Paragon Walk by Anne Perry
Series: Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #3
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Pages: 248 (ebook)
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When innocent Fanny Nash of exclusive Paragon Walk dies in the arms of her exquisite sister-in-law, Jessamyn, Inspector Pitt is assigned to investigate her rape and murder. Every man of Paragon Walk is under suspicion, even Pitt’s brother-in-law, Lord George Ashworth, who was the last to have seen her. Could it be the charming, enigmatic Frenchman? Fanny’s cruel brother? Wealthy Dilbridge, who hosts wild, decadent parties? As Pitt digs deeper into the mystery, Paragon Walk’s aristocratic haughtiness gives way to fear, its calm to hatred. To keep her sister Emily, Lady Ashworth, company in this difficult time, inquisitive Charlotte once again finds herself in the midst of a deadly mystery. In the drawing rooms of her sister’s neighbors, Charlotte engages in witty and sharp-edged conversations that reveal unsavory intrigues and bitter rivalries. On Paragon Walk, Charlotte’s probing despite Thomas’s warnings may prove fatal.
I started this series a long time ago and only recently remembered it when I ventured into the Maisie Dobbs series. I love these historical mysteries because they are solved through intellectual deduction and savviness. I remember that I stopped reading this series because Barnes and Nobles didn't have the next book in the series on its shelf and I wasn't into online ordering at the time. So when I saw this in my elibrary, I jumped at the chance to get into this series again. If you are unfamiliar with the series, I'm not quite sure if I can help with the familiarization of it. Charlotte and Thomas met in book one. Charlotte was born in a much higher class than Thomas but they still ended up together. Since Thomas is an investigator, Charlotte finds herself helping him in anyway she can. From what I've seen this series focuses on Charlotte and Thomas shows up every once in a while. Charlotte is smart, sharp-tongued, and curious, but she does strive to care for her husband in the way that society expects during this time period.
This particular mystery was mind boggling. There were many characters, motives, and opportunities. At times, it felt like there was no progress in solving the mystery, which both irritated and intrigued me. I had NO inkling of who could possibly be the guilty party and when it was unveiled, I was left with my mouth wide open. This is a mystery but there is a strong focus on characters and societal norms. I ended up liking the story but I was very upset with the ending. It went like this... this is the bad guy. THE END. I was like...WTF?! And I never say that. Not even in my head. I felt like I worked just as hard as Charlotte and Thomas to solve the mystery and didn't get my payment. Also, if you are looking for a great romance between the characters, you'd have to find another book. I believed in the chemistry early in the series but there is little to no focus on that here.
Interestingly, I revisited this series because of the Maisie Dobbs series and I found many similarities.
You know, I wish I could find a historical mystery where the main characters don't seem so cold. It seems that a woman drawn in these historical mysteries can't be both intellectual and warm and affectionate. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Overall, I enjoyed returning to this series and this mystery was definitely the most surprising that I have read in a long long time.