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Bluegate Fields by Anne Perry
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Bluegate Fields (1984)

by Anne Perry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Charlotte & Thomas Pitt (6)

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6541222,227 (3.68)16

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English (9)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
What an excellent book by Anne Perry! A naked boy's body is found in the London sewers and Inspector Thomas Pitt is the one to investigate. Of course, he tells his young wife, Charlotte about the case and she becomes involved.
This book really tells about the differences in the English classes and Charlotte comes from the upper class but she loves Pitt, who is of the working class. But the lowest of the low, the child prostitutes are also involved in the case. Charlotte is shocked to learn of such things but she takes a stand with her sister and aunt, who try to help make other ladies aware of the terrible things that it seems is destiny for the poor children of the streets.
A man is tried for the murder of this boy, who comes from aristocracy, but Pitt is not satisfied that it is the murderer. Will an innocent man be hanged?
Something that I find is so interesting is that 100 years ago, homosexuality was against the law! Now it is almost praised. What has really happened to our society? Is this really progress, when we praise unnatural acts? ( )
  LilQuebe | Mar 26, 2019 |
The story begins with the discovery of the naked body of a teenage boy in a sewer in Bluegate Fields, a London slum. It is set in 1885 Victorian England, when Great Britain was at the height of its Empire. The case is assigned to Inspector Pitt who manages to identify the victim as the eldest son of a minor aristocrat. An autopsy reveals that the boy was strangled and had been homosexually violated. He was also suffering from syphilis, which was then incurable. The search for the killer is complicated by the boy's family's reluctance to co-operate with the police.

The boy's tutor is arrested and charged with murder, although Pitt has doubts about his guilt. A jury finds him guilty and he is sentenced to hang in three weeks. Despite his superior officer's opposition, Pitts sets about to find out whether the man is actually guilty or not and needs to do so before the hanging.

The accused tutor is an unsympathetic character, full of pride and with a "chip on his shoulder" against his place in the world. It makes it easy for him to be cast as the killer. Similarly the male members of the victim's family are unattractive people; Perry paints them as smug boors.

This is a sombre and dark murder mystery story set against cold and miserable London weather where it seems to always rain. The rigid social structure of Victorian English society plays a large role in the way Pitt needs to conduct his investigation; he is not an aristocrat and needs to take care not to offend "his betters". He is hampered by his boss who is a pompous bureaucrat and anxious to please the aristocracy. Pitt is kept on a tight rein.

The book is not light reading. The mystery story is used in a somewhat heavy-handed way to illustrate shortcomings of Victorian times . Perry's ability to capture the Victorian culture and lifestyle make it easier to take the pontificating. The aristocracy's ignorance of poverty and such social ills as child prostitution are particular targets in his book. It is however a good whodunit mystery, although preachy at times.

Recommended. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | Mar 9, 2019 |
This story involved more detail than the last few books, and moved quickly. A sewer worker finds the naked body of a wealthy youth. Pitt and the police surgeon discover that the boy has been murdered. Pitt begins the journey to uncover the nature of this violent deed. The police arrest Arthur's tutor, Jerome; and the jury convict Jerome of murder. In three weeks, Pitt must find the real killer before Jerome is hanged. Charlotte and Emily approach the grieving family in a quest to find answers. The characters are rich, but Perry hammers home the total degradation found in England for the poor. But that dilemma still remains. Perry’s description of the setting and characters brings all the horrors of life for the poor, and shows the lack of sympathy of the entitled. ( )
  delphimo | Feb 7, 2015 |
Murder,suicide, homosexuality and prostitution involving an aristocratic family in Victorian London. Inspector Pitt was not able to prove all of it, but society will judge the family. Excellent. ( )
  reader68 | Oct 3, 2013 |
Another installment in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series and probably one of the edgier ones in terms of content - a teenaged male murder victim who had been "used homosexually" (and yes, that is the term which is repeatedly used in this Victorian era set tome). I think the author was hoping that the use of a "contemporary" theme occurring in the victorian era would carry the novel, but she was mistaken. The awkward way the subject is handled - particularly around the female characters - became tedious. Not a favorite. ( )
  pbadeer | Sep 25, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Perry, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Botter Pierangeli RitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pros, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seipel, Gunthersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shanley, KennethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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. . . dedicated to the members of the John Howard Society, who practice their founder's belief in the right to dignity of all people. A. P.
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Inspector Pitt shivered a little and stared unhappily while Sergeant Froggatt lifted the manhole cover and exposed the opening beneath.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449207668, Paperback)

When an upper-class boy is found violated and dead in London's most dangerous slums, Inspector Pitt is shocked. But when the Waybournes, the boy's family, refuse to answer the police's questions, Inspector Pitt begins to wonder what secrets they were trying to hide. His wife and helpmeet, Charlotte, is determined to find out--even it if means tearing down the facades of an oh-so-proper family....
"The period detail remains fascinating, and [Perry's] grasp of Victorian character and conscience still astonishes."
THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The body of upper-class, 15-year-old Arthur Waybourne is found in a slum sewer, with medical evidence of syphilis and homosexual rape. Soon on trial and convicted: Arthur's taciturn, unlikable, married tutor Maurice Jerome - with damning circumstantial evidence from other tutor-ees, from a teenage homosexual prostitute (who claims that Jerome was a regular), from a female prostitute (who claims that Jerome was a voyeur, with Arthur in tow). But both the Inspector and his well-connected wife have their doubts about Jerome's guilt, suspecting that he may have been framed: both prostitute-witnesses soon disappear, one of them turning up dead. And, despite opposition from the blue-blooded powers-that-be, the Pitts (working independently from each other) try to nail the real culprit - obvious to the reader almost from the start - before poor, surly Jerome is executed.… (more)

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