Friday, July 21, 2006

Callander Square, by Anne Perry

(pb; 1980: second book in the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series)

From the back cover:

“Murders just didn't happen in fashionable areas like Callander Square – but these two had. The police were totally baffled. But pretty young Charlotte Ellison Pitt was curious.

“Inspector Pitt's well-bred wife didn't often meddle in her husband's business, but something about this case intrigued her – intrigued her to the point that suddenly, staid Charlotte Pitt was rattling the closets of the very rich, hearing backstairs gossip that would shock a barmaid, and unearthing truths that could push even the most proper aristocrat to murder...”


Thomas and Charlotte Pitt have been married for two years now, since The Cater Street Hangman murders, which accidentally brought them together. The dug-up bodies of two infants – one six months dead, the other two years dead – have the Pitts, as well as Charlotte's socially-respectable sister, Emily Ashworth, poking around the upper-class Callander Square neighborhood, where hypocrisy, sexual and class-related, is de rigeur.

Author Perry once again explores the theme of the rich being shaken out of their collective hauteur by the “lower class” (and symbolically, real life), no less ably than she did in Cater Street. It's not as fresh as the first book, but it is charming and enjoyable, despite its easily-spotted killer. I had a difficult time putting this down, and I can't wait (though I will) to read the next Thomas & Charlotte Pitt mystery, Paragon Walk.

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