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Chapter 46 The Cater Street Hangman


Often I wonder how authors get ideas for the books they write, especially if they write murder mysteries or thrillers. Anne Perry, an English author who writes historical mysteries set in Victorian and Edwardian England, is no stranger to mysteries and murder herself.


Anne Perry was born Juliet Hulme in Blackheath, London in 1938. Diagnosed with tuberculosis as a child she was sent to the Caribbean and to South Africa in the hopes that a warmer climate would be beneficial to her health. Her family moved to New Zealand when she was 13 when her father became rector of Canterbury University College there. At age 15 Hulme and her best friend, Pauline Parker, bludgeoned Parker's mother to death. Arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to juvenile detention at "Her Majesty's pleasure" as they were too young for the death penalty, they were released separately 5 years later.


Hulme left New Zealand and became a flight attendant, then moved to Scotland where she began writing her mysteries with the first Thomas Pitt book, The Cater Street Hangman, published in 1979. Since then she has had over 100 books published in several genres. Her best known are her historical mysteries with Thomas Pitt and William Monk but she has written World War I books as well as fantasy and young adult books. She has also created a video workshop for those who wish to be writers. She currently lives in Hollywood, California.


If you haven't read her books, I highly recommend them. I like The Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series but her World War II books are good too. My favorites are listed below.


The Cater Street Hangman - The first book in the Thomas/Charlotte Pitt series, Charlotte Ellison meets Thomas when a maid in her household is strangled. Thomas, a young inspector, treads on many toes as he delves deeper into the secrets of the Ellison household. Of course, Charlotte, one of the daughters who is totally out of his league, is intriguing to him.


Death in Devil's Acre - Thomas and his wife, Charlotte, race against the clock to find out who is murdering some of London's elite. Thomas asks Charlotte to use her society connections to help solve the murders.


No Graves As Yet - Mystery, murder, and World War I spies are interwoven in this terrific tale by Perry. Cambridge professor Joseph Reavely finds out his parents have died in an automobile accident. According to his British intelligence office brother, their father was carrying a document that could destroy England. Somehow it has disappeared.


Face of a Stranger - William Monk is an amnesiac London police detective or so he's told. He returns to work after an accident that has taken his memory and tries to solve a murder. Has he forgotten his highly developed professional skills as well?


Have you read any Anne Perry? Did you know her back story? Let me know.