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I wa sreally suprised by this book because what seemed to be an ordinary criminal history set in the 19th century turned out to be an overwhelmingly written story about Victorian moral ideas and how they change and influence people The underlying story about pornography, murder and photography accompanied it very well, but really this book is not worth reading for the mystery but for its really fine descriptions of the tension that moral ideas and their real counterparts create in all of us. The murder mystery was incidental in this, I think the author just wanted to be able to express her thoughts on pornography This was the most preachy yet of the series. I have always enjoyed Perry s Victorian period mysteries and they usually get a 3 or 4 rating This one gets an extra rating for all the subplots going on as the mystery unfolds Early photography as an artistic endeavor then as a way to sell pornography, theatre to show the new ideas developing about women and their position in society and in their own families, censorship versus the sharing of forbiddentopics to the harm that can come from unrestricted expression A wonderful way to get into the time, the place and issues of Vicorian London.
After Bedford Square I was hoping that the Pitt series was back on track The mystery part of the book would have made a wonderful novella Unfortunatelythan half of the book was about Charlotte s mother and grandmother and Perry was not able to weave the development of those characters into the mystery as she did with Dominic Corde s character in Brunswick Gardens I felt it was any unnecessary plot line and if I hear the phrase the old lady onetime I am going to scream 3.5 Stars rounded up to 4 Stars The ending, for me is what saved the story The chapters concerning Mariah Ellison were way too drawn out She is an unsympathetic character even after the reveal of her past since she retaliated with verbal and mental cruelty towards others Two long chapters devoted to her plight were in essence just a bit too much and in no way changed my opinion of her She still remains an unsympathetic character. I came close to putting this away without reading when it was known that Charlotte, Emily, AND Gracie would not be part of this story I m so glad I read on and got to know Charlotte s mother and grandmother in quite a shocking disclosure from the past Also, the coming together as almost partners of Pitt and Tellman It would not be as meaningful if you haven t experienced the first 19 books For Superintendent Thomas Pitt, the sight of the dead man riding the morning tide of the Thames is unforgettable The corpse lies in a battered punt drifting through the early mist, clad in a torn green gown and bestrewn with flowers Pitt s determined search for answers to the victim s identity leads him deep into London s bohemia to the theatre where beautiful Cecily Antrim is outraging society with her bold portrayal of a modern woman, and into studios where masters of light and shadow are experimenting with the fascinating new art of photography But only Pitt s masterly investigative skills enable him to identify the wildfire passions raging through this tragedy of good and evil, to hunt down the guilty and protect the innocent. Using Hamlet as a framework, Perry builds a complex story of family conflict, betrayal, and avenge She has constructed a set of characters that allow her to present opinions and actions of persons across social class Unlike most persons of that time and much to the horror of family members, her characters marry across class lines In this book, the socially rigid grandmother lives with her disfavored daughter in law who after the death of her first husband has married a Jewish actor Grandmama has no choice but live as a guest in the house of the man who has inappropriately replaced her beloved son One of Grandmama s granddaughters has married a policeman, very much beneath her in class The other granddaughter married above her rank but upon his death, married a man without title who with the granddaughter s help his elevated himself to Parliament There is also a great aunt of very high stature, some servants, and other characters as needed Policeman Superintendent Pitt is always there to manage the mystery but his complicated family connections provide the vehicle for the Victorian social structure to emerge This novel centers on the Jewish actor step father to Pitt s wife and his theater colleagues Grandmama provides a side story that explains the motive for the murder I like Perry s work She constructs complex plots, includes artistic references, describes life in the late 19th century, and poses questions of values and conscience rights of women, pornography, censorship, income inequality, discrimination, etc. &FREE PDF ⇮ Half Moon Street ✔ Superintendent Thomas Pitt Searches For The Identity Of A Man Found Dead In The Thames, Leading Him Deep Into Victorian London S Bohemia To The Theater Where Cecily Antrim Outrages Society With Her Portrayal Of A Modern Woman And Into Studios Where Masters Of Light And Shadow Are Experimenting With The Fascinating New Art Of Photography I am a pretty hard book critic I give very few 5 star ratings and only a few 4 s Most of mine are in the 3 star category and this is one included in that rating Most people who have read it gave it a 4 I won t go into detail because there are twists and turns in this story that would be spoilers if I told them Anne Perry is a good writer This is the first of her books that I have read I must admit that I am a prude and in some ways this book shocked me It wasn t crude for crude s sake, bit it was a bit disturbing. This author was highlighted at the library, and I picked this one up, thinking to find a light fun mystery set in Victorian England, maybe reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes And it was a good mystery, but it contained a large part of the book that was deeper, looking into censorship, pushing boundaries, and in the harm that can be done when rebelling against traditional views is done without thought of consequences or repercussions A pleasant surprise I might readfrom this author.