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The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry

The Cater Street Hangman (original 1979; edition 2008)

by Anne Perry

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1,084467,684 (3.69)79
Title:The Cater Street Hangman
Authors:Anne Perry
Info:Ballantine Books (2008), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012 Reads
Tags:Historical Mystery, Victorian England

Work details

The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry (1979)

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Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
I didn't enjoy this book.

The problem is three-fold:

1 - I don't believe in the characters. These are Victorian ladies, living in a house where the mother refers to her mother-in-law as Grandmama. I don't think that the daughters of the house would think of their mother by her given name, not even in their own thoughts. I know why the author has them do it, to make it clearer who is talking about who, but it distorts the feel of the characters.

2 - The resolution of the plot came out of nowhere. I can see what they were going for, but I've never been a fan of twist murderers.

3 - I don't like Inspector Pitt. I can see what the author was aiming for, brave working class man who has fought his way up to Inspector rank, opening the eyes of privileged woman to the poverty all around her, making her a better person.

It would probably work if Inspector Pitt wasn't such a sermonizing, sanctimonious know it all. (Eoin McCarthy played him in the TV version and even he couldn't make him bearable, which I would have though impossible.) I'm convinced that Charlotte has swapped one pompous prat (her father) for another one.

Part of the problem may have been that the only character I liked was the youngest sister.

It's not actually a bad book, it's solidly written and does a reasonably good job of scene-setting, I just didn't enjoy it. ( )
  redfiona | Jul 24, 2014 |
As a comedy of manners, The Cater Street Hangman is reasonably good, telling the story of three sisters, their various suitors, and how this interacts with their family. As a thriller it is somewhat good, with a serial killer on the loose garroting and mutilating young girls. As a whodunit, it is lacking with virtually no clues pointing to the perpetrator (beyond the observation that no clues were pointing the perpetrator) and the killer found essentially by accident in the course of attempting another murder.

But for some reason the combination of reasonably good, somewhat good and lacking all combined together to create a much better whole that was enjoyable to read and maintained interest throughout, notwithstanding the lack of spine-tingling feelings that the best crime novels should bring.

Will probably read more in the series. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
This is debut novel in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series by Anne Perry. Charlotte is the middle daughter of three and has been infatuated with her older sister Sarah's husband since they met, although she is very careful not to show it. Her younger sister, Emily, appears to be light headed and frivolous but is actually very practical - her target in the matrimony stakes compliments her by saying in some ways she thinks like a man! There are a series of murders of young unmarried women on their street, servants and gentry, and the investigation, led by Inspector Thomas Pitt, results in the secrets that exist in many households being brought to the forefront. There was a very good movie adaptation of this quite some years back, but the book is definitely worth reading and sets the tone for the rest of the series, although it's a very good read by itself. ( )
  CindyBrooks | Jun 9, 2014 |
This is the first book in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. If you read this and love it you will love the others. I will warn you that some of them get a little gruesome. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
This is the first book in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. If you read this and love it you will love the others. I will warn you that some of them get a little gruesome. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Perryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Damiani, MaddalenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Charlotte Ellison stood in the centre of the withdrawing room, the newspaper in her hand.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449208672, Mass Market Paperback)

"An ingenious mystery and an excellent example of manners and caste systems of the Victorian era."
While the Ellison girls were out paying calls and drinking tea like proper Victorian ladies, a maid in their household was strangled to death. The quiet and young Inspector Pitt investigates the scene and finds no one above suspicion. As his intense questioning causes many a composed facade to crumble, Pitt finds himself couriously drawn to pretty Charlotte Ellison. Yet, a romance between a society girl and so unsuitable a suitor was impossible in the midst of a murder....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Inspector Pitt investigates the murder of a maid in the Ellison household, and falls in love with Charlotte Ellison.

(summary from another edition)

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