Official Synopsis from Goodreads: Gripping and provocative, the latest Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery by New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry peers unflinchingly into the corrupt affairs of Victorian society on the brink of the century’s turn. The world is poised for social and political change, but England holds tight to its traditions, classes, and prejudices.
When an explosion in London kills two policemen and seriously injures three more, many believe that anarchists are the culprits. But Thomas Pitt, commander of Special Branch, knows the city’s radical groups well enough to suspect otherwise: that someone with decidedly more personal motives lit the deadly fuse. As he investigates the source of the fatal blast, he’s stunned to discover the bombing was a calculated strike against the ranks of law enforcement.
But still more shocking revelations await, as Pitt’s inquiries lead him to a member of Parliament hoping for a lucrative business deal, a high-ranking police officer with secrets to keep, and an aristocratic opium addict seeking murderous revenge. As he pursues each increasingly threatening lead, Pitt finds himself impeded at every turn by the barriers put in place to protect the rich and powerful—barriers which, as they start to crumble, threaten to bury him alive.
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: London 1898
My Copy Came From: I purchased a used paperback copy from my local used paperback bookstore, Paperbacks Unlimited.
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Review: Another excellent entry in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery series! Treachery at Lancaster Gate by Anne Perry is the thirty-first book in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery series set in Victorian London. Wow, I’ve read thirty-one books in this series! That’s a lot for me – I notoriously start series and never finish them, so I’m quite pleased that I’ve read as many of these books as I have.
Treachery at Lancaster Gate focuses on police corruption and anarchy. I found it absolutely fascinating and quite timely to current events.
‘Is he talking about police corruption too? I suppose it’s to be expected.’ He was desperately tired of the subject, and angry with the people who wrote letters to the newspapers with easy outrage, having no idea how hard police work actually was. They so often spoke as if there were absolute good and evil, and little between, whereas in fact the vast majority were simply poor, hungry, cold and too often desperate.
The Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries focus on Commander Thomas Pitt, head of Special Branch, and his wife Charlotte. In this entry, we also have quite a lot of Inspector Tellman, whose wife Gracie used to work for the Pitts. Tellman and Pitt argue quite a bit in this installment, as Pitt is forced to look into the police after a bombing, and Tellman doesn’t want to believe that there is corruption.
‘Turning a blind eye because you don’t want to know is not compassion, it’s cowardice, and it’s a betrayal of the good men. It’s not them you’re guarding, it’s your own feelings, because you don’t want to deal with it.’
While several of the periphery characters blended together for me, I was thrilled to see Emily (Charlotte’s sister) and Jack Radley again, and as always it’s a delight to read Lady Vespasia (Emily’s great aunt) and Victor Narraway (Thomas’s former boss).
There was a nail-biting scene towards the end of the book, where I seriously feared for several characters lives!
I really enjoy reading this series and I’ve just got one more, Murder on the Serpentine, and then I’m caught up!
Bottom Line: Exciting and timely.
LINKS ***the Amazon link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase***
My Review of The Angel Court Affair, Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #30
5 thoughts on “Book Review: Treachery at Lancaster Gate by Anne Perry (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #31)”
Wow! Thirty-one books is amazing. I got lost somewhere in perhaps the mid-twenties. And now I miss them and might just have to figure out where I am so I can read the next one.
I love the second quote you posted. Something we should all be thinking of. Frankly, I don’t know how Anne Perry (with three, or is it four now, series) still manages to give such deeply thoughtful insights that leave me wanting to make note of them, while at the same time I can’t bear not to keep reading and write them down.
Another thought provoking review, thanks.
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Thank you! 🙂
I think the mid-twenties was when Pitt got more involved with Special Branch, and I much prefer him being a regular policeman and those mysteries than the Special Branch ones. They are just too much “save the world/country” and feel too large sometimes! 31 books is so many!! I’m quite amazed I’ve read as much of the series as I have!
Anne Perry always has such interesting insights into humanity – it’s what’s drawn me over and over again to her books. I hope she continues to write this series!
You’ve read more books in this series than Jackie and I have of the Valdemar books!! So many books!
Does Anne Perry write a lot of holiday books, too? I could have sworn I saw her name all over the library around Christmas time.
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I’m quite amazed I’ve stuck with the series for as long as I have! I think the only other series I’ve read more books of has been the Baby Sitters Club books and the Sweet Valley Twins / Sweet Valley High books 🙂 🙂
Yes, she does write a lot of holiday books as well. They are also mysteries, and involve many of the side characters from this mystery series and her other big mystery series, the William Monk series. They are shorter mysteries, about 150 pages each, and usually have a theme of family, holiday, etc, and the mysteries aren’t as elaborate. They also sometimes are set more in the countryside (with lots of picturesque snow) rather than in London. I try to read one or two of them each Christmas!
Aww, they sound sweet. Last night at yoga I could not stop my mind from racing during the last bit of relaxation when we are literally just laying on the floor with our eyes closed. I tried to picture the setting of a winter cabin with wreaths on the door — something like the cover of a cozy mystery!
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