The first book in Perry’s bestselling Victorian crime series, bringing together Inspector Thomas Pitt and Charlotte Ellison
Panic and fear strike the Ellison household when one of their own falls prey to the Cater Street murderer. While Mrs. Ellison and her three daughters are out, their maid becomes the third victim of a killer who strangles young women with cheese wire, leaving their swollen-faced bodies on the dark streets of this genteel neighborhood. Inspector Pitt, assigned to the case, must break through the walls of upper-class society to get at the truth. His in-depth investigation gradually peels away the proper veneer of the elite world, exposing secrets and desires until suspicion becomes more frightening than truth. Outspoken Charlotte Ellison, struggling to remain within the confining boundaries of Victorian manners, has no trouble expressing herself to the irritating policeman. As their relationship shifts from antagonistic sparring to a romantic connection, the socially inappropriate pair must solve the mystery before the hangman strikes again.
Rich with authentic period details, The Cater Street Hangman hooks readers from the moment the sparks first fly between Charlotte and Thomas.
Everyone on Callander Square has something to hide—but someone will kill to keep a secret
When two dead infants are dug up in the Callander Square gardens, the upper-class residents dismiss the burials as the desperate act of a low-born girl and resent the intrusion of Inspector Thomas Pitt into their well-ordered lives. Pitt is not convinced that the case should be so easily dropped. Also intrigued by the mystery, Pitt’s well-born wife, Charlotte, pursues her own investigation into places Thomas would never have access—the parlors and inner chambers of the mansions on the fashionable square. With her sister Emily, Lady Ashworth, who lives on Callander Square, she delves into the lives and secrets of the residents. Thomas and Charlotte, now expecting their first child, form the perfect sleuthing couple. Elegant closets soon spill their skeletons exposing long-hidden secrets—secrets that could lead even the most upright aristocrat to kill.
But will Pitt’s keen investigative skills and Charlotte’s insights into the workings of high-class society solve the mystery in time to save the innocent residents of Callander Square from the murderer among them?
Something deadly lurks in the stifling shadows of stylish Paragon Walk in Victorian London
When innocent Fanny Nash of exclusive Paragon Walk dies in the arms of her exquisite sister-in-law, Jessamyn, Inspector Pitt is assigned to investigate her rape and murder. Every man of Paragon Walk is under suspicion, even Pitt’s brother-in-law, Lord George Ashworth, who was the last to have seen her. Could it be the charming, enigmatic Frenchman? Fanny’s cruel brother? Wealthy Dilbridge, who hosts wild, decadent parties? As Pitt digs deeper into the mystery, Paragon Walk’s aristocratic haughtiness gives way to fear, its calm to hatred.
To keep her sister Emily, Lady Ashworth, company in this difficult time, inquisitive Charlotte once again finds herself in the midst of a deadly mystery. In the drawing rooms of her sister’s neighbors, Charlotte engages in witty and sharp-edged conversations that reveal unsavory intrigues and bitter rivalries. On Paragon Walk, Charlotte’s probing despite Thomas’s warnings may prove fatal.
Bodies that won’t stay buried—is it a practical joke? Or murder?
Lord Fitzroy-Hammond of Resurrection Row has been dead and buried three weeks when he turns up sitting atop a hansom cab. Grave robbing, though a crime, isn’t Inspector Thomas Pitt’s usual fare. But when the macabre joke is repeated, and the man’s corpse is found sitting in the family pew the Sunday following his second interment, Pitt begins to wonder if perhaps there’s some message in it. The case grows increasingly bizarre as other disinterred bodies appear.
A new mother, Charlotte Pitt only takes a cursory interest in the grave robbing case until she hears Thomas mention the name of her late sister’s husband, Dominic Corde, as a possible suspect. As Pitt follows leads into the slums and rookeries, Charlotte, too, is drawn into the politics and horrors of greed and exploitation.
For Pitt and Charlotte, what begins as a mysterious case of musical corpses, becomes a deadly pursuit through the London underworld of pornographic photographers, brothels, and sweatshops.