Anne Perry - anyone here a fan?
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Anyone here like Perry and, if so, what's her best book?
Her William Monk series, however, kept my interest all the way up to the very latest I think. The Monk books are also set in Victorian England, like the Pitt series, but Monk (whose story begins with Face of a Stranger) is the more interesting detective in my opinion because not only does he have to solve a murder, he also has to solve the mystery of himself.
As for the Monk series, I'm slowly making my way through them. I hit a brick wall with one of them that I could totally not get into, so I stopped reading it and haven't picked up the next in the series.
She's also got another series - WWI, I think. I haven't heard any rave reviews about that series, but there's 3-4 books out so far. I have the first hiding somewhere in my library, but haven't bothered to read it yet. Not sure if I want to.
She's also written a fantasy series, starting with Tathea, which I cannot stand because it's incessantly preachy.
But I give the Monk series a definite thumbs-up. There isn't a book within that series that stands out particularly as the best one, but you could maybe give The Sins of the Wolf a try.
have you started that WWI book yet? Is it any good?
I read Tathea a long time ago and while it didn't capture my interest like Lord of the Rings or other fantasy books have, it was a well-written book I thought. Very vivid imagery. The little demon with the slotted eyes still gives me the creeps.
I used to grab her books as soon as they came out, but I have found that her Pitt series, at least, has become, not to put too fine a point on it, ridiculous. I have noticed, not just with Perry, that when an author begins to rely on secret conspiratorial groups for her villain, it's time to bail. Julie K. Smith's Skip Langdon series started to hare off in that direction, too; fortunately, she had the sense to dump Langdon and create the Tabitha Wallis series.
The Cater Street Hangman is the 1st Pitt book, and very good. As I recall, you can read another 10 or more in the series before encountering the conspiracy stuff.
To me the development of the characters and their relationships is an important part of the Monk series. Why not start with the first book?
I've read the first 2 of the WWI series. I'm not too sure about the plot line, but her writing keeps me going anyway. I'm a fan.
10midtowngirl Primeira Mensagem
The Pitt books did tend to lose a little steam, but IF YOU LIKE conspiracies (and I do very much), then The Whitechapel Conspiracy is a great book to read. Of all the Pitts, it is my favorite (along with Traitor's Gate and Pentecost Alley).
The WWI series had a great start but got a little muddled and confusing in the last two books - I need to reread all of them to get a better sense of what was going on.
I have tried working my way through Tathea twice, but got very overwhelmed in the middle of it, and have not read the sequel Come Armageddon. I will try again this summer.
What I love most about Ms. Perry's books, beyond the historical detail, is the characters. I have been reading her books for so long they are like old friends to me. My favorite character of all is Hester from the Monk series.
I've read three of these WWI books and I'm not impressed. I think the 4th is the final one and I think its because they aren't being well-received. I loved all of Perry's early works but the repetitiveness of 'pulled a face' ...sensitivity and intelligence...there was nothing to say...those and other phrases which are over-used, have made her writing less enjoyable.
I really like the Monk novels - the early ones.
I was shocked when I heard she had murdered someone when she was a young teen - but I'm getting over that.
Also, if you go to YouTube there are several 'episodes' of Ian Rankin interviewing Perry which is pretty good.
That was several subjects, only one of which you asked, waiting4, but I got off track as usual.
I haven't read her WWI books and am glad now after hearing what you and others have said about them.
Her latest Pitt mystery ~ Buckingham Palace Gardens ~ was pretty good, I thought, after a stretch of not-so-good ones. It came back to Pitt the Murder Detective as opposed to Pitt the Conspiracy-Investigator and featured Gracie and hardly any Charlotte.
Thanks for the tip on the Ian Rankin interview.
I'm particularly interested by this snippet from the Rankin-Perry interview:
It's the fact Hulme refers to herself as an "accessory" that I find interesting - I'm sure that if Rankin hadn't pressed her on it, she'd have left it at that (and, by extension, made those ignorant of the case believe that she didn't actually participate in the killing itself). As it was, Rankin made sure we knew that Perry "jumped on her" and it was "a sustained and brutal attack".
Personally, I think Perry should have refused the interview. I understand that former killers must use mental strategies to allow them to live their lives without a constant burden of guilt weighing them down, but it IS disconcerting to hear her say things like "it for me no longer exists".
Is the tv-series Monk based on Anne Perry's books? I mean the series with the very neurotic, has tons of OCD's Monk. I can't stand him, to be honest, but tv-shows have a habit of not following the books very well. (Bones on tv is far more socially inept than Bones in the books).
Perry's Monk is intelligent, handsome, somewhat ruthless. His character and those of some of the other characters are slowly developed over the course of the series. The nurse Hester Latterly is at least as important in the series as he is.
Read all the Pitt series (23? -- early and White Chapel are the best ones) and am saving the Monk series (I have the first 3). I have 5 girlfriends who are Perry fans as well -- for the same reasons. The WWI series was okay.
Aunt Vespasia is one of my all time favorite characters...
For some reason I never warmed to the Monk series as much as the Charlotte-Pitt ones, and while I continued to buy and read both series, I confess, it has increasingly been more for the development of the characters than the plots, which have become more and more far-fetched and yet formulaic in my mind.
I have read 2 of the WWI series, and did enjoy them, and but haven't been motivated to read the rest of the series, and I am having trouble pinpointing why. I think Perry's vision is a bit dark for me (my own work is much lighter and I guess I see myself as more of an Austen than a Bronte fan, if that makes sense to any of you.)
Having seen the movie, Heavenly Creatures, about Perry's past, I have always thought that the darkness I saw must have come from that past. On the other hand, years ago I attended a local mystery writers conference where she was the keynote speaker, and she was delightful, and I was star struck as I stood beside her in the common bathroom, as we both brushed our teeth!
In short, I think how one responds to Perry, and which series you like best, will be very much a matter of taste. I would agree with many of the comments, do start at the beginning of both series. If you don't like the first ones, I very much doubt you will like the latter, although I do know friends who feel that while the Pitt series has degenerated, that the Monk series has gotten better.
If you do turn out to like her, you certainly have lots of pleasurable reading ahead of you!
M. Louisa Locke
That makes perfect sense to me!
I've just read two of her Monk novels, to more or less the same conclusion.
Engaging characters and wonderful evocation of an era, but the sleuthing within doesn't really shine in itself, comes into roadblocks that feel sometime contrived, and comes to a conclusion only thanks to some last minute fairly out of the blue revelation and guilty party cave-in.