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Death of a Stranger (William Monk, #13)
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Death of a Stranger (William Monk #13)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  2,166 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Perry comes the story of William Monk, the amnesiac private investigator who at last regains his memory while investigating corruption in the railway industry.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published 2002)
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Cheryl Bradley
Jan 19, 2010 Cheryl Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It had been too long since I last read one of Anne Perry's William Monk novels set in Victorian England. Once I started reading, I couldn't believe I had let so long lapse before picking up another book in this series.

As the story begins, Monk's wife, Hester, is busily taking care of injured and ill prostitutes at her refuge in Coldbath. Hester asks little of the prostitutes, no more than a name to call them. During the evening, though, events take a puzzling turn as several well-spoken, educate
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Hilary
May 13, 2015 Hilary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hester's landlord is most unhappy about her clinic, squeezing her for more money and making life generally awkward, while she tries to educate the rare helpers in the realities of life: it's shocking to realize that a 12-14 hour day of "honest" work would pay less than 2 shillings, scarcely enough to get by. (view spoiler)

Meanwhile, Monk is
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Tracy
Mar 14, 2009 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find Anne Perry as a person entirely intriguing. She has led an incomparably unique life. I guess I read her books on occasion to feel like I’m reading more about her. It has to be truly rare that someone with her life experience rises from the ashes so to speak and becomes a successful and celebrated author.

In all honesty, I have a difficult time following her prose. It may also be because I’m sleep deprived, but I had to read a few sections twice. It reminds me of skipping stones along a sti
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Donna
Aug 01, 2010 Donna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: If you read this series, you really need to read this one!
It's hard to say too much about this book with giving everything away, but the book jacket blurb does say that Monk learns much about his forgotten history in this story. And that knowledge is twined with the puzzle in this case.

I thought that the parts of the story set in the prostitution district was not as well done as the part regarding the railroad.

Added 08/01/10:

After reading the next book in the series I realize that this book and the prior one really form the basis of a turning point in
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Beverly
Inspector Monk grapples with half-remembered events of his past as he investigates a railway-building fraud on behalf of a young woman client who fears for her fiance’s involvement. Meanwhile, Monk’s wife,nurse Hester, treats a number of prostitutes whose beatings might be linked to the murder of a prominent financier who is connected to the railroad.
Too turgid and romantic in tone to be convincingly Victorian. Intense focus on and viewpoint of character miss the 19th century tone of omniscience
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Frank
May 24, 2014 Frank rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
relying on other reviews for plot synopsis.

library mp3. Usually a 2 means I didn't finish, in this case I really wanted to click off, but I had invested too much time. Perry has so many books, I figured I had to see what she was about. But still a 2.

Ok, lots of detail on London and British society in 1860's, with a good distaste for class oppression. But so slow. I thought it might be the first in a series on Monk (Face of a Stranger) because of the amnesia device, but actually the 13th. Too muc
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Marilyn Fontane
Aug 19, 2016 Marilyn Fontane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anneperry, history
Finally, finally in Death of a Stranger Anne Perry gives us Monk's past background. A truly key book for this series. Hester is working in her own clinic giving medical help to prostitutes who are beaten by their patrons and alleviating symptoms of venereal diseases. Many of the women who come to her clinic in Coldbath Square are suffering not only from their profession but because they cannot ply their trade due to the murder of a prominent railroad man, Nolan Baltimore, in the area which is no ...more
Laura Edwards
Perry is repetitive to the point of boredom in this book. For me, personally, the railroad business is boring, so the book grew tedious. Others may feel differently. I certainly realize I'm not going to like every topic Perry chooses to write about, although it did tie up some loose ends to Monk's past. Hester's part of the story is much more interesting, although after she visited Squeaky I knew the usurer's identity immediately. Why does the truth always take so long to dawn on her and Monk?

S
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Kavita
This book is supposedly a Victorian mystery. The husband wife duo solves cases and finds out that their cases intertwine, and they help each other. A rich man gets stabbed in a prostitute district and trade stops while the police is on a manhunt. At the same time, someone is beating up the women because they are unable to pay off their debts by selling off their bodies. This is one aspect of the story. The other aspect is a railroad fraud intrigue, which was completely incomprehensible.

Hester, t
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Tiffany (Avid Reader)
I do not like starting series in the middle, but this was the only Anne Perry book currently at the library and my dad recommended the book. While William Monk is a nice character, it was his wife, Hester, who kept me listening. She was not the weak, let-me-ask-my-detective-husband-what-I-should-do type. She was strong willed and independent while being a great wife.
Lucy Crowe
Mar 09, 2015 Lucy Crowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Anne Perry, and "Death of a Stranger" is a milestone in her William Monk series. Monk, a private investigator who suffers from amnesia, is the ultimate mystery man, and in this novel the pieces of his past finally begin to come together. Criminal or saint? I'll never tell.
Equally intriguing is Monk's wife Hester - a former Army nurse who now runs a women's clinic on the rough side of town. Hester breaks a lot of stuffy rules and still manages to be a thoroughly respected woman - no mean
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Katie Bee
I liked this installment better than some of the others in the series. The plot is more carefully foreshadowed, and although the usual "twist ending!!!" is employed, there aren't quite as many coincidences as Perry usually relies on.

I still don't buy the chemistry between Hester & Monk, but I'm glad that Rathbone looks like he'll move on with Margaret. I also really liked the Bessie character, and I felt for Livia as well. The Hester-Margaret-Rathbone escapade was a highlight of the book.

Rem
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Karin
Feb 21, 2011 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the book very much. Anne Perry is such an accomplished writer and develops her story so thoroughly; makes it difficult to put a book down once started.
My Inner Shelf
Ah ! Voici le treizième volume des aventures mirobolantes de William Monk. Jusqu’à présent je n’avais pas été déçue par la série, chaque intrigue étant plus surprenante que la précédente. Et là, cher lecteur et -trice, tu te dis qu’il va bien falloir qu’Anne Perry se vautre à un moment donné, que sur tant de de volumes, elle fasse un faux pas, ait un coup de mou, une grosse flemme, un moment d’absence, un AVC ou que sais-je ? Et moi je te réponds qu’effectivement, ce volume présente une intrigue ...more
Laura
Apr 05, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
Anne Perry’s William Monk series has been and is for me the most intriguing of AP’s works. The reason for that is due to the fact that right from the start, William Monk is a most interesting character. Monk is the victim of a carriage accident which robbed him of his memory. During the course of the succeeding novels he slowly gains an ever increasing understanding of the man he once was but not the facts about why and how he became who he is. This novel finally provides some answers as to why ...more
Janice Dick
I usually enjoy Anne Perry's novels, but I found this one especially intriguing. Two plots form side by side, one for William Monk, the other for his wife Hester (and I missed whatever book they were married in; have to find it), gradually converging into one as the end of the story approaches. Since William and Hester work independently, they have no idea they are both pursuing the same case.

The characters, as usual, are well rounded and fascinating; the settings, including the Coldbath area,
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Shelton Chelberg
Mar 31, 2014 Shelton Chelberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read several Monk and Hester novels, sort of randomly, but decided to read them in chronological order. Very enjoyable. The characters build through each book.

This book is an intriguing yarn, both for the actual story lines (Victorian era prostitution and railway construction) and for the filling in of more details in Monk's lost life. There are twists and turns.

That said, it is not a good book to begin the series. There is too much back story that will leave you wondering.
Kathi
May 15, 2016 Kathi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
9/10
Convoluted but satisfying, this installment in the William Monk mysteries gives us an interconnected story of William's case investigating possible fraud and Hester's involvement in a clinic for prostitutes. Best of all, we see an emerging romance for Sir Oliver Rathbone and an opportunity for William Monk to finally learn some of the truth of his forgotten past.
Beth Gibson
Could not finish. Might have been a good story. But the author's attempt at authenticity unfortunately makes for very slow reading. Trying to spell in an accent is nearly impossible to follow along and read. You couldn't just say they were poor, uneducated girls? and excessive details on clothing people are wearing and the food they are eating. Was she trying to mimic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Long on characterization, short on plot. Maybe this is an anomaly, I don't know, but someone will have to ...more
Faith Hignight
I realize there needed to be a bridge book for Monk to recover the memories of his past but I feel Perry could have done a much better job than this. Most of the book consisted of the meandering soft Monks mind as he searched for a fraud that really didn't have anything to do with the very thin plot line. Disappointing.
Laurie
Nov 29, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good addition to the series. As the title implies, this story finally gives Monk some closure regarding his past. Rathbone also seems to have some closure where Hester is concerned, and I'm glad about both of these things, because it's time for these characters to move forward to new things. The story was enjoyable, but I did find some elements of the plot predictable. Oh well, still enjoyed it.
Macha
May 28, 2012 Macha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 & 1/2 stars. i really like Anne Perry's William and Hester Monk Victorian mysteries (much better, i think, than her more popular Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series). both William and Hester are complicated people, heroic in a way Victorian society refused to acknowledge. this one's not the best or the most mysterious of the series, but it gets into the question of the person William used to be before he lost his memory. and the mystery itself takes as its subject matter how Victorian prostit ...more
Bdrake
Feb 08, 2015 Bdrake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Monk and Hester's relationship is terrific because Perry brings out their thought processes and emotions as a constant thread throughout this series. I highly recommend starting with book #1 and following this from the beginning. This book uncovers much of Monk's lost memory from a carriage accident in an earlier book. As with all of Perry's books, you never know the ending until the last couple of pages. Excellent!
LJ
Private enquiry agent William Monk is hired to investigate a potential case of fraud in the construction of a new railway line. His client is the fiancée of a man she fears is embroiled in the scheme, and Monk's investigation causes a strange sense of déjà vu--a former policeman afflicted with a case of amnesia concerning his prior life, Monk finds both the case and its milieu unsettlingly familiar. His case is somehow connected to the death of a railway magnate in a sleazy area of London where ...more
Susan
Feb 21, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
Private investigator, William Monk, takes on a new client full of mystery. She asks Monk to find out whether or not her fiancé, a railway-firm executive, has become enmeshed in fraudulent practices. As he does, he starts regain his memory. Mean while, for Nurse Hester Monk, who is caring for the prostitutes of Leather Lane, is seeing cases of bruises and fevers to broken bones and knife wounds escalating. Are these two things connected? You will have to read this book to find out. It was well wr ...more
Liz
Jan 16, 2016 Liz rated it liked it
This was a slow read for sure, but the last 100 pages redeemed the story for me. I wanted to find out what the secrets were of Monk's past, and Anne Perry finally brought them out in this book.
Peggy
May 16, 2016 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love how each book you learn a little more of how love grows and more about the past and more character
Elaine
Jul 10, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing, well-written, and with a terrific ending. One of the best William Monk novels!
Debbie Maskus
Jul 27, 2011 Debbie Maskus rated it liked it
This novel had many plots and subplots involving Monk, Hester, and Monk's past. Each book brings Monk closer to the truth of his life before his accident. Hester, as usual, is fighting the morals battles of women and the poor. She reasons that prostitution is bad, but that women have few avenues open for earning wages. Monk investigates fraud in land deals and the operations of the railroad. Anne Perry writes in the detailed style of Elizabeth George, but provides less psychological analysis tha ...more
Correen
Jul 21, 2015 Correen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was tiring of this book -- seemed to go on and on about Monk's memory loss. But, what a finale! she out did herself!
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Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is a British historical novelist.

Juliet took the name "Anne Perry," the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many of them feature a number of recurrin
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More about Anne Perry...

Other Books in the Series

William Monk (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)
  • A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2)
  • Defend and Betray (William Monk, #3)
  • A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk, #4)
  • The Sins of the Wolf (William Monk, #5)
  • Cain His Brother (William Monk, #6)
  • Weighed in the Balance (William Monk, #7)
  • The Silent Cry (William Monk, #8)
  • A Breach of Promise (William Monk, #9)
  • The Twisted Root (William Monk, #10)

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