It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review, but I have not been idle…well, at least, not idle when it comes to reading. I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, and my body is much happier resting on the couch with a book than doing more strenuous activities like scrubbing the kitchen floor or going Christmas shopping. Having spent the last two to three weeks on the couch completing Anne Perry’s eleven William Monk novels (see my review on the first William Monk novel, The Face of a Stranger), I have moved on to another mystery series by Perry.
The Cater Street Hangman is the first novel in Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. This series was (I believe) Anne Perry’s first foray into the world of detective fiction, and the initial novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was first published in 1979.
The story is set during the late Victorian period. Its outspoken heroine, Charlotte Ellison, has had her life turned upside down as several young women of her acquaintance are strangled to death along Cater Street. Suspicions run high in the neighborhood, and Charlotte begins to fear that even her closest relatives are guilty of the grisly murders.
The presence of Inspector Pitt and the household scandals that are uncovered in the course of his investigation introduce Charlotte to the seamier side of life that Victorian women were typically shielded from. It soon becomes apparent to all that the plain, lower-class Inspector Pitt is calling on Charlotte Ellison far more frequently than the case demands. Could he be romantically interested in her?
This mystery, while not as complex as Perry’s William Monk novels, was an interesting read to fill an empty afternoon. The characters were not as fully developed as those in Perry’s later novels, and I am interested to see them become rounder as I read the next installments of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series.