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Long Spoon Lane (2005)

by Anne Perry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Charlotte & Thomas Pitt (24)

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6311129,088 (3.64)11
Terrorist activity in nineteenth-century London plays a role in the latest Charlotte and Thomas Pitt adventure.
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English (9)  Italian (2)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
It is nice to revisit familiar characters from this series by Anne Perry of novels about Thomas and Charlotte Pitt. It has been awhile since I read any of the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels and I was reminded that they are fairly complicated. Because it has been quite awhile since I read the last one, I am finding that I have forgotten some of the details of the previous stories, especially in character development. I don't remember any of the story that previously involved Charles Voisey, which is kind of a problem, because he figures quite prominently in this story. I don't even remember which one it was! Definitely read this book right after you read the previous two.

I think that this one isn't quite as successful as her previous books. She needs to beef up the character pieces as the characters seem to act in a disjointed way and don't really figure prominently into the story. I know that sounds strange. I also think the author needs to tighten up the writing a bit and make it clearer. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
This novel is one of the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, a favorite of mine. It's the Victorian era in London and in this story Thomas has been removed from the police in Bow Street to work in Special Branch. I love the characters, not only Thomas and Charlotte, his wife, but her aunt Lady Vespasia, the Pitt's servant girl Gracie, and Gracie's fiance Tellman who used to work with Pitt at Bow Street.

In this story anarchists are bombing poor neighborhoods and no one can understand why. As Pitt responds to a bombing, he and his boss Narraway follow the bombers to Long Spoon Lane where a shoot-out ensues. Afterward, a body is found and identified as the son of a member of Parliament who just happens to be a friend of Lady Vespasia's. What was he doing with the anarchists? Was he a hostage? Surely he couldn't have been one of them.

The investigation unearths police corruption in several stations including Bow Street which involves some high officials. Not knowing who to trust, except Tellman, Pitt sets out to get at the root of the problem and discovers very disturbing evidence. As usual, Lady Vespasia plays a vital role in the investigation.

Along the way as you read Perry's books you learn about Victorian London. There are scenes with the wealthy and powerful and others with the poorest of the poor. Tellman takes Gracie to the theater and you see what appealed to the masses at the time. There are scenes along the Thames and others in the slums, then the scene shifts to a drawing room of a wealthy family. I love this kind of thing and Perry is an expert at putting the reader right into each setting.

I dread the day I run out of Perry novels to read so I save them for just the right time. This one was certainly worth the wait.

Source: Trade with friend
Recommended reading ( )
  bjmitch | Jan 19, 2013 |
Set in the late 1800s in England, the story starts off with the bombing of a building and the murder of one of the anarchists believed to be behind the bombing plot. Thomas Pitt of Special Branch is brought in to investigate the bombing and the murder. This starts a long path where Pitt's investigation reveals corruption in the police force and the government. He uncovers that the bombing and the murder were all about an attempt to pass a bill that would give the police more power.

Although the mystery aspect of this was well done and much of the plot was compelling, the underlying reason behind all of this seemed really silly, making it hard for me to ever get into the story. The characters in the story made such a big deal about a bill that would allow police to carry firearms. My reaction as I was reading was what's the big deal? Of course, police officers should be able to carry firearms. Going up against armed criminals equipped with nightsticks would be ridiculous. The characters also raised a big stink about the police being allowed to question the servants of rich folk. God forbid, these ultra rich, high and mighty people would have their servants be allowed to answer questions about possible criminal wrong doing. The last time I checked anybody can be questioned if a commoner is suspected of a crime. Anyway, it really irritated me and as a result I could never get fully invested into the characters or the story. Still, not a bad read as far as mysteries go.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity ( )
  Carl_Alves | Sep 9, 2012 |
When a group of anarchists blows up a row of houses in the East End in 1893, they are soon caught. They claim they only meant to blow up one of the houses, owned by a policeman they claim is corrupt and living off the proceeds from extortion. Special Branch agent Thomas Pitt decides to investigate whether their claims are true.

I didn't really like this book. As the characters argued about whether the police needed greater powers to deal with the anarchist threat and rising crime, I felt I was being hit over the head with the contemporary resonances rather than being told a story. It did have an exciting finish, which confirms my opinion from having read one of the author's other books. She's good at action, but really rather dull in her world building and setting up of situations. ( )
1 vote Robertgreaves | Aug 25, 2011 |
This installment of Perry's Charlotte & Thomas Pitt mystery series is about anarchist bombings in London and how it's connected with corruption in the Metropolitan police. Pitt must once again deal with his old enemies Charles Voissey and Inspector Wetron who were instrumental in his leaving the police department and entering the Special Branch

Ms. Perry draws rather obvious parallels between the proposed legislation to deal with the anarchists and legislation that has been passed both in the US and the UK to deal with today's terrorist threats. There is little doubt where her sympathies lie as she has Pittt's MP brother-in-law say:

"There's a lot of fear around, Thomas. Fear of change, fear of
violence, fear of apathy allowing us to lose what we have. It's
a bad motive for doing anything. We react without taking
account of the consequences."

Always intelligently written, Ms Perry's mysteries arre a joy to read. ( )
  etxgardener | Aug 20, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Perry, Anneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fefè, SimonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Hanson cab lurched around the corner, throwing Pitt forward almost on his knees.
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