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4.1 out of 5 stars15
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2001
Great period atmosphere, excellent story with a good twist at the end. Should delight anyone who's run out of Ellis Peters / Edith Pargeter books. HOWEVER - you need to read these Inspector Monk books in the correct order. His memory returns as the series progresses. Especially do not read this second book until you have read the first - 'The Face of a Stranger' - as the first few pages will spoil it. [#3 'Defend and Betray', #4 'A Sudden Fearful Death]
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on 25 January 2010
This second Monk novel ties up some of the strands from 'The Face Of A Stranger' and sees Monk stll coming to terms with his amnesia, and investigating another murder aided and abetted by Hester Latterly. Unfortunately if you've read just a few of Perry's murder mysteries a lot of 'A Dangerous Mourning' will feel very familiar. The same issues and plot contrivances. Like Charlotte Pitt in Callender Square, Hester goes undercover in the murder victim's house. This feeling is exacerbated by the often slow pace of the book, which seemingly has characters going over and over the same details again and again. It's good to see some interesting times ahead for Monk, and Hester's glimmer of romance is handled quite sweetly but this book just feels too routine to really succeed. As part of a series I think it has merit, as a murder mystery it's just a bit dull.
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on 28 April 2013
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this novel contained an intricate and clever plotline. As well, I have enjoyed learning about society and the strictures placed upon its members at the higher levels. A good read. Historical fiction at its best.
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on 7 August 2014
Have just finished reading this book. A little slow to get going with this book, but once it did start to fall in place,

it was an excellent story. However in my opinion, not one of Anne Perry's better books.
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on 11 October 2013
I had read this book about 20 years ago but having introduced my sister in law to this set found that I did not have it in my collection having borrowed it originally from the library. It was still enjoyable.
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on 8 January 2014
Excellent background, interesting protagonists, fascinating insight into historical period. Interesting character development over the series.. Good exploration of contemporary social issues.j
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on 6 June 2015
I always enjoy Anne Perry's books, her elegant writing, and grasp of Victorian life. and this earlier one is up to her usual standards.
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on 25 February 2013
This item was a present so I haven't actually read it, but the receipient was very pleased with it and happy it arrived so quickly!
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on 17 May 2015
Good plot, good characters, good supporting detail = Enjoyable read. Keeping up the standard for this author.
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on 15 May 2006
This was the first Anne Perry novel I had read and I'm afraid it does not encourage me to read any more. It was tedious and over-long. To come to it cold, not having read the previous Monk novel, meant that the reader was left in the dark as to what the Menard Grey case (which starts in the middle) is all about. It was never explained. The background was poorly researched and the mistakes were elementary and irritating. Barristers work from chambers, not offices, and in 1857 these would have been in the Temple or in one of the Inns of Court, not in "Vere Street off Lincoln's Inn Fields"; they had to be instructed through a solicitor - Mr Rathbone could have been disbarred for receiving a half-guinea fee directly from a lay client. Murder carried an automatic death sentence in the mid-19th century and transportation (not "deportation"!) was not a sentencing option, however much the jury pleaded for leniency. In the last chapter, the charges would have been perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - not murder. All in all, sloppy writing and a long way to go to reach the solution, which was hardly a surprise to the reader even if Mr Monk was baffled. Nice characterisation, though and her style is good.
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