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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Pitt's new position as head of Special Branch not only allows him a place in Society; it demands that he and his wife, Charlotte, participate in Society. Since Charlotte Pitt was born into that world, and left it to marry the police inspector Pitt was 14 years earlier, she knows exactly what to do and does it with pleasure. Pitt, a gamekeeper's son who has worked his way up to his current role, feels less at ease. His former boss, Lord Narraway, fears that Pitt may think too well of those he still considers to be his "betters" - and that so doing may dull his otherwise excellent instincts as he sorts out political intrigues, not the crimes he is so skilled at investigating. Especially, will Pitt be able to act decisively when the inevitable moment comes for him to do what a gamekeeper's son from Kent could never have imagined doing? To stop one of his "betters" from acting against the nation's interests, with fatal force if necessary?

In Dorchester Terrace, meanwhile, an elderly woman lies bedridden and terminally ill. As her mind begins to wander, the old lady - who once fought in European revolutions - worries that she may mistake a present day visitor for a confidant from decades earlier, and let slip secrets which may still have to power to bring down governments. Or, at least, the power to stir the children of those she knew back then to do anything it takes to keep embarrassing things hidden; or to exact revenge. Vespasia Cumming Gould, Charlotte Pitt's great-aunt by marriage, remembers Serafina from the days when she moved in the same circles and knew the same people. When Serafina dies much sooner than her doctors expected, Vespasia demands and gets an investigation that's conducted at different times by both Thomas Pitt and Victor Narraway. Yes, the old woman was murdered before she had time to die from natural causes. Why? Was it someone who loved her trying to give mercy, or was it someone who had just discovered a reason to hate her exacting revenge?

I'm delighted that author Perry has found a completely logical way for Charlotte Pitt to re-enter Society through Thomas, her beloved husband, after all the years (and all the stories) during which she had to gain access temporarily through her birth family. The book's plot has many twists and turns, and it makes perfect sense at the end. It was especially enjoyable for me to watch Victor Narraway struggling with his life after Special Branch, attempting to find meaning and to go on using skills developed over a lifetime without trespassing on his successor's turf. Pitt of Special Branch is off to a great start!

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of 2005 science fiction EPPIE winner "Regs"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mysteries for a long time. Reading about Inspector Pitt and then Superintendant Pitt was truly believable as he investigated crimes that had no class discrimination and relied on his wife, Charlotte to help him by opening doors that were closed to him. Charlotte being of a wealthier class than Pitt, the son of a gamekeeper also is very forthright, opinionated, and able to read people. However, since Pitt is now the commander of Special Branch an organization similar, I guess to our CIA the plots in the stories are more international and this one involves the conflicts within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was an interesting story and Anne Perry's knowledge of the history of that era, now 1896, is very well researched. It's a far reach however, for Charlotte and her aunt by marriage, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gold to be well versed in political events and for Vespasia to be a former activist herself. Where did that come from or did I miss something in an earlier book? There seems to be too many characters and too many "plots" going on and too many "secrets." I would have preferred Thomas to confine his talents to the police force and leave all this international intrigue to someone else. Maybe the author is trying too hard to make these books more exciting. Again I'd like to see Pitt as the talented police superintendant that he was!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Anne Perry writes spellbinding period mysteries. She has studied the late Victorian era and is able to transport the reader into it. I found it hard to put the book down. There were a number of allusions to Treason at Lisson Grove. Maybe I have to read that, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dorchester Terrace

Anne Perry

A Review

This is a great book. I really enjoyed it. It is the first book I have read by Anne Perry and it has been worth my time. If you enjoy mystery, history, and a touch of romance then this is the book for you.

Thomas and Charlotte Pitt are out to solve the mystery. Thomas has just accepted the job of head of the Special Branch in Britain. A duke from Austria is thought to be a victim of assassination. The plan is to kill the duke on a train with a bomb while traveling to visit the queen. At the same time a woman named Serafina who lives at Dorchester Terrace is found dead. She was found to have been given or taken an overdose of laudanum. The woman had dementia and was concerned that she would tell someone something accidently which would jeopardize her life.

Is there any connection between the duke and Serafina? Who plans to kill the duke? Was Serafina murdered (and if so who did it) or did she commit suicide?

You will have to read this book to answer these questions for yourself. I think you will enjoy it.

______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I always read Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels and enjoy them. I really would have liked more of Charlotte's interaction but liked the novel as a whole.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon September 13, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Reading the first half of this book was torture. It was so tedious I wanted to pull my hair out. On page after page, Pitt goes to have a discussion with an official at the Foreign Office, he's told off, comes back and then goes back again. He's told off, comes back. Then goes back again.... NOTHING happens. The dialogue between the 2 is just unbearable, they don't say anything of substance to each other. They just posture. That is basically the entire first half of the book. It was complete and utter tedium reading it.

After the 50% mark, finally things start to happen. Not enough to make up for the first half, but enough for me to at least keep reading. But even then, you know who is behind the mystery, and are just reading to figure out the extent.

The most positive thing about the book is that it provides some good basic background about Europe prior to WWI.

Had I known what I know now about this book, I would have definitely skipped this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm not getting into Perry's political intrigue novels. I think they're boring, way too much info on historical issues. I am so sick of Vespasia's "freezing at a glance" looks, her beauty, her influence, yada yada yada. Also, Perry doesn't keep Vespasia's age moving along accurately in her books. She seems to forget the age she gave her in previous novels. Charlotte in her own way is just as overbearing and maddening as Vespasia. Frankly, I think Perry's books would be more palatable if she introduced another romantic interest for Pitt and let Vespasia R.I.P. I miss the old days of Gracie the maid and Pitt's more humble position. I could even take Charlotte in those books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Another chapter opens in Thomas Pitt's life and he's in over his head. Lots of intrigue, plot twists, as the mystery unfolds. Excellant characterizations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As Thomas Pitt has been promoted; the life of charlotte and the children change as well. This new exciting book almost drives a wedge between charlotte and her sister.

Thomas' promotion is a step up in society and in the world of crime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love the combination of lead characters and of course anything period is entertaining. Well written, well developed plot and characters and just a very nice read - recommend!
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