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Ashworth Hall (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #17)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,010 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
When a group of powerful Irish Protestants and Catholics gather at a country house to discuss Irish home rule, contention is to be expected. But when the meeting’s moderator, government bigwig Ainsley Greville, is found murdered in his bath, negotiations seem doomed. Unless Superintendent Thomas Pitt and his wife, Charlotte, can root out the truth, simmering hatreds and pa ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 29th 2010 by Ballantine Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Graeme Roberts
Sep 19, 2010 Graeme Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Anne Perry for many reasons. She teaches us effortlessly and her mysteries are also historical novels in a sense. This one is steeped in "The Irish Problem."

Her understanding of humans and our frailties and motivations is so deep and subtle. She also understands and portrays love in a way that few can match.

Ashworth Hall was another great experience, but I wish that she had provided some map of all the characters and their affiliations and motivations. I know that that is almost an admiss
I obviously love the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt books a lot, and the way Anne Perry whips the solution to the mystery at the very end and then is like "okay whatever nothing else that's been going on plot wise matters", but this one could definitely have used another few pages after the mystery's resolution.
Christopher Huang
First, the good stuff:

The story is entertainingly written, with lovely insights into the life of the servants, hosts and guests at a Victorian country house party. The human relationships are interesting to observe, and the trivia associated with the cares and duties involved in running a Victorian household is equally fascinating. I certainly enjoyed it, in spite of the shortcomings listed below.

The bad:

Perhaps it was only the edition I had, but I found the editing a little lacking. On a couple
Connie Melton
Apr 06, 2011 Connie Melton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another excellent book by Anne Perry. It is one of the books in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series and takes place in the 1890's at the home of Charlotte's sister, Emily. Emily's husband is a member of Parliament. A meeting between the differing factions in the "Irish Problem" is being held at Emily's home. Two of men involved are murdered. It is Thomas's job, as a police superintendent, to find out who did it and why. Charlotte is also a house guest and gets involved in the investigat ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Paraphrodite rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This had a very confusing ending. But I guess the murder-mystery was incidental. It seems to me the author was more interested in the history of the Irish Catholic/Protestant conflict.
Gary Knoke
It must be difficult to have the correction of wrongs in the Victorian era as one's personal cause. It isn't as if one can return to those days and change things. But Anne Perry has built a career around the elucidation of the problems of those years, somewhat as Charles Dickens did. This particular book deals with the Irish Problem, which bedeviled England and Ireland for hundreds of years, and is only recently quiescent. The problem with this social/political issue is that most Americans proba ...more
TheRLPL Rice Lake Public Library
Patron Review:

This mystery is one of a series of Anne Perry's who-dunnits that features the Scotland Yard detective, Thomas Pitt, and his wife Charlotte.l Her mysteries are really interesting because they are, at the same time, historical novels that recreate life in late 19th and early 20th century Britain, complete with its social, economic, and class divisions.

This particular mystery centers on a week-long party at the country house of Jack Radley, a rising star in the foreign office and the
Jan 24, 2015 Correen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A Pitt novel. Emily and Jack are hosting a weekend party at their summer mansion to provide a venue for Irish leaders from the North and South to come together and attempt to work out a compromise. Pitt has been assigned to cover the event as he can use his wife Charlotte, Emily's sister, as an excuse for being there. He is taking Tellman, a policeman, as his valet to provide more protection and Charlotte will take her maid Lizzie to play the role of lady's maid.

Like many of Perry's stories, th
May 23, 2016 LaRita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Anne Perry's novels. They are very well researched and I find the Victorian era fascinating. Perry always does a great job of making the characters come to life. It's not uncommon for me to sympathize with or even like a character even when I despise their behavior. That's how real life can be, so she does a good job of multifaceted, genuine characterizations.

This particular novel was not my favorite as I sometimes had trouble with the keeping the characters straight in my head.
Jan 13, 2012 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a roll to reread, recall Anne Perry...want to record into goodreads without guess work..This one is focused on Irish Issue...I visualized Downton Abbey PBS special currently on TV.
183 "when you take a stand like that in public, you can never go back on it, nno matter what oou learn afterwards. You have left yourself no room to change, retreat or grow.
261 "Why do stories grow around anything?...Because someone leap to a conclusion...a conclusion that suits the emotions they feel and widh to a
Jul 11, 2011 Scot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This installment is fun, if that word can be used to describe a review of a series of murders that include a terrorist using dynamite in the 19th century. Okay, that part's not so fun, but the setting is: it's the country estate mentioned in the title--which once belonged to Emily's first husband and now is home to Jack (new to the House of Commons) and his wife Emily, who is Charlotte's sister. One of the character devices of this series was to have Emily marry up in class, Charlotte marry down ...more
Regina Berg
Nov 16, 2013 Regina Berg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every one of her novels centers on some social problem. This one goes to the Irish-English problems which gives some insights as to the historical background of these conflicts. In this book, Emily and Charlotte seemed a little out of character with all their worrying. In previous novels, Emily was never rude and Charlotte was always secure in her husband's love. Gracie comes into her own at the age of 20, and becomes even more beloved.
As with all Anne's novels, she is a master of dialogue. One
Feb 01, 2012 Rae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2012
The Pitts are at Emily and Jack's country house while a group of Irish and English representatives are working toward peace. But it's hard to compromise when people are being murdered--and it's a good thing Pitt is there to solve the crimes.

Although this is not my favorite Pitt mystery (mostly because of the political atmosphere), I did enjoy it (Perry at her worst is still good) and was able to figure out most of the whodunit well before the end of the book.

It's a sad country, Gracie Phipps, bu
Jul 26, 2010 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite of Anne's but maybe it's because the topic didn't interest me that much. Charlotte and Thomas are to be guests at the country mansion of Charlotte's sister Emily and her husband who is in the political realm of England. Thomas is actually there undercover with his sergeant Tellman as the remaining guests are representatives of the two sides of the "Irish Problem". He is to protect the English negotiator, Greville. Unfortunately Greville is killed in the bath one night. The rest o ...more
Sep 16, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Anne Perry & Thomas Pitt
Thomas and Charlotte Pitt ride again. This time the scene is Ashworth Hall, a great country house where a secret conference between reluctant Irish Protestants and Catholics gather to discuss home rule for Ireland, a problem that has been with the British Isles since the reign of Elizabeth the First. Pitt is requested by the government to attend the conference as a security force. Unfortunately, Pitt's presence does not prevent the murder of the conference moderator. Subsequently another murder ...more
This installment of the series is filled with information about the political and social conflicts among the Irish and English in the 1800's. It was a little hard to keep up with the different factions and I had to go online to fill in my understanding. The mystery is tangled up in the conflicts and only resolved at the end. I may read it again to fully get the story.
I remember that for some reason I got bogged down in this book and it even caused me to suspend my reading of the series for a while, although I did eventually finish the book and read more of the Pitt stories. Still, even so-so Anne Perry is better than a large proportion of mystery writers, so I'd recommend this one.
Jobiska (Cindy)
I bought this a long time ago, after having rampaged through the several preceding books. For some reason when they moved the setting outside of London, it threw me for a loop and I thought I wasn't interested any more. However, I finally picked it up again and alas for my pocketbook (because I will now want to read the subsequent ones), I liked it! I think early on the exposition of the plot, all in conversation, was rather dense--I had to keep going back to page 10 (I think it was) where they ...more
Sandi Willis
Jun 09, 2014 Sandi Willis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I noticed that some of Anne Perry's books deal with a lot of political issues. This one deals with the struggle for self-rule of Ireland and this seems to be the reason for the death of three men in this book. I didn't realize that Ireland did not become an independent country until after World War I. I enjoy learning about history; this is one thing that I love about reading historical novels - learning about many different historical events.
This mystery was hard to solve for the Pitts, and m
May 16, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Puts Thomas and Charlotte in a familiar world for her, one seen from the other side for him. A weekend house party to discuss the "Irish Question" puts Pitt undercover to protect the parties involved. Of course, he is not successful and all the guests are trapped until the mystery is solved while the conference continues with Jack Radley, Emily's husband, now in charge and now in danger. There is always a back story and in this one there are two. Gracie is along acting as Charlotte's maid and en ...more
Perry, Anne - 17th in Thomas Pitt series

Thomas and Charlotte Pitt return in the latest brilliantly rendered novel of manners, mores, and murder in Victorian England. A group of Irish political figures, Protestants and Catholics, gathers at Ashworth Hall in hopes of finally resolving the volatile issue of home rule for Ireland. When a mysterious murder shatters the decorum of the weekend, Scotland Yard's Superintendent Thomas Pitt and his clever wife Charlotte arrive to root out
Kathy Peterson
Jan 12, 2015 Kathy Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victorian murder mystery with the added interest of a historical novel in dealing with the "Irish Problem" of that time period. This book inspired me to do additional research and learn more about Irish history and the potato famine of the 19th century.
Mar 07, 2010 Allison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
This one touched on the Irish home rule issue and was set in the country. Interesting read, as usual but it didn't wrap up quite as neatly as I would have preferred. The who and why and how are answered, but some of it seems a bit unlikely.
Here's a little bit of marriage advice from Great-Aunt Vespasia to Charlotte:
Nobody is everything to someone else, nor should they seek to be. Moderate your demands at times, disguise some of your less-fortunate attributes, learn to keep your own counsel in ce
This is an interesting read and you certainly get to appreciate the difficulties between the Irish Catholics and Protestants at this time. I found the ending very weak.
Aug 01, 2014 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clever-mysteries
Perry, always on top of her game, proves again what a terrific writer she is. My favorite series is the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt - which I have read nearly all these mysteries. Well worth it.
Louise Hassell
I had a hard time deciding whether to rate this as a three or a four. It was an interesting story, but there were so many characters it was hard to keep track of them. And most of them seemed too flat--not well drawn. So make it 3.5.
I'm giving this one star less than usual just because it seemed to me that too much of the ending and solution was so easy to figure out too early in the book.
Sep 14, 2014 Marian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good whodunnit
Anne Perry & Inspector Pitt always provide a good read and some tense moments. Lovely to read books that bring the past & the social norms of the day to life.
Lynne Tull
Sep 14, 2015 Lynne Tull rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, victorian
At first I thought I was really going to like this story. Thomas and Charlotte were actually going to be together at a house party. I thought perhaps they would actually team up to solve the mystery. It didn't happen...she went her way and he went his way. Home Rule for Ireland was the theme for the book. I didn't find it particularly interesting. It was really hard for me to keep the characters straight; although, there were not many of them. They didn't appear often as a lot of the book covers ...more
Carla Parkes
Sep 11, 2015 Carla Parkes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great characters. Just when you think you have "who done it" figured out, the plot changes. Very good read.
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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
More about Anne Perry...

Other Books in the Series

Charlotte & Thomas Pitt (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #1)
  • Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #2)
  • Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)
  • Resurrection Row  (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #4)
  • Rutland Place (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #5)
  • Bluegate Fields (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #6)
  • Death in the Devil's Acre (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #7)
  • Cardington Crescent (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #8)
  • Silence in Hanover Close (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #9)
  • Bethlehem Road (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #10)

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