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

Anne Perry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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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.


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:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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!
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4 of 5 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.
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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.
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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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 16 days 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 18 days ago by Sandie Fujita
3.0 out of 5 stars I like Anne Perry's writing and her attention to detail gives ...
I like Anne Perry's writing and her attention to detail gives a great picture of what Victorian London must have been like. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James T. West
4.0 out of 5 stars Biased about this series
Love this series (actually most by this author) & continue to look over Monk's shoulder as he doggedly follows his instincts & whatever clues he digs up. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pam P
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Anne Perry takes one back in time and has wonderful insight into the human psyche
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
this is a great read as are all the books written by Anne Perry it is almost as if you lived in that time though I thank my lucky stars that I did not.
Published 2 months ago by Judy Little
4.0 out of 5 stars ... slow at times but all in all a typical good mystery as usual by...
Trying to lengthen the book with too many details got a little slow at times but all in all a typical good mystery as usual by Anne Perry.
Published 3 months ago by John S.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book as all Anne Perry's books are!
I so enjoy the suspense, and she has such a wonderful ability to lead the reader to a point that we think we may have figured out who the killer was, but we weren't even close, at... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Beverly B. Ireland
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one entirely
Boring plot. Obvious conclusion. Importnat issues of the 1960's put into a 1857 story ( abortionn rights , women in medical school). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hazelhawk, Winnetka IL
5.0 out of 5 stars another good one
Appreciate the plot twists and turns and the progression of the characters. Will continue to read them all in order.
Published 4 months ago by crowekitty2000
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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.

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