Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: 1898 London with a brief visit to Toledo, Spain
My Copy Came From: I got a used paperback from paperbackswap.com
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Review: A fine mystery if a tad monotonous and boring. Uggh, I have gotten so bored with the later installments in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, and I think the reason is that I just don’t care for Pitt being the head of Special Branch. I miss Charlotte being able to sleuth around, and I also miss Pitt having to take orders and play off his superior officers. Now he’s in charge, and while I like that he is leading, I miss that spark that he had with Narraway in previous books. Although, Narraway does make an appearance here, and does get involved with the sleuthing as well, but it just isn’t the same.
She has the right to say whatever she believes. And they have the right to deny it, ridicule it or put forward any alternatives. We can’t pick and choose whose opinions we allow to be heard.
The Angel Court Affair by Anne Perry is the thirtieth (!) book in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, and I feel like this series has run its course. I still love Charlotte and Thomas, but the mysteries now feel a bit stale and overwrought. I miss Pitt being a policeman, where the crimes were more personal and the fate of the country wasn’t at stake. Now, the crimes he investigates are mostly politically minded, and while this can make for interesting moral decisions, as a whole, I don’t feel a connection to the mysteries.
We are Special Branch. We do all we can to defend our country from any attack that could threaten the safety of the government, wherever it comes from. We do not choose the result we want, we pursue the truth, and when we find it, we deal with it the best way we can. We cooperate with the police, and hope to hell that they will cooperate with us.
In The Angel Court Affair, Special Branch is tasked with protecting Sofia Delacruz, a woman from Spain who preaches what some would say was blasphemous. Sofia preaches that anyone can become like God, and naturally this creates a stir and causes uproar. Sofia disappears, and two of her followers are shockingly murdered. As Pitt investigates the disappearance, connections to Spain, banking, and school days come into the picture. I found most of these connections very bland, and the religious aspect also didn’t interest me much either. Charlotte is left to ponder the religious teachings instead of helping Pitt solve the crime, and I just wish she was given more to do.
“Some men will argue more passionately about religion than anything else on earth. To many, religion represents order, sanity, the inevitable victory of good over evil. It confirms to them their place in creation.” He smiled bleakly. “Somewhere near the top. The appearance of modesty forbids the very top. Something has to be held back for God.” His smile faded and his eyes were grim. “But say something to threaten that place near the top, and you threaten everything.”
I’m almost caught up with this series; I think I have two more books to read, but I’m kind of finished getting excited about these books. While I love the earlier entries, and I love Anne Perry’s other big mystery series, William Monk, my enthusiasm for Charlotte and Thomas Pitt has definitely waned. Some new life needs to be injected into this series pronto!
Bottom Line: Kinda boring.