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A Breach of Promise (William Monk Novels)
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A Breach of Promise (William Monk #9)

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,562 ratings  ·  139 reviews
When Anne Perry sets her magic pen to paper, Victorian England awakens from her long sleep to vibrant, teeming life. Firelight flickers in luxurious withdrawing rooms. Ambitious ladies gossip and scheme. Horse-drawn carriages clatter over cobblestones while cries of flower sellers and newsboys ring out in crowded streets. In this magnificent new novel featuring investigato ...more
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published September 14th 1998 by Random House Audio (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jamie
Four stars, because this is my favorite of the series so far. Perry is still a bit repetitive and heavy-handed with her themes (women are discriminated against and poverty is bad) but I am thoroughly enjoying the characters and the Victorian setting.

A brilliant architect is being sued for breach of promise of marriage, although he insists that he never actually proposed to the girl in question. Rathbone is acting for the defense, but it's a mystery to everyone why the architect won't just marry
...more
Martin
I was actually disappointed in this work. While I love the depiction of Victorian London, this is the second William Monk mystery that i've read that felt curiously rushed at the end - "curious" because so much of the first half of the book felt plodding and slow. Also, while the concept in that drove the first half was fascinating, the resolution felt highly coincidental and imperfectly tied up. I will keep reading Ms. Perry's novels, but I hope that she regains her form - and would dissuade pe ...more
Leya
Rathbone is baffled, he cannot find anything that may help Melville's case, and even when he asks for Monk's help. Meanwhile Miss Latterly is employment in taking care of a returned soldier from India, where he lost his arm and was badly disfigured; there she meets a woman who is desperately looking for her two nieces that were abandoned by their mother. While Monk investigates both Melville case and the missing girls case, he suddenly discovers that they're both intertwined.

I really enjoyed thi
...more
Vickie Buenger
I try not to read Anne Perry's books back to back because sometimes she gets bogged down in character self-reflection and, in the extreme, self-questioning and self-regret that I feel drags down the story without adding much appeal. If you read a couple in a row, the weight of those personal revelations counterbalances the mysteries and turns what should be a fun and entertaining read into a slog. That's why, even though I own about 25 of her mysteries (Monk, the Pitts, and the WWI series) I oft ...more
Mrsgaskell
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery which a co-worker lent me. It’s a William Monk novel and although I’ve read a few books by Anne Perry before, I haven’t read any of this series. I’ll definitely look for more when I want a pleasant read and a good mystery. In this case, Monk is asked for his help by Sir Oliver Rathbone whose client, a brilliant young architect, is being sued for breach of promise. There seems no apparent reason why Killian Melville wouldn’t want to marry Zillah Lambert and Rathb ...more
Toni
I found this book different than the others in this series from the very beginning. In addition to the cases that seem to be separate from each other, personal issues between Hester, Monk, and Rathbone are heating up.
Rebecca Huston
At the end of the Crimean war, a young soldier returns home disfigured and maimed, and is taken care of by Hester, the friend of William Monk. Monk is caught up in the case of a jilted lover who is suing his former fiancee, Zillah, for a breach of contract, intending to collect a sizeable settlement from her wealthy father. How the two cases connect is the meat of this story. While it's interesting, it's also not my favourite of the series. Still it's a bearable mystery to read, and better than ...more
Winston
Well done period mystery tackling present day issues as well.
Laura
Another great Anne Perry read. I feel enough other reviews described the plot that I'll just jump to what I love about Anne Perry's books. The mystery is compelling, but so are the personal interactions. The fact that its set in Victorian era England turns situations that today might be just mildly embarrassing, or not even noteworthy, into huge secrets that some people will do anything - even murder - to protect.

I like the character development too and little bits about the characters are revea
...more
Laurie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori
I have read a number of books by this author from both of her series, but this is probably my favorite of hers so far. This is a part of her Monk-Latterly series and goes into detail about the lives, limitations and expectations of women in Victorian England.
Katie
I believe this is the first work I've read by Anne Perry. Despite being set in Victorian times, it had some of the characteristic markers I associate with and enjoy in Regency fiction. I figured out the reason Killian wouldn't marry Zillah long before its reveal, but it's totally believable that none of the characters ever guessed it. I could also buy some of the characters' progressive thinking on women's rights, but unfortunately the progressive views characters voiced on homosexuality came ac ...more
Evelyn
Surprisingly, I think this is my first William Monk book. I liked the plot. There were lots of twists and a couple of downright surprises ... nay, shocks. I kept wondering why the subplot of Martha and her nieces had been pursued. But everything came together in the last part of the book. I did think she was a little tedious with repetition in her narrative and descriptions. Interior monologues would be repeated. But the look at what society was like at the time how women were viewed was eye-ope ...more
Moontyger
Most of the plot twists in this mystery were pretty obvious, but I enjoyed it anyway. I don't always mind knowing the solution in advance; it is interesting to see how the author gets us there. (And I think, after a certain number of mysteries read, it gets harder and harder for an author to truly surprise the reader.)

My one criticism is that, somehow, all 3 main characters in this novel have quite modern sensibilities when it comes to gender and homosexuality. Yes, it makes them easier to like,
...more
Linda
Killian Melville, an up-and-coming young architect, is being sued for breach of promise by his mentor, Barton Lambert, because Melville is refusing to marry Lambert’s daughter, Zillah. Melville is adamant that he will not marry, but will not give a reason why, except that he never proposed to Miss Lambert and the wedding plans were all a misunderstanding by Zillah’s mother. Oliver Rathbone, Melville’s lawyer, hires Inspector Monk to search for any reason why Melville is so tight-mouthed. The ca ...more
Kate Loveday
This is the second Anne Perry book I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her depictions of Victorian England are detailed and fascinating, and also reveal the frenzied efforts of mothers to find a wealthy husband for their daughters in that era.
Killian Melville is a brilliant young architeect. He approaches Oliver Rathbone to represent him in a breach of promise action brought by his patron, Barton Lambert and his wife Delphine,in respect of their daughter Zillah. He gives no reason for his
...more
June Ahern
I am a fan of Anne Perry's mystery novels. Some I like better than others. This one I liked a lot. Ms. Perry writes about High Society - the beauty and ugliness of it. She writes about poverty, the darkness, despair and poverty beyond what we could imagine. In it all, is the murders, the lies and the sleuthing of William Monk and Hester Latterly, a nurse and rebel of social rules.

In this story a marriage promise is broken and a sensational court battle takes place. Within that trial much is rev
...more
Jo
24th May 2010.
Excellent! A great detective novel set in the time just after the Crimean war and the Indian mutiny of the late eighteen fifties. There is just enough description of these conflicts to give the reader a basic knowledge of what the characters are talking about when discussing the wars but not enough to become boring. The mystery is very good and takes lots of twists and turns. Several times I thought the mystery had been solved and wondered how the author would fill the remaining ch
...more
Kathy Moberg
The storyline was surprisingly silly and the final solution was too coincidental. The theme about women's very narrow options in Victorian England was heavy handed and there are some story threads I think should have been completed. It was still very readable, and observing the relationships between the continuing characters is enjoyable so I don't feel as tho I wasted my time with the book. Most long running series have the occasional dud.
Anne Hawn Smith
This was one of the best book of this series that I've read. I was totally broadsided twice by the plot turns and yet they were plausible. Oliver Rathbone took a "Breach of Promise" case against his better judgement. He is representing a brilliant young architect who seems to have entered into a marriage agreement without realizing it. What he experiences as a wonderful friendship is interpreted by the young girl's mother as a marriage proposal and wedding plans were already proceeding before he ...more
Debbie Maskus
This is a quite interesting story based on beauty and appearance. There are several stories within this book: the disfigurement and loss of an arm of an English soldier during the uprisings in India, two deaf and facially disfigured orphaned sisters, and the superb beauty of a young lady. The breach of promise begins a trial that has Sir Oliver Rathbone at a loss as to how to defend his client. The story takes many twists and turns that would ruin the fun for the next reader. The story points to ...more
Judith
This is my first Anne Perry book and I was impressed by her ability to handle characters. They are well-drawn and convey real emotion towards each other in the way that characters in all excellent series do. The mysteries involved, while not entirely original are well-structured and although the central mystery takes far too long to be revealed the author generally plays fairly with the readers.

I was a little surprised by the rather modern sensibilities that many of characters take towards Vict
...more
Erin
This was the first Anne Perry book I've read, which is probably hard luck on my part. It's about a 200 page story stretched out to almost 400 with tedious repetition of characters' thoughts and conversations. I was a little bewildered that we don't actually meet the character the series is named after, the supposed detective extraordinaire William Monk, until page 100 and something. The first 100 pages focus on the barrister, Oliver Rathbone, and I actually found him a more interesting character ...more
Franco
No me gustó. Un libro muy repetitivo y en muchas partes pesado. Contiene mucho relleno, muchísimo. Es interesante cuál fue la razón de Melville para no casarse con Zillah, y la valoración a las mujeres en un marco con muchos prejuicios y desprecio hacia ese sexo por parte de los hombres; pero por lo demás, mierda.
Lynne
Anne Perry captures all the grim surroundings of Victorian England in her mysteries. This novel is no exception. She hints skillfully at how things will work out--and they do. They actually work out so that the guilty party is the one you hope it will be, and the victims are validated.
Carol Poplin
Anne Perry has two diferent series that I have read. One has Charlotte and Thomas Pitt as the maoin characters and the other has William Monk as the main character. The Monk series is a bit darker than the Pitts. Perry does a great job or creating Victorian London - both the physical and social environments. She brings in real events and people and tells stories about the English upper class that reveal a side we don't always think about. Through her mysteries she explorers the oppressed situati ...more
Mary
I am so glad I have discovered the works of Anne Perry. I loved this story. I loved the writing & the characters & the time period. The ending was a bit abrupt, but that just may be because I did not want the story to end.
Rick
This was a good 'in between heavy books' read. The story is interesting but I read this without reading earlier books in the series, which made it sometimes difficult to follow. The ending leaves lots of unanswered questions, presumably to entice the reader to pick up the next book in the series, however, the characters were not developed enough to make me want to read another book. This might be a good 'Masterpiece' story but it's not a great read, however, the book does contain an interesting ...more
K.V. Witten
If you enjoy stories set in Victorian England, you owe it to yourself to give Ms. Perry a try. I haven't read all her books but have uniformly enjoyed the ones I have. They're well written and really make you feel like you're in nineteenth-century London, down to the cobblestone streets and children playing hoops.

Other reviewers have provided a synopsis so I won't bother but I have to admit that I didn't figure out the reason young Mr. Melville didn't want to marry until it was revealed. It took
...more
Sidsel Pedersen
I love how Anne Perry delves into the hypocrisy of the Victorian area. The way women was treated as possessions and as if they were minors - their total disempowerment. How she pushes us into the dark underbelly of London. But also how she shows us the beauty of the art, architecture and fashion.

And of course she keep me up past midnight again and again with her stories and mystery. The sneaky lady had me thinking I knew what the plot was and when let that part unfold 70 % into the book and tak
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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 cate
...more
More about Anne Perry...
The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1) The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #1) Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #2) A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2) Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)

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