because of this, I have been very invested in Charlotte and Thomas’s triumphs and tribulations. Thank You Anne Perry for finally having Thomas deservedly recognized and appreciated. I didn’t see it coming. Mostly because it contradicts how AP projected their future in a piece she wrote for Otto Penzler. (The Lineup). One of Anne’s little idiosyncrasies are her endings, which tend to be very abrupt to the point of not providing closure and catharsis. This one does, even though I still wanted it to go on and on! If the mantel is passed to Jemima and/or Daniel in the next one it would be fine with me. After all, As we learn in a New York Christmas, Jemima will be in a position to run across some mysteries that need to be solved. As does Daniel, I think. **4 1/2 out of 5 stars**

April 13, 2017

*May 24, 2021 It was.

A New York Christmas

By Anne Perry

She was profoundly grateful for her own mother’s advice, and even more for that of her aunt Emily, who was less of a rebel than Charlotte. It was very good to know the rules, even if you did not intend to follow them.

Loved this one. Jemima has grown up to be a wonderful woman, the romance was much more developed than is usually found in Anne Perry, and her trademark too abrupt ending was thankfully missing for once. Very happy and satisfying. Loved Perry’s romantic choice for Jemima. Very apt. In addition to her choice of partner, Jemima has inherited her Charlotte’s ability to ingratiate herself and uncover secrets from the upper echelons in society even though she is an outsider and viewed with uneasy wariness. In Jemima’s case, actually detained under suspicion of murder. That’s a feat even her redoubtable mother can’t claim. **5 stars out of 5**

June 1, 2016

A Christmas Beginning

by Anne Perry

Weak motivations in this one. The dark secret was very dark, and entirely plausible. However I did not see how it was much of a motivation for murder, especially considering the personality of the perpetrator and their tenuous relationship. I may have liked it better had I been more familiar with the hero, Runcorn, of the Monk series. His romance and his longing for a woman whom I would have presumably met in an earlier novel was sweet and had a happy end. However, once again, I did not understand why she would have fallen in love with him going by his self –described lifelong character weaknesses, and her beauty and intelligence. Still, it was a nice example of an upstairs/downstairs romance, a favorite trope of mine, if done right. **3 stars out of 5**

June 2, 2016

Treason at Lisson Grove

By Anne Perry

I remember this one as being a pretty tough slog. Pitt spent much of his time separated from Charlotte, in Europe, dealing with a colleague who is a traitor, if memory serves. Very uninteresting. I skipped through all of that, (which I’ve never done with an Anne Perry book before) to get to the Narraway/Charlotte half of the book. It was better, but only marginally. I was uncomfortable with their travelling together and of his crush on Charlotte. Also, justice is not served as far as Narraway’s fate, which is a big No-No for me.**1 out of 5 stars**

May 4, 2016

Midnight at Marble Arch

By Anne Perry

Thomas Pitt leaves the world of international intrigue to delve into more personal crimes: Rape and Murder. I welcomed that return. Unfortunately, Charlotte did not pay a major role in solving the mysteries, but he is ably assisted by Vespasia and Narraway. We get much more of Charlotte and Thomas together in the home along with the children, which was also very much welcomed, after several books in which they barely crossed paths. One mystery was not solved, for me. What the heck is “Marble Arch?” And what happened there at Midnight? I obviously missed something kinda important. **4 out of 5 stars**

Treachery at Lancaster Gate

By Anne Perry

This is the best Anne Perry in a long, long, time. The mystery and motivations were hard to untangle but understandable and clear once one piece of information was revealed. In reviewing the clues, it was all there for the reader to see. As with most of Anne Perry’s mysteries, it is not a who-done-it, but a why, how, and who else is involved. Who hates who, and why? What is the collateral damage? What deep, dark secrets will be revealed? What is the psychology? How will it all tie together?

Pitt’s role in this one was much closer to his old detective days, dealing with murder, not international affairs, scandals, and the security of the nation except peripherally. She brought in some of the old cast of characters: Emily and Jack Radley, and most significantly, Tellman and Gracie play substantial roles. It has been years since we last saw them. Hopefully, AP will continue to follow this couple and keep Tellman in some of her novels. (Perhaps a transfer to Special Branch, now that he has been thoroughly disillusioned with the integrity of the police and his life even in danger still?)

Although there were a few plot holes and shades of deus ex machina, **spoiler**

(would a witness for the prosecution be allowed to interrogate and accuse the prosecutor himself while on the stand?) Nope. The judge is an old flirt of Aunt Vespacia and so allows her to approach the bench and influence the outcome and judicial decisions. **end spoiler**

Whatever, it was great drama and justice was well and thoroughly served. **5 out of 5 stars**

May 17, 2016

A Christmas Secret

By Anne Perry

This one puts a nice bow on the story of Dominic Corde, Charotte’s ex-brother-in-law, who has played a part in at least 3 of her books, lastly in Brunswick Gardens. ***spoilers for Brunswick Gardens!***** In that book, we learn that Dominic has repented of his kind of evil ways under the influence of a Bishop and has taken orders. When the Bishop is murdered, Dominic is almost falsely accused. In the end he walks away with one of the daughters of the murdered clergyman, the appealing, intelligent, and unconventional Clarice. In A Christmas Secret, we find them very happily married, and solving a murder mystery of their own. The solution of the mystery was lacking as the motive was very weak or non-existent. **4 out of 5 stars**

May 31, 2016

A Christmas Guest

By Anne Perry

This novella redeems Charlotte’s venomous, spiteful, and thoroughly unlikable grandmother. In Half Moon Street we learned her terrible secret of abuse by her late husband which has colored her relationships through the years. Unfortunately, to my memory, she does not make an appearance in later books after the metamorphosis she experiences here. I hope that in future books we do see some more of her and how her change of heart affects those around her.

Anne Perry has keen insight into dark psychology, but some times she makes too great leaps in cause and effect. Her sentences and paragraphs are sometimes convoluted and hard to decipher. Luckily this is sporadic, and usually with a few rereadings one can usually follow what she was trying to convey. Now on to the next Christmas story! % stars out of 5**

May26, 2016