18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2001
Readers who love mystery can often become frustrated with the seemingly endless ranks of homogenous policemen that populate their fictional world, often differing from each other only in their idiosyncrasies or the names of their subordinates. What a pleasure it is then, to read a novel with a difference and from the moment I started Anne Perry's "Farrier's Lane" it was quite clear that the Victorian world of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt was one that could engage my imagination more than the modern day gangland dens of Manchester or the dreaming spires of Oxford.
A prominent judge dies of opium poisoning while spending an evening at the theatre and Inspector Pitt's chance presence results in him leading the subsequent investigation. Realising the judge had recently become concerned with the safety of the verdict in a horrific murder case from some years earlier, Pitt comes to believe that the latest death could be connected to the earlier one even though the original perpetrator, a Jewish actor, had long since hanged for his crime. Together with his wife, Charlotte, a woman possessed of both charm and cunning in equal measure, he sets about his investigation but finds that the manners of Victorian society and its citizens' racist views on Jews place a considerable obstacle in his path to the killer.
Mystery and character are equal partners in Perry's writing. Lovers of a good 'whodunit' will not be disappointed with the twists and turns of the plot, neither will readers who like to bond with their literary heroes as Thomas and Charlotte Pitt are a very likeable duo who complement each other perfectly. The atmosphere of turn of the century London is so absorbing and tangible that you can almost feel yourself shrouded in a cold blanket of East End fog and hear the Hansom carriages clatter along the streets. I shall certainly be reading more from this most refreshing series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2010
I'm a fan of Anne Perry and "Farriers' Lane" doesn't disappoint. The who-dunnit is full of Victorian period detail and I learn so much about the life and times of the fledgling Metropolitan Police Force and the River Police. It makes a change that there isn't a nagging policeman's wife (indeed Charlotte helps him with his cases - and solves this one!), and that the underling (Pitt) actually gets on and likes/respects his chief. An excellent read with a surprise endings.