Delicious, spicy and scathing dialogue among Victorian ladies and their feminine advice about men, husbands, manners, and society. But also dainty and adorable details about the human very human habits defining circumstantial character and characteristics. In Callander Square:
“Instead of perching on the edge like the other children, she snuggled far back in the deep corner, like a cat, with her feet tucked under her. She still managed to look prim. She waited for him to speak.”
“Would you like to play the piano, Chastity?” he asked.
“No thank you Uncle Reggie.”
“Playing the piano is a most useful art. You can sing at the same time. You cannot sing at the same time as playing the violin.”
“I cannot sing anyway, no matter what I played.”
Rendered by Davina Porter in the perfectly pitched ingenuous voice of a child uninterested in lying — or in playing the piano….
Whether it is Inspector Monk with his beautifully tailored expensive suits or Inspector Pitt who appears to be a late 19th century Columbo (“He surveyed Pitt with distaste . Can’t you do something about that coat? I suppose you can’t afford a tailor but for heaven’s sake get your wife to press it… you are married aren’t you?… Not even the prince of Wales’ tailor could have made Pitt look tidy….), each book by Anne Perry is a luminous venture into the specific tastes, values, beliefs of the class-codified life of a dirty, crowded, cold and mostly unpleasant London …