For my #cbr11bingo #summerread selection I have read Twenty-One Days, by one of my favorite crime novelists, Anne Perry. For years I have been reading (and awaiting the next release of) the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, set in Victorian England. In those books, Charlotte is an out-spoken woman born into Society, who marries for love well beneath her station. Thomas Pitt starts off as a police detective, but as the novels continue, moves up in job title and status (no spoilers as to where he ends up).
One things that I love about the Pitt novels is how descriptive and precise Perry is about her settings. These books are not just crime novels set in Victorian (or now Edwardian) England. When reading them you are transported to the time period – immersed in the culture – every detail thoughtfully included. In a few cases I have gone to look up something mentioned that peaked my interest only to find that the descriptions were absolutely accurate. These books are certainly realistic historical fiction.
Twenty-One Days seems to be the first in what I hope is a series about Thomas and Charlotte’s now adult son, Daniel, who has become a barrister. Specifically, he is a criminal defense lawyer in Edwardian England, and seems to be following in the family tradition for sleuthing. It is a light read, but like her other Pitt family novels, Perry keeps you guessing until the end. Because the main character is a lawyer, not a police officer, issues of justice vs fairness are in play. A light easy read, but still engaging.
What I miss most in the novel is Charlotte, Daniel’s mother. She makes a brief cameo, but does not shine as she did in the earlier series. But I guess that is understandable, give that this new series involves the next generation. Still, I miss her sass, intellect, and fearlessness. Also, some favorite characters from the earlier books are missing (no spoilers as to why, although for some we don’t find out). I also home that Jemima, Daniel’s older sister, makes some appearances, as all descriptions of her (as well as the novel that she stared in) suggest that she is just as interesting as her mother. I guess I shall have to wait and see what Anne Perry imagines.