In reading Paragon Walk I was not only immersed in a mystery but also experienced a look into the culture of upper class Victorian society. Paragon Walk by Anne Perry is the third book in the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series. In this book we go into Charlotte’s sister, Emily’s, neighborhood. There, a young, innocent girl has been raped and murdered and Emily, her family and her neighbors are all under the microscope.
I’m finding with the Charolette & Thomas Pitt series that I am as intrigued about the upper class Victorian society and watching and learning about that as I am about the mystery. I think because there is more for me to watch and notice besides the mystery that I didn’t try and solve it before it was revealed. It was a part of the story, a part of these people’s lives and I just allowed it to happen as part of the story. I usually do try and solve a mystery before it is revealed so it was a nice change to watch what happened.
I am always on the look out for the development of empathy and I was excited to find a great example in Paragon Walk. Vespasia who has lived in Paragon Walk for many, many years and knows everything about all those living there, tells Charlotte the secrets of the residents as they try and figure out who has murdered the residents of Paragon Walk. On finding out that one of the women is losing her hair, Charlotte wants to laugh. But then she thinks of her own hair and how if she were losing it she would feel insecure, belittled, and then the desire to laugh vanished. Putting herself in that woman’s situation helped her know better what she was feeling and empathy for her was felt.
I really enjoyed Paragon Walk. I enjoyed the process of solving the murders and I was surprised at all that was discovered about the residents that live in Paragon Walk.
I would recommend this book to those who love mysteries, Victorian society, and the relationships found in neighborhoods. While I think reading the series in order is helpful in the development of the main characters it probably isn’t necessary. I don’t think you would be lost in figuring what was going on.