Anne Perry, Resurrection Row

Posted May 1, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Resurrection Row Resurrection Row by Anne Perry
Series: Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, 4
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fourth in the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt historical mystery series set in Victorian England and revolving around an unlikely couple.

My Take
Twisty. Perry sure went to a lot of work on this one.

It’s foot-slogging having to go back over and over again. Dealing with the same people as Pitt continues to drag the bits and pieces out of them. Slowly assembling the puzzle. It’s an excellent example of why the police need to ask so many seemingly unrelated questions. You never know when one bit of information, one sly hint will be the catalyst to release the reason for an entire case. Or even a bit of gossip.

Perry is amazing in her depiction of the times from the mores, the culture, the dress, the interior decoration, and the language. I felt as though I was there with the heat from the fireplace, the chill of the grimy streets, the horror of the workhouses, and the purposelessness of society with their silly insistence upon such strict manners.

YES!!! I LOVE it!! Alicia finally hits back at that nasty old lady…I just wish Perry had given us a bit more closure on this nasty little bully! Lady Vespasia has some things to say about the old lady, makes you wonder if she indulges in such biting, vicious behavior because she so lacks in self-esteem. Hmmm, maybe book 5…Rutland Place.

Poor Domenic. He’s beset on all sides in this. First the suspicions revolving around Lord Augustus, then the eye-opening experience thrust upon him by Mr. Carlisle, and Charlotte’s dimming enthusiasm. Carlisle certainly does show Domenic how it’s done! A master at work. In the end, it’s a kindness to Domenic and Alicia, really.

An interesting discussion of art. I do have to wonder if Pitt will recommend Froggy to paint Miss Verity’s portrait… Then that overheard conversation in the park by Lady Alicia…naughty Perry…very naughty…and very well done!

The Story
It all starts with a dead man driving a hackney cab one night outside the theatre. His true state discovered when Sir Desmond attempts to hail him. Fortunately, Inspector Pitt and his lady were attending the same performance of The Mikado. It’s only when Lord Augustus keeps popping up out of his grave and is seemingly joined by friends that Pitt begins to wonder if there’s a reason why someone is trying to catch police attention.

An autopsy is the only way to still people’s tongues and eliminate the questions. A point with which Pitt pummels Lady Alicia and Domenic quite hard. Poor Domenic is all to aware of how gossip and suspicion can destroy a family. And those questions are beginning to prey upon both Lady Alicia and Domenic.

Domenic is also pulled into Carlisle’s promotion of the workhouse bill that St. Jermyn is sponsoring in Parliament. It’s an eye-opening tour for him with all the grime, despair, and hopelessness of the workhouses through which Carlisle drags him.

It’s the identity of one of the bodies that finally begins to narrow down the focus as a search of his home raises yet more questions that dig more deeply into the backgrounds of those involved.

The Characters
Inspector Thomas Pitt has the diction and manners of a gentleman, but is of the lower classes—his father was a gamekeeper. This combined with his profession makes him persona non grata is the more genteel households. Not that Thomas lets that bother him. He pursues the truth no matter where it leads.

Ably supported by his wife Charlotte. The woman who fell in love with him and lowered herself to marry the man she wanted. They now have a daughter, Jemima. And Charlotte is slowly learning how to cook, clean house, and keep a budget. Part of the attraction is Thomas’ acceptance of her intelligence, that he treats her more equally than most men of the day…and is coming to accept that she has a way of seeing things that help him solve his cases. Her sister Emily has had a son and they’ve named him George. Mrs. Smith is the very accommodating neighbor across the road who watches over Jemima when Charlotte needs to go out.

The neighbors in Gadstone Park include:
Sir Desmond and Lady Cantlay (Gwendoline) found the first mobile corpse. The newly widowed Alicia, Lady Fitzroy-Hammond, gets on well with her stepdaughter, The Honorable Miss Verity Fitzroy-Hammond, and both of them would probably love to murder the old lady, Lady Fitzroy-Hammond, and her maid Nisbett. –I know I would! Although Alicia does do a much better job…and so legal Lady Fitzroy-Hammond has one little problem—besides the mobile deceased—Domenic Corde, Charlotte’s widowed brother-in-law, is a somewhat ardent admirer. Lord and Lady St. Jermyn (Edward and Hester); he’s a member of the House of Lords upon whom Lady Vespasia and Mr. Somerset Carlisle (another neighbor) are pinning their hopes for their workhouse bill. Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould is Lord Ashworth’s great-aunt, remotely connected to Pitt by marriage. And she is a treat and a half! Major Hubert Rodney is a widower and lives with his two maiden sisters, Miss Priscilla and Miss Mary Ann. Virgil Smith is a rich, vulgar American…in love with Lady Alicia whom Lady Vespasia likes very much. Goldolphin Jones is a society portrait artist who commands huge sums for his rather mediocre work, but he’s been traveling in France these past few weeks.

Lord Augustus Fitzroy-Hammond died of a heart attack, or so says his very aloof and tetchy Dr. McDuff. It makes quite a contrast to the helpfulness of Dr. Childs. Then the very-deceased Mr. William Wilberforce Porteous appears followed by Horrie Snipe, a pimp and the true start of this particular race, Albert Wilson, Mr. Dunn’s butler. Mrs. Philp, a high-end madame.

The Cover
The cover is a deep red with a tiny inset, circular window filled with an old Elizabethan house, the ivy crawling over its walls.

The title is a bit odd, at least, because I was expecting the subject to be resurrection men, instead Resurrection Row turns out to be…convenient.

View all my reviews

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