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Buckingham Palace Gardens: A Novel (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt Novels) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 25, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The detecting and diplomatic skills of Thomas Pitt, now assigned to the Special Branch, are tested as never before in bestseller Perry's solid 25th novel to feature the Victorian sleuth (after 2005's Long Spoon Lane). In 1893, the discovery of a prostitute's mutilated corpse in a Buckingham Palace cupboard after a stag party presided over by the prince of Wales could spell political disaster for the monarchy. Pitt soon eliminates the members of the sizable household staff as suspects, narrowing his focus to the prince himself and his close friends, who, it turns out, have been planning a major construction project in Africa—a railway that would run from South Africa to Egypt. Though the sensitive nature of Pitt's assignment precludes any active involvement by Charlotte, his wife and partner in earlier cases, he's able to place her maid, Gracie Phipps, on the palace staff to assist him. Perry does a nice job with some plot twists, even if most readers will quickly discount the heir to the throne of England as a viable suspect. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

The venerable Queen Victoria remains on the British throne. Her son, the middlle-aged Prince of Wales, awaits the time to come for his occupancy of the throne. In the meantime, he fills his days—and nights—with wine, women, and song. One such evening explodes when, the next morning, in a linen closet in Buckingham Palace (the queen, fortunately, not in residence at the time) is discovered the bloody body of a prostitute who had been part of the previous evening’s entertainment, when the Prince of Wales hosted a gathering of businessmen to discuss a certain engineering project in which he was interested. Called in to quickly and discreetly get to the bottom of the murder is Inspector Pitt (a recurring Perry character), whose strategy includes installing the maid from his own household as an undercover employee in the palace. In a mystery novel, or any novel, with such a setting, it would have been easy for the author to trip over titles and protocol, but Perry has done her homework and does not stumble. --Brad Hooper
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Series: Charlotte & Thomas Pitt Novels
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345469313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345469311
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ellen VINE VOICE on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Firstly I would like to say I am a long time fan of Anne Perry - I have followed all of her series and appreciate her accuracy and attention to detail as she takes us into. Two of her series are placed in the Victorian Era.
It is an earlier time with the Monk series, but with Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, it is the waning days of the Victorian era - After Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria was almost a recluse in her grief and didn't execute her duties as she did.
The Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series has always been charming because it features a working class man, a policeman, Thomas Pitt, who through a murder investigation met a gentry family, and one of their daughters, Charlotte, and they fall in love and marry. She has to adjust to doing her own chores, and he has guilty feelings he is depriving Charlotte with the luxuries she is accustomed to - But they are rich with the love and respect they have with each other. They have 2 children, and have a maid, a whisp of a young woman, Gracie Phipps, who helps them. She literally grows up in the Pitt household.
The charm of this series is Mrs. Perry used all the adult characters to be involved in the mystery and resolution of it. But as Pitt has progressed from policeman to a member of Special Services, that cannot happen as readily. But this outing it is Gracie Phipps' time to shine.
There has been a murder in Buckingham Palace. The Queen is away and the Prince of Wales and his buds are at play, in the guise of meeting to plan a railroad that will run the span of Africa...when the ladies go to bed, they have prostitutes come in to 'entertain' them. Something goes wrong and one of the girls is found in the laundry closet and is naked and gutted - blood all around the sheets - and the Queen's sheets to boot!
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Format: Hardcover
I have been reading this series since it began over 30 years ago. I know things have to move along and characters have to grow and develop, but frankly, I did not enjoy the 2/3 of the book with all those bored, self-interested, vapid upper crust folks. Ok, I get it, that is part of what the author is trying to show about the times and the repression in society...but I have enough unpleasantness in daily life that I don't want to extend it into my "pleasure" reading. All that angst over who loved whom who didn't love whom....In 2008 parlance, they soooo needed to get over themselves. The parts with Gracie were most enjoyable. I really missed Charlotte and the home front.......Hope the next in the series is better. Lately, there have been several authors whom I have been reading for 20+ years whose books just haven't grabbed/held my interest, and Anne Perry is one of them.
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Format: Hardcover
Anne Perry delivers yet again with this deliciously perplexing Thomas Pitt installment, "Buckingham Palace Gardens."

When one of the prostitutes hired to entertain the Prince of Wales and his four male companions is found butchered in a linen cupboard at Buckingham Palace, the Prince immediately summons the services of the Special Branch to clean up the mess and see that there is no scandal. And the police officer ordered to oversee such a miracle? None other than Thomas Pitt. Honest and with a strong sense of right and wrong, Pitt soon finds many of his cherished illusions about royalty sorely tested by developments in the case. But time is of the essence: the Queen is due back and the scandal must be death with before her return. And when Pitt's investigations reveal that the murderer can only be one of the Prince's friends, he quickly realises that he needs help ferreting out the truth about the rich and powerful. And so, while his superior, Narraway, flies around London using his contacts to find out more about the Prince's friends, Pitt enlists the help of his maid, Gracie, to discover the gossip "belowstairs" among the palace servants, never really anticipating the scope of conspiracy he would uncover and the effect it could have on his career...

The disappointing part about "Buckingham Palace Gardens" is that Charlotte Pitt barely makes an appearance in this particular outing; I did miss her presence and the input that she could have provided this particular installment. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed "Buckingham Palace Gardens" and the manner in which Anne Perry used Gracie to act as Pitt's foil. As usual, the period details and ambiance were superb, and her character portrayals vivid and lifelike.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first became familiar with Anne Perry's two Victorian series about a year and a half ago. I have since read each of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels as well as the Monk series. I received my copy of Buckingham Palace Gardens earlier this week and finished the book within days. For Perry fans, this is Classic Perry. One follows Thomas Pitt as he unravels the mystery within the Palace. What's different with this novel is that it really does primarily take place within the Palace itself during the space of about a week, give or take a few days. I have no idea where the "Gardens" part comes in, as there is no real garden scenes in the book. Would rather have the book titled "Buckingham Palace Prison" to capture how the characters felt. I also want to learn more about Princes Alexandra from the scenes in the book. Gracie SHINES through on this story. She is courageous, she's questioning, she's a detective here. What did I miss in this book? I missed the continued exploration of the relationship between Gracie and Samuel Tellman (Would have LOVED reading what he thought of Gracie at Buckingham Palace! Wished he could have sneaked in to see her disguised as a delivery man or something.), I missed Aunt Vespasia's more meaningful involvement... and of course, the assistance of Charlotte. It is a good story, worth the read, can't wait for the next book!

Kyra
Author, "Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria"
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