7.11 Anne Perry's Fiction


Henderson, Leslie, Ed., "Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers," 3rd ed., Twentieth Century Authors Series, St. James Press, Chicago, 1991. [jp]

Helga Borck and GraceAnne A. DeCandido write about the "Pitt" stories (p. 843):

...These are not lighthearted romps through Victorian rose gardens, however. Perry's interest lies in showing how individuals in a restrictive society with rigid notions of status and propriety may respond to pressures to conform, and how society in turn protects its interests in the face of deviation or rebellion. Nor are they for the ethically squeamish. Many of the deviations Perry examines are sexual in nature (this is Victorian England, after all) and, while not explicit in her descriptions, she handles such themes straightforwardly. Perry maintains a fine balance throughout, neither romanticizing nor condemning out of hand. Her depiction of Victorian London is rich and consistent in period detail. Her characters have depth and complexity, especially in the later books, and even the worst of them are generally presented with compassion. What is more, they never come across as moderns in a period play, but are firmly rooted in their own time and place. ...

Anne Perry's Published Fiction:

Short Stories

"Digby's First Case," in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (New York), Feb. 1988.
(note: "Digby's Commercial College" was the vocational school where PYP was enrolled at her mother's urging in April '54. Orson Welles' film which made such a big impression on the young PYP and JMH in June '54 was "Trent's Last Case." jp)

The "Pitt" Series

The Cater Street Hangman, St. Martin's Press, 1979.
[no dedication]

Callander Square, St. Martin's Press, 1980.
[no dedication] [se]

Paragon Walk, St. Martin's Press, 1981.
[for my mother]

Resurrection Row, St. Martin's Press, 1981.
[To MEG for all her help.]

Rutland Place, St. Martin's Press, 1983.
[Dedicated with love to my father, with friendship to Judy, with gratitude to the city of Toronto.]
(note: Dr HR Hulme celebrated his 75th birthday in 1983. jp) (note: In a recent interview ['95/03] with Canada AM Anne Perry talked about the time she lived in Toronto for 3-4 months. It was in Toronto that she first saw a "real live person" buy one of her books, which was very exciting for her. She was browsing the "The Sleuth of Baker Street" book- store when someone came in and purchased one of her books. This could give some insights as to why she made a dedication to the city of Toronto! ms)

Bluegate Fields, St. Martin's Press, 1984.
[...dedicated to the members of the John Howard Society, who practice their founder's belief in the right to dignity of all people.] [se]
(note: The John Howard Society works with ex-criminals. se).

Death in the Devil's Acre, St. Martin's Press, 1985.
[For Bella and Aunt Issy.]

Cardington Crescent, St. Martin's Press, 1987.
[To Ed and Peggy Wells, with thanks for their love and faith through the years.]
(note: Mrs. Digby, a housekeeper, is an important character in this novel. See above. lfr)

Silence in Hanover Close, St. Martin's Press, 1988.
[Dedicated to Aunt Ina who was part of the inspiration for Great-aunt Vespasia.]
(note: JMH was to have been sent to stay with Aunt Ina in South Africa, according to "Heavenly Creatures." sb)

Bethlehem Road, St. Martin's Press, 1990.
[To Ruth, for her many gifts to me.]
(note: The dedication to Ruth may be speaking of the biblical Ruth. Why? Well, there is a road to Bethlehem mentioned in the book of Ruth. Also, the two main characters in the book of Ruth are Ruth and Naomi, who are daughter and mother-in-law respectively. The same goes for "Bethlehem Road." Also, much of the religious discussion in Bethlehem Road may actually be about the Mormon Church. ms)

Highgate Rise, Fawcett Books, 1991?
[To Meg MacDonald, for her friendship and her unfailing faith in me, and to Meg Davis, for her friendship and her guidance and work.] [se]
(note: Meg Davis is Anne Perry's agent in London. She fielded the initial enquiries from NZ reporter Lin Ferguson about Anne Perry's former identity as JMH. jp)

Belgrave Square, Fawcett Books, 1992.
[To my friend, Cathy Ross.]

Farriers' Lane, Fawcett Books, 1993?
[For my mother.] [se]
(note: HM Perry celebrated her 80th birthday in 1992. jp)

The Hyde Park Headsman, Fawcett Books, 1994.
[To Leona Nevler, with thanks.]

Traitors Gate, Fawcett Columbine, 1995.
[To Donald Maass--with thanks.]

The "Monk" Series

The Face of a Stranger, St. Martin's Press, 1990.
[To Christine M.J. Lynch, in gratitude for old friendships renewed.]

A Dangerous Mourning, Ivy Books, 1991.
[To John and Mary MacKenzie, and my friends in Alness, for making me welcome.]

Defend and Betray, Ivy Books, 1992.
[to my father]
(note: Dr HR Hulme died in January, 1991. Anne Perry told me 95/03/29 that the character of Oliver Rathbone's father, who first appears in "Defend and Betray," was patterned specifically after Dr HR Hulme. jp)

A Sudden, Fearful Death, Fawcett Books, 1993.
[To Elizabeth Sweeney, for her friendship, and patience in reading my handwriting.]

Sins of the Wolf, Fawcett Books, 1994.
[To Kimberley Hovey for her help and friendship.] [se]

Anne Perry's characters

I would like to collect more information about Anne Perry's characters, and to build up profiles of her recurring characters, especially. Contributions to this are very welcome. (I hope this will become a separate section in ver 3.0) [jp]

One comment that I would make is that all of her recurring female characters are unconventional, strong and intelligent and don't really care what others think of them. They are passionate and follow their hearts and do what they think is right rather than what is expected of them. They often act rashly or impulsively, only thinking of the consequences later.

Her recurring male characters are more tolerant, sympathetic, insightful and supportive than I'm sure most of the men were in those times. It has been commented to me that Thomas Pitt sometimes seems more female than male because of his sensitivity to others' feelings. This characteristic could also be because he is a good detective!

Her recurring characters are very similar in personality. Ms Perry is very consistent. [se]

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