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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monk's progress
Anne Perry's 13th addition to the Monk series is fast paced, exciting and as dark as you'd expect. It is also probably the best entry in the series since Whited Sepulchres (A Breach of Promise for Americans). As is the norm for this series, the main protagonist, amnesiac mid-Victorian 'Private Agent of Inquiry', William Monk is hired to investigate a case which...
Published on 8 Sep 2002

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Color within an Enigmatic, Slow-Moving Plot
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I recently read The Shifting Tide and was most impressed with the book. Not having read other books in the William Monk series, I decided to work backward to see what I had missed. Alas, I found that so far The Shifting Tide was the best of the lot. So if you are thinking about this book, but haven't read The Shifting Tide, I suggest you move on to that one instead...
Published on 21 Jan 2005 by Donald Mitchell


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monk's progress, 8 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Anne Perry's 13th addition to the Monk series is fast paced, exciting and as dark as you'd expect. It is also probably the best entry in the series since Whited Sepulchres (A Breach of Promise for Americans). As is the norm for this series, the main protagonist, amnesiac mid-Victorian 'Private Agent of Inquiry', William Monk is hired to investigate a case which ultimately re-awakens part of his shattered memory. In this most recent novel, the main investigation dovetails entirely with the darker elements of Monk's past life, and shakes his confidence in his own morality. In the meantime, his wife, Hester, disturbed by events in the Coldbath Square area of London in which she is trying to nurse, begins to suffer increasing isolation, due to her inability to fathom her husband's dark mood, and the recognition that her other admirer, Sir Oliver Rathbone, has begun to look for greener romantic pastures. The pace and action-lead style is similar to that of her most recent Pitt books, most notably, Southampton Row, and it is a welcome injection of life into an utterly absorbing group of characters. Perry has captured well the growing anxiety and panic in Monk, as he races to keep events under his control. Further the removal of Sir Oliver Rathbone from much of the second person narrative has made the court room scenes far more suspenseful than they have tended to be in the past. Finally, by maintaining a degree of friction in the Monks' marriage, it reminds us that relationships, even romantic fictional ones, can be difficult to cultivate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Color within an Enigmatic, Slow-Moving Plot, 21 Jan 2005
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Stranger (Hardcover)
)
I recently read The Shifting Tide and was most impressed with the book. Not having read other books in the William Monk series, I decided to work backward to see what I had missed. Alas, I found that so far The Shifting Tide was the best of the lot. So if you are thinking about this book, but haven't read The Shifting Tide, I suggest you move on to that one instead . . . unless you have a compulsion to read every book in the series.
William Monk is a man who doesn't know who he is. An accident cost him his memory, but in this book facts and vague memories combine to help him reconstruct part of his past. Now, he earns a living as a private enquiry agent in Victorian England. He is married to the redoubtable Hester who runs a charity clinic for ladies of the night in one of London's worst neighborhoods.
As the story opens, a famous railroad entrepreneur and financier is found dead inside a notorious house of ill repute. Outraged by the apparent murder, the police are expected to cure the age-old problem of men and one of the oldest professions. Soon, everyone is starving, and the violence increases against the women. Hester is kept busy trying to sew up their wounds and setting their bones. She soon realizes that she needs to solve the murder if she is really to help her patients.
William is hired by Katrina Harcus, the fiancée of a well-to-do Londoner, who wants to be certain that her fiancé is not involved in something untoward. She's overheard scraps of conversation that make her feel that a great crime is about to happen.
The plot bogs down as William is seemingly blocked by both his amnesia and a psychological inability to draw conclusions from the plain words that Katrina shares with him. It's one of the most block-headed investigations you will ever have to read about. The story is saved at the end by the tale finally unfolding in dramatic fashion.
Hester's tracking down of the murderer of the magnate is the better part of the story. If William's part had been left out or edited down, this would have been a four-star book. As it is, you will have to enjoy reading lengthy self-examinations by a confused amnesiac to avoid falling to sleep as you read this slow-moving story.
What makes the book fascinating are the marvelous details and local color about London's seamy side and the development of England's railways. It almost makes you wish Ms. Perry wrote nonfiction books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet, 29 Mar 2003
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Maureen Connelly (Sileby, Leicestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Death of a Stranger (A William Monk Mystery) (Paperback)
As an avid reader of the novels of Anne Perry my standards are naturally very high but I cannot fault this latest offering from the 'Queen of Crime'(sorry about the cliche but in this case it's true). We have all the character development we have come to expect from her and no shortage of twists and turns in the plot! Also,it's nice to see Oliver getting a bit of love interest at last! The final two chapters are particularly gripping. I literally couldn't put it down! Great stuff Anne!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a stranger Anne Perry, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: Death of a Stranger (A William Monk Mystery) (Paperback)
This is an excellent series of mystery books set in a different era. I would recommend they are read in order as this builds up the relationship between the main characters. However can be read as a one off.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Death of a stranger, 19 May 2013
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Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Stranger (A William Monk Mystery) (Paperback)
Two different aspects of Victorian London collide - a wealthy man is found dead in a house of ill repute, which causes scandal and police presence such that no working girl can ply her trade in peace, and a possible corruption link to the burgeoning railway construction industry is investigated.
Sadly I have tried a few of Perry's books now, in different series, and just can't get on with them, perhaps because no matter how much good detail she piles in, it doesn't make up for the fact that none of her main characters has much of a sense of humour. I find the telling slow and am inclined to put the book down and not pick it up again.

But many people do like her works a lot, and if you're one of them I am sure this book will give you more of what you enjoy.
Otherwise try Edward Marston's The Frost Fair for an interesting mystery when the Thames had frozen over and a fair was held on the ice. I liked that a lot more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best so far, 20 Feb 2012
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A. Monterroso "Anita" (Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Stranger (A William Monk Mystery) (Paperback)
I am an Anne Perry admirer, specially of the Monk novels and this is the one I liked best from the ones I have read so far!
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5.0 out of 5 stars avid reader of victorian books., 30 Oct 2009
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I have read almost all anne perrys books :the monk series and have enjoyed every one.
i would recommend them to anyone interested in this in this type of story line, it
keep you guessing almost until the end.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Railway details, 11 Jan 2006
This review is from: Death of a Stranger (A William Monk Mystery) (Paperback)
Sad to say, I am unconvinced by the technical aspects of this book. The terminology for railway matters seems to be US rather than UK, which given the railway preservation societies here who would have been happy to help, is disappointing, e.g. over here firemen fire engines, stokers stoke ships. Also working proceedures on the railway, both operational and in relation to track building don't appear to me to be accurate, even with my limited knowledge.
Just as one small example, if train brakes had been applied routinely in the way she suggests they were, trains would have derailed every time out. Before the later development of continuous brakes, brakes had to be applied both in the rear of the train as well as on the locomotive, (and its tender as well, if I remember rightly). Otherwise, a train travelling at speed would have folded up like a concertina, never mind just been derailed. A suggestion that track laying was done at the time without either corruption or the use of substandard materials resulting in track failure is also rather naive.
It isn't too bad a plot in principle, but I hope no-one imagines that railways really worked like this.
I also wish the author would stop calling drawing rooms 'withdrawing rooms'.
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Death of a Stranger (A William Monk Mystery)
Death of a Stranger (A William Monk Mystery) by Anne Perry (Paperback - 3 Feb 2003)
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