Start reading A Sudden, Fearful Death: A William Monk Novel on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
A Sudden, Fearful Death Narrated by Davina Porter $37.77 $12.99
Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

A Sudden, Fearful Death: A William Monk Novel [Kindle Edition]

Anne Perry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $12.99 when you buy the Kindle book.

Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

In a London hospital, Prudence Barrymore, a talented nurse who had once been one of Florence Nightingale’s angels of mercy in the Crimean War, meets sudden death by strangulation. Private inquiry agent William Monk is engaged to investigate this horrific crime–which intuition tells him was no random stroke of violence by a madman.

Greatly helped by his unconventional friend Hester Latterly, another of Miss Nightingale’s nurses, and barrister Oliver Rathbone, Monk assembles a portrait of the remarkable woman. Yet he also discerns the shadow of a tragic evil that darkens every level of society, and a frightening glimmer of his own eclipsed past.

Books In This Series (20 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly

    In this excellent historical mystery, Victorian detective William Monk investigates the suspicious death of a young English nurse.
    Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    From School Library Journal

    YA-Another Perry mystery that highlights the frustrating status of women in Victorian England. The story hinges on society's low opinion of nurses and of both single and married women who seek abortions. A talented nurse is found strangled, and Inspector Monk and his friends, a nurse and a lawyer, follow the clues to see that the murderer will hang. It is difficult to decide which element is the author's true forte-the details of everyday life or the suspenseful courtroom dialogues. The plot has many twists and turns. Readers may suspect some of the answers, but surprises continue right until the last page. The opening chapters place readers in a subplot that provides background on different characters. The shift in the action is slightly confusing as these people are rarely mentioned again. However, Perry fans will not be disappointed, and newcomers will be entertained by a good mystery as they enter the world of Victorian high society.
    Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
    Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1449 KB
    • Print Length: 580 pages
    • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 22, 2010)
    • Sold by: Random House LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0042JSO7G
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

    Customer Reviews

    4.2 out of 5 stars
    4.2 out of 5 stars
    Share your thoughts with other customers
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Nurse is Murdered--Inspector Monk is called in! June 5, 2000
    By drdebs
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    A Sudden, Fearful Death is the fourth mystery in the Inspector Monk series of books by Anne Perry. Better known for her Pitt series, the Inspector Monk series are slighly earlier (just after the Crimean War), grittier, and in many ways more riveting. They are longer than the average Pitt novel, and this allows the author's wonderful ability to convey period detail and characterization to shine through.
    In this mystery Inspector Monk is called in to investigate the murder of one of Florence Nightingale's Crimean nurses, who is working at a London hospital. Those of you who have read the previous three novels know how hard it can be for these young women to adapt to English hospitals after their stint abroad, and at first it seems that Prudence Barrymore might be a victim because of her desire to reform the medical system. As the plot unfolds, however, we realize that there is a great deal more going on at London's Royal Free hospital than meets the eye.
    One of Perry's greatest talents lies in character development, and she is always careful to let a different character feature prominently in each novel. This time it is Lady Callandra Daviot's turn, Inspector Monk's female patron, who emerges as a more three-dimensional character. Hester Latterly, another Nightingale nurse, is also featured, along with the brilliant Inspector Monk and the lawyer of lawyers, Oliver Rathbone.
    I would particularly recommend the Monk series to fans of TV's Law and Order, since these mysteries combine excellent sleuthing with taut court-room drama. If you like historical mysteries, you will love this series. If you already like Anne Perry, I encourage you to give Inpsector Monk a try!
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars painfully obvious March 11, 2005
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    I won't bother to rehash the plot of this book, as that has been done. I have very much enjoyed the William Monk series, but was quite disappointed with this particular entry. Although I agree with the reviewer that the opening scene with Marianne does not originally make sense to the reader, the relevance becomes pretty clear by at most page 100. The 200 pages or so devoted to determining what it was Prudence actually wanted were almost completely wasted. I had figured out the answer to this question immediately, but thought that in Perry's traditional style, Monk and crew would be pick this up as easily as I had, and then it would be on to the next twist. Alas, they did not pick this up until the last 20-30 pages of the book!! The last chapter, which a previous reviewer raved about, in my opinion was remniscent of some of Patricia Cornwell's poorly exectued later entries in her Kay Scarpetta series: pick a person randomly to solve the crime. Also, character development was not up to Perry's usual standards; there was no additional insights or progressions of any of the ongoing relationships. I gave the book two stars because I enjoyed both the description of hospital consitions in 1850's London and did originally like the plot but that it was not brought to a sufficient height and lacked "meat." I will continue reading Perry, since I know later books in this series are up to her usual standards, but would forewarn readers that this is not the book to start with if one wishes to "test" Perry.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for mystery readers February 12, 2011
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    In the London of Queen Victoria, in a public hospital where "nurses" require no qualifications because all they do is the work of a drudge, a Crimean War veteran nurse is found strangled to death and stuffed into a laundry chute. Those nurses who worked under the legendary Florence Nightingale find life in their post-war homeland difficult, especially if they choose to continue nursing, because they know how to do far more than change bedding, roll bandages, and dump slop pails. They want to see medical care reformed, based on what they learned during their service under "the lady with the lamp"; and their presence makes those around them uncomfortable, doctors as well as matrons and ordinary nurses, because these are forceful women who usually have no need to earn a living. They are gentlewomen who should, according to their era's customs, confine their hospital work to that of board members and charitable contributors. Instead they insist on doing what no decent upper-class female ought, and their outspoken desire for specific reforms both disturbs and insults England's current medical establishment.

    Former police detective William Monk, now a private detective, inquires into the death of Prudence Barrymore at the request of his patron, Lady Callandra Daviot. He asks another Crimean nurse, Hester Latterly, to take a position at the hospital and learn all that she can; and then he takes the resulting evidence to the police, in the person of a former colleague whose competence he has reason to distrust. After which Monk begins to think it may be a false accusation, despite that evidence. So what will he do now, with the accused already on trial?

    Although I had read other Anne Perry books, this was my first William Monk installment.
    Read more ›
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Another Monk/Latterly mystery November 11, 2007
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    I have recently started to listen to Anne Perry mysteries. I have thoroughly enjoyed them. The reason this one gets a four-star rating is because I was disappointed with the role Calandra played in this one. She has been a stalwart and formidable presence in the earlier books, not one to worry about someone's reputation when justice is at stake. I guess we're supposed to believe she has temporarily lost her presence of mind because she is in love.
    Other than that spoiler, I enjoyed this thoroughly. I especially enjoy the courtroom scenes, the carefully crafted defense of a supposedly innocent doctor.
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    3.0 out of 5 stars I love Monk but..
    This particular story has too many loose ends and unlikely corners.
    Published 13 days ago by Linda Vik
    4.0 out of 5 stars Ann Perry's books are always great. She get's a little descriptive
    Ann Perry's books are always great. She get's a little descriptive, at times, never the less a very good story teller. It's amazing the secrets people can hide.
    Published 18 days ago by Theresa Gailey
    4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read.
    Anne Perry 's description of the times and places in which the characters and events take place is amazing... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by megs
    5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? It's Anne Perry!
    What can I say? It's Anne Perry!
    Published 4 months ago by Rebekah Kennedy
    5.0 out of 5 stars A good book. My only problem with Anne Perry is ...
    A good book. My only problem with Anne Perry is that she goes on and on with descriptions with things or about thoughts that her characters are thinking. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Ronnie Willis
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Entertaining historical fiction.
    Published 5 months ago by B. Craft
    3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of suspects, surprise ending
    As in the previous Anne Perry books I have read, I found many parts of this book slow, but I liked the suspects, the investigators, and even the victim much better than previous... Read more
    Published 6 months ago by G. Cox
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 7 months ago by yogideb
    5.0 out of 5 stars I like 'em!
    I've liked all these Monk books. This plotline is very good and the ending... SURPRISE!!! Read them in order. Read more
    Published 8 months ago by joneslkr
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good job on another Monk book
    A page turner! It was interesting how Anne Perry brought modern issues (abortion) into the period Monk lives in. I enjoyed it very much.
    Published 8 months ago by Sandie Fujita
    Search Customer Reviews

    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.

    What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


    There are no discussions about this product yet.
    Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
    Start a new discussion
    First post:
    Prompts for sign-in

    Look for Similar Items by Category