Southampton Row

Charlotte and Thomas Pitt

Book 22
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Victorian England, a divisive election is fast approaching. Passions are so enflamed that Thomas Pitt, shrewd mainstay of the London police, has been ordered not to solve a crime but to prevent a national disaster. The aristocratic Tory candidate—and Pitt’s archenemy—is Charles Voisey. The Liberal candidate is Aubrey Serracold, whose wife’s dalliance with spiritualism threatens his chances. Indeed, she is one of the participants in a late-night séance that becomes the swan song of a stylish clairvoyant who is found brutally murdered the next morning in her house on Southampton Row. Meanwhile, Pitt’s wife, Charlotte, and their children are enjoying a country vacation—unaware that they, too, are deeply endangered by the same fanatical forces hovering over the steadfast Pitt.
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Two fiery deaths have young lawyer Daniel Pitt and his scientist friend Miriam fford Croft racing to solve a forensic crisis in this explosive new novel from New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry.

When a desperate woman comes to Daniel Pitt seeking a lawyer for her boyfriend, Rob Adwell, Daniel is convinced of the young man’s innocence. Adwell has been accused of murder and of setting a fire to conceal the body, but Daniel is sure that science can absolve him—and Miriam fford Croft is the best scientist he knows. Miriam connects Daniel with her former teacher Sir Barnabas Saltram, an expert in arson, and together, they reveal Adwell’s innocence by proving that an accidental fire caused the victim’s death. But it’s not long before Adwell is killed in the same fiery fashion. If these deaths are, in fact, murders, what essential clue could Daniel and Miriam have missed?

As their investigation deepens, one of Saltram’s former cases comes into question, and Miriam finds herself on the defensive. If the reasoning Saltram used in that case is proved false, several other cases will have to be re-tried, and Saltram’s expert status—not to mention Miriam’s reputation—will be ruined. Haunted by Saltram’s shady tactics in and outside of the classroom, Miriam is desperate to figure out truths both past and present and protect herself in the face of Saltram’s lies. What started as an accidental fire in Adwell’s case seems to be linked to a larger plot for revenge, with victims accumulating in its wake, and Miriam and Daniel must uncover who or what is stoking these recurring flames—before they, too, find themselves burned.
In the debut of the New York Times–bestselling Victorian crime series, Inspector Thomas Pitt seeks an elusive strangler among upper-class British society. Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While Mrs. Ellison and her three daughters are out, their maid becomes the third victim of a killer who strangles young women with cheese wire, leaving their swollen-faced bodies on the dark streets of this genteel neighborhood. Inspector Pitt, assigned to the case, must break through the walls of upper-class society to get at the truth. His in-depth investigation gradually peels away the proper veneer of the elite world, exposing secrets and desires until suspicion becomes more frightening than truth. Outspoken Charlotte Ellison, struggling to remain within the confining boundaries of Victorian manners, has no trouble expressing herself to the irritating policeman. As their relationship shifts from antagonistic sparring to a romantic connection, the socially mismatched pair must solve the mystery before the hangman strikes again.

Rich with authentic period details and blending suspenseful mystery with a budding romance between Inspector Pitt and Charlotte Ellison, The Cater Street Hangman launched the long-running series by Edgar Award–winning author Anne Perry, with recent titles including The Angel Court Affair and Treachery at Lancaster Gate. Also the creator of the William Monk Novels, Perry has become one of the great names in detective fiction. As the Philadelphia Inquirer says, “Pitt’s compassion and Charlotte’s cleverness make them compatible sleuths, as well as extremely congenial characters. . . . Perry has the gift of making [the Victorian era] seem immediate and very much alive.”
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Feb 26, 2002
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780345455024
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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