Rutland Place by Anne Perry

09E0E711-ED3A-4FE3-B1C7-A2B76B6ADB29 When reading books in the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series by Anne Perry I feel like the mystery is just a way to look into human nature. 

Rutland Place, the fifth book in the series, begins when Charlotte’s mother, Caroline, asks her to help her find a locket. The locket contains a picture which would reveal a secret Caroline is keeping. As Charlotte visits with neighbors to figure out if the locket was misplaced or stolen, she soon discovers that many neighbors are missing little articles. When one of the women dies and that death is soon discovered to be murder, Charlotte and Thomas, and Charlotte’s sister Emily, take a closer look into this little neighborhood to solve the mystery and save their family. 

Rutland Place is about the mystery of the stolen items and the murder but I felt like those were a way to look at secrets and what secrets do not only to us but to those around us. Is it okay to have a secret? Does it depend on what that secret is? What happens when a secret is revealed? Does knowing someone else’s secret give you power over them?

I loved looking into secrets and I loved how the author, Perry, uses lost items and a murder to look into that part of human nature. This is not a fast moving, plot driven mystery. I think when you are looking into human nature you have to take things a bit more slowly. 

This is a great series. I think you could probably read them out of order but I also think they would make more sense if you did read them in order. There are characters that have appeared in other books and so by reading the earlier books you get more background information. 

What Remains of Heaven by C. S. Harris

FBA6FA61-11CB-43E9-9D7B-A81B477BEDF6 The Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series by C. S. Harris is becoming very addicting. I love the mystery that Sebastian finds himself trying to solve in each book. The justice he is seeking for the person who has been murdered. All the while he has his own personal difficulties and mysteries that haunt him. The murder mystery gets solved by the end of each book but the mysteries and relationships surrounding Sebastian’s life is what has me coming back for more and more. 

In What Remains of Heaven, the fifth book in the series, Sebastian is asked by his Aunt Henrietta and the Archbishop of Canterbury to find out why the Bishop of London has been found murdered in an old crypt along with another unknown body. As he begins to probe into the Bishop’s life he discovers that Hero Jarvis had an appointment to see him shortly before he was murdered. Sebastian becomes more intrigued to learn what the Bishop was doing the last few days before his murder. 

It seemed to me that there were a lot of people in this book and sometimes I found it hard to keep track who was who. Sebastian’s life though, made up for any problems with keeping the people who may or may not be involved in the Bishop’s murder straight. Something that I suspected was revealed to be true and Sebastian’s life is about to change forever. 

These books are so much fun! You do need to read them in order, but they read quickly and you just may find yourself hooked after a couple of books!

This I Know by Eldonna Edwards

CE82804C-B682-455C-98E8-CCCCBF0B00D2 This I Know by Eldonna Edwards is about a young girl with a strict pastor father and a mother struggling with depression. When Grace was born her twin brother, Isaac did not survive. Though not with her brother physically, Grace is able to communicate with him. Isaac provides peace and comfort to Grace amidst a struggling family. Grace not only has the ability to communicate with her dead twin but also can see into the thoughts and future of other people. As Grace grows up and her family continues to struggle Grace figures out her place in the world around her and at home. 

I loved the look into this family’s life. Especially the parents. They both had struggles they had to overcome and had to make changes for the good of their family. I enjoyed their progress and the mistakes they made along the way. It felt very true to life. While the growth of the parents felt true to life there were many other things in this book that did not feel that way. Incidents that just felt a little to unbelievable to me. These incidents had nothing to do with the Knowing, or clairvoyance, that Grace has. Grace was a cute character and I would really have liked to have seen more character development with her. There were also a lot of characters that showed up for just a few pages. In many ways each chapter  felt like a separate story and it wasn’t really until the end that there was any kind of connectedness within the story. There were also events that I thought would give the story some climax but they passed to quickly to provide any climax. 

This wasn’t a story I loved but it also wasn’t a story I didn’t like. It would make a great easy, quick read. Those times when you want to read something but you don’t want to put much emotion or get caught up in high plot tension. Its a nice easy feel good read. 

My copy of This I Know was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

Resurrection Row by Anne Perry

587DB899-77D5-4859-8375-46110EC4C22B It’s October! If you like to read books that follow the spooky theme of October Resurrection Row is a book to add. Resurrection Row is the fourth book in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series by Anne Perry. It is the perfect October read because it is a mystery about corpses that keep turning up and some found to be missing from their graves. 

When the first corpse turns up in an empty hansom cab Inspector Pitt is on the case to discover who would leave a corpse who has already been buried in a cab. What message were they sending and to who? Inspector Pitt is soon using all of his best skills as more corpses are dug up and left around a neighborhood. 

I am still really loving this series. One of the things I really love is the atmosphere the author creates. I can picture London and sometimes I can feel it, the cold and the wet. Which is saying something since it is still in the 90’s where I live. I also feel like I have a much better understanding of London in the 1880’s. I have learned a lot about the higher society of Victorian London and how it functions and the thoughts of those members of that society. Their values and rules and ways of living. In Resurrection Row Perry not only weaves a mystery about corpses but also shows us the other side of that living. The poor and the conditions that they live in and some of the reasons for the way they live. 

You could read Resurrection Row without reading the three books before it. Though some of the characters in it have been in preceding books and I think you get a better sense of who they are by reading the books in order. But, there isn’t any action or information that is essential  so if you just want the creepy book with corpses then you would probably be okay with just reading Resurrection Row. Though I think you would get much more out of it by reading the other three books. October is a long month so you have plenty of time!

Where Serpents Sleep by C.S. Harris

8CD0AC71-771F-439C-850C-7DC7F65769C1The Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery series gets better and better with each book!

In Where Serpents Sleep, the fourth book in the series, Hero Jarvis, the daughter of Lord Jarvis, a man Sebastian hates, turns to Sebastian for help in finding who killed a prostitute. Can Hero and Sebastian forget their dislike for each other in order to work together? 

I loved the pairing of Hero and Sebastian. They have a complicated relationship that just seems to get more and more complicated. I also really came to love Hero in this book. She is strong and smart and has respect and love and tenderness for her parents, and those not as fortunate as her. Though in this book she learns just what a huge divide that fortune entails. I also find the politics of this time period, London 1812, fascinating. 

If you like mystery, London, Regency, a little romance, or surprises start this series. While this has been my favorite book so far I do think you need to read these in order. 

Treacherous Is The Night by Anna Lee Huber

1A8B03C5-4E5F-46CE-B572-1B9CE08BE378 Armistice Day, the formal end of The Great War was November 11, 1918. This November will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of that war. Treacherous Is The Night is a great book to read to remember those who fought and helped in the war and to learn a little more about a time 100 years ago. 

Treacherous Is The Night is the newest Anna Lee Huber book. I have loved her Lady Darby series and I loved her first book, This Side of Murder, in her new Verity Kent series. Treacherous Is The Night is the second book in that series. During the war Verity worked as a spy in the Secret Service. She often worked with La Dame Blanche, also a spy collecting information organization and often consisting of women. Verity learns that someone knows of her work in the Secret Service, which was suppose to be a secret. A woman who worked with the La Dame Blanche may be dead which Verity won’t believe. Though her marriage is struggling she leaves for Belgium to try and discover who knows about her secret work and to help her friend. 

Treacherous Is The Night did a great job is showing how war affects people. Those who fight and must come to terms with the things they had to do and the things they saw. Those who stayed behind but still had to put their lives on hold as they also found ways to help and as they waited for soldiers to hopefully return home to them. I really like Verity. She learned to be strong during the war as she gathered information for Britain. She has learned to stand up for herself and what she wants. But she is also vulnerable. With the return of her husband Sidney she finds herself working for her marriage. They must both discover the new person each other has become and the heartbreak and forgiveness that follows. 

I really enjoyed Treacherous Is The Night. I was as caught up in whether or not Sidney and Verity work out their problems as I was about the mystery. I loved learning more about World War I and especially the La Dame Blanche and the great strong women who found a way to take part in fighting for what they loved. 

My copy of Treacherous Is The Night was provided by Kensington Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I loved my special copy. Thanks Kensington Books!

Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore

70306BCD-38FD-4719-89EF-4A9120B97DFDBetween Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore was an emotional, heartbreaking, gut wretching, page turner read for me.  A story that left me thinking about it for many days afterwards. 

When Alma was a young girl she attended a boarding school, run by her father. The Stover School’s purpose was to assimilate children of Indian reservations into white culture. Alma, the only white student, becomes close friends with the other students. As an adult, Alma learns that one of those close friends is accused of killing a federal agent. Alma begs her husband, Stewart, a lawyer, to help defend Harry. The story is told in present time and flashbacks to Alma’s time at Stover. As the story progresses we get a sense that something happened at the school that caused Alma to leave and never return until now. Though I wouldn’t really call it a plot driven book I couldn’t put it down. I had no idea what had happened at the school that caused Alma to leave her family and never return and I felt an urgent need to know. The characters felt real and developed. I understood the things they felt and I felt pain right along with them, and I sobbed right along with them. I loved the growth of Alma as she makes discoveries about what the school’s objective did for those students. 

I love historical fiction and learning about events in the past. I knew of schools that were set up to “tame” the “savage” children. Between Earth and Sky not only expanded that knowledge but made it more personal and heartbreaking. It told a side to the issue of assimilating a people into a different culture that I think applies even today. 

I truly loved this book. It was gut wrenching in parts but it left me with a reminder that I am no better, or worse, than anyone else.  A story about a time when a group of people, a race, thought that anyone not like them was worthless. A reminder to me that though circumstances, details, etc. may be different those things still exist. A reminder to me that though others may look different, act different, live different, believe different, they still deserve respect from me. What I loved so much from this book is that these are the things I felt after reading it. I never felt that the author had an agenda, that she was trying to get me to feel these things. To come away with these lessons learned. I never felt the author was trying to make a point. The book was just a story about people. I was able to come away with what I wanted from it.

My copy of Between Earth and Sky was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

Paragon Walk by Anne Perry

In reading Paragon Walk I was not only immersed in 37F6F50D-71EE-4E79-B35B-672DAD9F803Aa 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. 

Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris

6BDB8A80-E8D5-48EE-B59D-9C75A4EA4213I am really loving the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. Why Mermaids Sing is book three in the series and with each book I am becoming more and more hooked.

One of the things I am most loving are the story lines that continue through to each new book. There is a mystery about Sebastian’s mother and in book three we find the relationship between his parents gets more and more complicated. Lord Jarvis fascinates me and with each new revelation about his character I become more and more intrigued and curious about him. Kat Boleyn’s past and the decisions she makes are intriguing and I can’t wait to see what her character has in store in the future. I love the companionship of Paul Gibson and Tom and the support they are to Sebastian.

In addition to all that are the murders that Sebastian is asked to help Sir Henry Lovejoy solve. A mystery that had me guessing until the very end.

By the end of Why Mermaids Sing my heart was breaking for Sebastian and I can’t wait for book four!

Callander Square by Anne Perry

DA2546BD-0BB3-466F-BE1B-01BCCC8FF602 I recently started reading The Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series by Anne Perry. In the first book, The Cater Street Hangman, Charlotte and Thomas meet and by the end of the book they marry. Thomas is a police inspector and so I was curious to see how the rest of the series would handle solving the mysteries, if Charlotte would be involved at all.

Callander Square takes place a couple of years after The Cater Street Hangman. Charlotte does help Thomas in the case at Callander Square and also her sister, Emily. I found it fun having the two sisters involved and working together. As much as this is a mystery story I thought it was also a story about neighbors and friends. Really we only know what they want us to know. It is also a story about guilt. Many of the characters try to hide something about their lives because they are afraid it will make them look guilty, even if they were not involved in the original crime. I’m finding these books to be as much about human nature as they are about mysteries. 

Though I am bothered by the amount of affairs in the last couple of books and how affairs are protrayed to be expected and a normal part of society I am curious to see, with the books seeming to be about human nature, if the author continues with this and if she is saying anything about society with it.