The first five novels that Anne Perry published open the Thomas Pitt series of historical detective stories. They are: “The Cater Street Hangman” (1979), “Callander Square” (1980), “Paragon Walk” (1981), “Resurrection Row” (1981) and “Rutland Place” (1983).
Anne Perry’s first detective novels, set in Victorian London, feature Police Inspector Thomas Pitt. His marriage into the upper class and his own hard work garner Pitt a series of promotions that put him high in the ranks of Special Branch.
The first novel, “The Cater Street Hangman,” puts Pitt’s future in-laws at the center of his investigation when the body of one of their maids is discovered amidst a group of murdered women. Although very attracted to a daughter of the house, Pitt realizes that none of the family is above suspicion.
Perry’s “Callander Square” opens with the discovery two dead newborns buried in a garden in an upscale London neighborhood. Now married, Pitt and his new wife investigate the crime together, he through police work and she by listening to upper-class gossip. Built along similar lines, “Paragon Walk” sets Pitt against tight-lipped locals to investigate a murder, while his wife and sister-in-law learn about the ugly underbelly of Victorian society.
With “Resurrection Row,” Perry turns Pitt’s attention to the upper crust as he investigates why the body of a nobleman was removed from his grave. As more bodies turn up, Pitt walks among blackmailers, prostitutes, pornographers and murderers. The theme of blackmail carries over into “Rutland Place,” where Pitt’s mother-in-law loses a locket containing a compromising picture, starting a chain of events that leads to murder.