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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death on Blackheath
Anne Perry once again surpasses herself. This is an ingenious plot which takes us along a complicated path involving the security of the country which Thomas has to unravel. Along the way he has help from his family amongst others and I have so enjoyed this book. I hope you do too.
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. Barbara Vaughan

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Anne Perry - Pitt series magic is gone.
Why did it take so very very very very long to achieve what should have been done in the very first place? Surely a careful background check of the Kynaston family where the presumed dead or missing maid - Kitty Ryder - should have been done. And if Pitt (and just about everyone else in the novel) suspected a particular politician - Somerset Carlisle of committing the...
Published 5 months ago by May 2010


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death on Blackheath, 18 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Death On Blackheath (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series Book 29) (Kindle Edition)
Anne Perry once again surpasses herself. This is an ingenious plot which takes us along a complicated path involving the security of the country which Thomas has to unravel. Along the way he has help from his family amongst others and I have so enjoyed this book. I hope you do too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex and absorbing, 17 Dec. 2013
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Perry is always eminently readable, and this is another engrossing novel in the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series. Now head of Special Branch, Pitt is called in when the maid of a politically-important figure goes missing - though no-one is quite sure whether she has merely eloped or is dead. As the case deepens, Perry draws us into another complex case with both political and personal overtones.

Some writers seem to reach a point where they're writing the same book over and over again - Perry hasn't allowed herself to fall into the same trap. I generally tend to prefer the Hester & William Monk series for its darker and more intriguing characterisations, but that's personal taste. The dénouement of this does stray into unconvincing territory but there's so much good stuff here that I'm happy to forgive Perry her occasional lapses.

If you're looking for intelligent historical crime fiction with solid characterisation and a good sense of the period, Perry can always be relied upon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Anne Perry - Pitt series magic is gone., 24 Nov. 2014
By 
May 2010 (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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Why did it take so very very very very long to achieve what should have been done in the very first place? Surely a careful background check of the Kynaston family where the presumed dead or missing maid - Kitty Ryder - should have been done. And if Pitt (and just about everyone else in the novel) suspected a particular politician - Somerset Carlisle of committing the crime (given his past propensity for using corpses to make a statement), why did they wait till almost the end before speaking to him?

I am a huge fan of Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt series, though I much prefer her earlier work prior to Pitt join Special Branch where Charlotte and her family played a much larger role in the stories. This book has just been tedious! It is slow to start, never really takes off. Goes in implausible circles about Aunt Vespasia's burgeoning love life (she has to be in her late eighties by even the most conservative estimation - esp. if you have read Pitt's earlier books), Emily's real (or imagined) marital issues, etc. It is towards the end that there is an almost unholy rush to tie up loose ends that any real work gets done.

A real detective story has never been the reason why I have read Anne Perry's Thomas (and Charlotte) Pitt series. It is her wonderful description of the individuals that populate her novels - that have evolved over time in to a delightful and familiar ensemble of recurring characters, Perry's description of the Victorian era with its complex social mores and of course Charlotte's meddling with her husband's work! This has largely dissipated from the latest novels.

Perhaps Pitt needs to take a break from Special Branch?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful book in an excellent series., 7 May 2014
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
First Sentence: Pitt stood shivering on the steps leading up from the areaway to the pavement and looked down at the clumps of blood and hair at his feet.

Thomas Pitt, Commander of Special Branch, and his sideman, , has been called in to investigate a crime involving signs of a violent struggle, a missing ladies made from the hope of Dudley Kynaston, a naval weapons expert and important to the English Government. The discovery of a severely mutilated female body makes it important to discover whether this is the maid and, if not, where she is. As the investigation proceeds, it becomes clear that people, and their relationships, are not always as they seem.

A well-written hook draws you into the story, establishes Pitt’s position, role and background very quickly. This is critical for readers new to the series. It also returns Pitt much more to his previous role conducting a police investigating; something many of his fans have missed.

Perry’s descriptions create such a strong sense of place and atmosphere. Whether the characters are standing in the dark and cold, or in a warm kitchen with the smells of cooking; she immediately makes the reader part of the scene. Beyond description is the understanding Perry conveys regarding life during Victorian times. The social customs and restrictions, particularly on women, dress, manners, different types of households depending upon wealth and social strata all come to life under Ms. Perry’s deft hand.

The dialogue is excellent and conveys not only the period, but the class and area of England from which each character has come. At the same time, when she does write in dialect, it is never to where the reader has difficulty understanding the conversation.

It is the characters and their relationships which are the true strength of the story. Again, each is introduced, a brief background given and their relationship to the other characters established. One never feels they need a cast of character to understand the interrelationships. For those of us who’ve long followed the series, we’re even caught up, briefly, on past characters. The relatively new character of Stoker, Pitt’s bagman (in the British sense of the word), is a wonderful addition to the series and we learn more about him in this book. One wonders whether he might not take a larger role going forward.

A major theme in all of Ms. Perry’s work is honor, integrity, loyalty to another and to one’s country, and relationships--”…You can’t go through life without owing anybody. The real debts are hardly ever a matter of money: they are about friendship, trust, help when you desperately need it, a hand out in the darkness to take yours, when you’re alone.” ”What debt of honor could he own great than that to his country?

With “Death on Blackheath,” Ms. Perry has added another wonderful book to an excellent series. Yes, there may have been a couple slight deficiencies in the plot and some might find aspects a bit twee (overly sweet), but it also had very good suspense, and some excellent twists that made you question some of the characters. All I know is that I’ll definitely be back for book #30.

DEATH ON BLACKHEATH (Hist Mys-Charlotte and Thomas Pitt-England-Victorian) – VG+
Perry, Anne – 29th in series
Ballentine Books, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entirely satisfying Victorian mystery., 26 Mar. 2014
By 
J. Lesley "(Judy)" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
How wonderful it is to return to an author I have enjoyed in the past and find that her work still has the high standards I had found in her previous books. Anne Perry has a long record of published novels but the quality has not diminished from my first experience with The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt Novels)]] where she began the adventures featuring Thomas Pitt and Charlotte Ellison through to this latest book. Much time has passed over the course of these novels, but Perry has maintained a very realistic feeling of warmth, love, and regard between Pitt and Charlotte and the large group of friends they have made during the course of the investigations. This novel has Pitt calling on all of them in hopes of solving the questions of murder and disappearance which seem to evade his best investigative abilities.

Thomas Pitt is now the Commander of Special Branch investigators who keep close watch on anything concerning the political welfare of the British government. When a lady's maid disappears it is indeed cause for the Special Branch to become involved because that maid worked in the household of Dudley Kynaston, a senior government official who is assigned to work with naval defenses. Kynaston is working on the new submarine systems which are expected to change the way war is carried out and his work is vitally important, especially for an island nation such as Britain. The body of the woman found close to the Kynaston home could possibly belong to the missing lady's maid, but how did she die and why was she disfigured after death?

Anne Perry was so successful in describing the biting cold and wet of this British winter that I kept making pots of hot tea to warm myself while I read. I appreciate the way she also puts so much thought into every character which appears in her novels and how they don't always act in prescribed ways, just in human ways. It makes them seem very much like real people. There are quite a few other Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels and yet a reader new to the series could easily begin here and fully understand this story. I can't help but think that curiosity will then have them searching out previous novels because there are many references to cases which have been solved before. I found this novel to be completely satisfying and can definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well written and well plotted novel augmented with historical feel. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

I received this arc through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Blend Of Character Driven Mystery And Rich Historical Details, 14 April 2014
In typical Anne Perry fashion, her latest Thomas & Charlotte Pitt novel begins on a high note, the action never wavering from the opening to its denouement. While this series has ever been rife with rich historical details, Death On Blackheath combines her usual lush descriptions that so completely transport the reader into the time period with pacing so remarkably quick, I believe this may be one of Perry's best literary efforts to date.

Instead of sputtering out, both Pitts are in excellent form here. I will ever marvel at the unique plots of these books, and this one in particular is more intricate than I have come to expect. There was much going on in terms of plotting, with twists and turns around ever corner, but Perry never loses the thread. I would go so far as saying this may be one of the most intricate storylines she has yet to contrive.

Moreover, more attention is paid on Pitt's partner, Stoker, who has appeared in other works in this series though has previously been flat. I was glad to see him elaborated on, and am beginning to admire him (and many other of the side characters) just as much as the regulars. Perhaps we shall see more of Stoker in one of her Christmas novellas? Either way, a wonderful read from an author who I would swear only becomes stronger as time goes on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Thin" but worthy., 27 Mar. 2015
By 
Jane Baker "jan-bookcase" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
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The plot revolves around murder, betrayal and treason, at times complicated, at others a little disingenuous. Somerset Carlisle reappears after his debut in an early novel, Resurrection Row. Vespasia is prominent and a mouthpiece for the mores of society and events which could bring disgrace and exclusion. Emily approaches forty, concerned about her beauty and loss of confidence; Charlotte and Pitt at ease with their growing family, Victor Narraway has a large role once again. These individuals hold the plot together and may be of more interest and substance than the storyline which is not totally convincing yet gives an insight into the wheeling and dealing of 19 century society where there was no transparency. The ending is a deligfht. Is there another avid follower of the Pitt series who could ventire an age for Vespasia?
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2.0 out of 5 stars very disappointing, 21 Feb. 2015
Very disappointed, after reading all Anne Perry books and loving them, this one proved to be so boring and long drawn out. I never really believed the plot or the characters in it and thus did not engage with them. The 2 girls bodies almost seemed incidental to the story. I did not care how the book ended and in fact left the last few pages unread. Not the writers finest work, let us hope future books are back to normal.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death on Blackheath, 31 Dec. 2013
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death On Blackheath (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series Book 29) (Kindle Edition)
Thomas Pitt is now in charge of Special Branch and finds himself in a strange world where loyalties and obligations are rarely spoken about but affect all his dealings with everyone. When a ladies' maid disappears from the house of Dudley Kynaston the case becomes one for Pitt because Kynaston is working on designs for submarines to be used in warfare.

The maid's disappearance could be a matter of national security. Pitt needs to use all his contacts and those of his wife, Charlotte, to solve the case and prevent damage to his country's interests. I enjoyed this well written Victorian crime novel with its meticulously researched background. It is the first book I have read by this author and I shall definitely be reading more of this series.

The only reason why I have not given it five stars is that I felt I was missing a dimension of the story because I hadn't read the rest of the books in the series. Yes it can be read as a standalone novel but I think the reader will probably get more out of it when they are familiar with the rest of the series. The relationships between the various characters will mean more and nuances in the dialogue and interactions will be clearer.

If you like Victorian crime novels then try this series for interesting mysteries and believable and three dimensional characters as well as a vivid evocation of late Victorian London.

I received a free copy of this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Death on Blackheath, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Death On Blackheath (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series Book 29) (Kindle Edition)
Very much up to Anne Perry's usual standard. Can't wait for the next one. Hope there are lots more in this series.
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