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Highgate Rise Hardcover – April 30, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Having temporarily abandoned Victorian police inspector Thomas Pitt and his highborn wife, Charlotte, in her last, highly acclaimed novel, The Face of a Stranger , Perry features the duo once again. She exhibits her customary skill in recreating 19th-century London, but here her well-drawn contrasts of upstairs and downstairs Victorian society have added psychological acuity. And her focus on a social issue--the secret ownership by members of high society of appalling slum housing--lends depth to the mystery surrounding the death of Clemency Shaw, a courageous woman who devoted her life-- and may have lost it--to exposing those who built their fortunes on the misery of the poor. Highgate is a posh Victorian neighborhood that becomes the scene of some highly dramatic house fires that consume people dear to Dr. Shaw, Clemency's husband, a free-speaking liberal who is Perry's most dynamic character to date. Just who is the target of these infernos? Thomas and Charlotte seek answers, while Charlotte in particular finds that Clemency's legacy of compassion did not die with her. Rounded out by a host of lively characters, this is a memorable tale.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- London in the 1890s is the setting for this page-turner. Inspector Thomas Pitt has been called in to help solve a murder in a fashionable suburb of the city. Clemency Shaw, the wife of a prominent physician, has been killed in a fire deliberately started in her house, but it's unclear whether she was the intended victim. As the inspector searches for clues, facts unravel and lead readers to the East End and an investigation of slum landlords. Through such characters as Clemency Shaw and Inspector Pitt's wife, Charlotte, Perry reveals the role of women in Victorian society--a time of boredom for middle- and upper-class women and extreme hardship for the working class. A gripping mystery as well as a look into the London of gas lights and foggy nights. --Roberta Lisker, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA-
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; 1st edition (April 30, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449905675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449905678
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,048,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Assassin and The Shifting Tide, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including The Cater Street Hangman, Calandar Square, Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as six holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Grace. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.

Customer Reviews

Her insight into the human condition is uncanny.
Katy M
Without saying anything to spoil the book for other readers, I can only note than I found it too talky an ending and therefore a bit of a letdown.
Nina M. Osier
Her Charolette and Thomas Pitt and William Monk series are the best in my book.
southern girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By drdebs on June 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charlotte and Thomas Pitt's maid, Gracie, has been admiring her mistress's detecting adventures for the past few books, but her participation in this story adds a freshness to the plot and the characterizations. Dedicated readers of the Pitt series know Charlotte, Emily, Thomas, and Great Aunt Vespasia so well now that new characters are always welcome additions to the cast.
In this story Pitt is called in to investigate a mysterious fire and death in Highgate, a prosperous northern suburb of London. While most London policemen are investigating the Jack the Ripper murders at Whitechapel, Pitt must get to the botom of how and why the Shaw house was set ablaze and whether the intended victim was really Clemency Shaw, a modest woman involved in social reform, or her husband Dr. Shaw.
The ending of this mystery was not really up to Perry's usual standards. I was pretty sure who had done the deed from the beginning, but as usual Perry provided some excellent and suprising insights into the other secrets lurking on Highgate Rise.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read all the previous Pitt novels in the series, I found arson a refreshing change from the usual murder weapon of choice...the characters were complicated and well-developed, and the murderer was in question until the end--but then Perry picked the most obvious choice for the villain, which disappointed me--I was expecting some great revelation, but instead, we got someone whose motives were already obvious (so obvious I'd written the character in question off my list of suspects ^_^), and the cheesy way the confession came about read like a melodrama. Other than the unconvincing ending, the book was quite good, and Gracie finally got some a share of the adventure! If there's one thing you can count on, Anne Perry always has some interesting development in her characters' personal lives, no matter what the case.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some good writing here, needs a few things though to keep me buying book after book. This story has a very well developed plot, UNTIL the end. It seemed that the most convenient villain was chosen and it left me thinking "No she did NOT do this to me after 342 pages"! The ending came out of nowhere, but not in that clever way that marks a true work of art. The characters were likable, and there were some quote worthy lines in this story, but I kept waiting for some real suspense. Waiting for suspense IS the suspense. However the author does do her homework and there is a ton of edifying information about the living conditions in England during this time period. Nutshell is a good book to read before bed, because it is not hard to put down when you're ready to turn the lights off.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been enjoying the Thomas & Charlotte Pitt Victorian mystery series from the beginning over the past few months on my Kindle. I like some of the supporting characters even more those in the main. I do hope Great Aunt Vespasia lives to be well north of a century old. She is singularly fabulous!

My apologies to Ms. Perry, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention the abject failure of the copy editing -- which, through the course of my reading these Amazon Kindle editions, has worsened to the point of distraction- typos that change the meaning of a sentence, essential to complete a sentence are missing, & adjacent words lacking the space between. This has increased in frequency with each volume in this series.

Amazon & Kindle edition authors:

If we are to be charged the same as or more than the price of a mass market paperback, the digital version should be held to @ least the same professional publishing standard.

Please don't assume the digital versions supplied by the publisher are the press-ready for print versions. They are not. They are likely from a derivative of the sales department. The terms "final draft" & "press-ready" are NOT interchangeable.

As such, I respectfully suggest you,

a) insist the publisher provide a press-ready digital copy- the one that was uploaded to the printing press or,
b) renegotiate a lower wholesale price with publishers & hire in-house professional copy editors - perhaps from a pool of those having actually attended J school with experience proofing digital work destined for a printing press!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on May 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the 11th in the CHARLOTTE AND THOMAS PITT series of historical mysteries.

The novel opens in September a few weeks after the events of BETHLEHEM ROAD. Thomas has been called out to investigate a crime - a fire with suspicious origins that has claimed the life of a woman, the wife of a physician. As Thomas began to make his inquiries he began to wonder if perhaps the true target of the obviously purposely set fire had been the doctor rather than his wife, Clemency. By all accounts Clemency had been a typical physician's wife, concerned only with managing their comfortable household, caring for her husband and occupying her spare time with good works among the deserving poor. Hardly a person to attract attention and yet.....

Once more Charlotte was drawn into the investigation, this time by her overbearing grandmother no less! And Charlotte was not the only one to get involved, her sister Emily, Emily's new husband Jack, Aunt Vespasia and even Gracie, the housemaid, also become a part of the investigations. Among them they uncover some of Society's dirty little secrets, who was sneaking around to see a married man? who had a secret past? and just how did people finance their oh so comfortable lives? As the answers are revealed the question became not who would want to kill Clemency but who would not.

As is typical for this series the author has managed to reveal another aspect of Victorian life, this time the deplorable conditions thousands endured in city slums and the powerful, 'respectable' members of Society who profited from their misery. The various threads of the story, the current mystery, the on going story arc and the historical information are all woven together skillfully to craft an excellent story.
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