Mystery Scene

Mystery writer Anne Perry passed away on April 10, 2023, at the age of 84, at a Los Angeles hospital after suffering a decline in health and a heart attack in December 2022.

Perry published her first book, The Cater Street Hangman, in in 1979. It featured detecting duo Victorian police officer Thomas Pitt and his eventual wife, Charlotte Ellison, and launched an accomplished mystery-writing career that would go on to span four decades, put 26 million copies of her novels into print worldwide, and earn Perry an Edgar Award (for best short story “Heroes” in 2000), the Premio de Honor Aragón Negro award, and inclusion in The Times “100 Masters of Crime” list.

Despite her well-earned fame as a novelist, Perry’s true-life association with crime often threatened to overshadow her career accomplishments. Born in London as Juliet Marion Hulme in 1938, she was 15 years old and living in Christchurch, New Zealand, with her family when she was convicted in the murder of Honorah Parker, the mother of Perry’s childhood best friend, Pauline Yvonne Parker.

The Cater Street Hangman by Anne PerryThe crime and the trial was much sensationalized at the time, with a media focus on Hulme and Parker’s intense attachment to one another and the gruesomeness of Honorah Parker’s death by bludgeoning. Hulme served 5 years in prison as a juvenile, and was given a new identity upon her release. She eventually moved to Scotland, then, in 1967, to California in the United States, where Perry fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a writer.

Perry had already enjoyed success as a mystery writer for more than two decades, when in 1994, her past came to light around the time Peter Jackson’s film based on the real-life crime, Heavenly Creatures, was released. Perry found herself once again reluctantly in the media spotlight. In a 2003 interview for the Guardian, she said, “It seemed so unfair. Everything I had worked to achieve as a decent member of society was threatened. And once again my life was being interpreted by someone else. It had happened in court when, as a minor, I wasn't allowed to speak and I heard all these lies being told. And now there was a film, but nobody had bothered to talk to me. I knew nothing about it until the day before release.”

Perry’s own work often dealt with themes of morality, revenge, and repentance. In addition to her long-running (32 novels) Charlotte and Thomas Pitt historical series, she authored a Daniel Pitt spinoff series (featuring the couple’s grown son). The sixth installment of Daniel’s adventures, The Fourth Enemy, hit book shelves in the United States just a day after Perry’s passing.

Perry was also the pen behind the much-beloved Hester and William Monk series set in Victorian London, beginning with The Face of a Stranger (1990), for which she completed 25 books in all. Her readers always looked forward to her annual Christmas books, and enjoyed the writer’s other series, including her WWI series, and her most recent, featuring Elena Standish, a photographer pre-WWII, which Perry began in 2019 with A Death in Focus.

There is moment in Standish’s second book, A Question of Betrayal, in which Perry pehaps says it better than anyone else: “Pieces of our lives being chipped away reminds us of our own fragility, and how precious life is."


Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Series
The Cater Street Hangman (1979)
Callander Square (1980)
Paragon Walk (1981)
Resurrection Row (1981)
Rutland Place (1983)
Bluegate Fields (1984)
Death in the Devil's Acre (1985)
Cardington Crescent (1987)
Silence in Hanover Close (1988)
Bethlehem Road (1990)
Highgate Rise (1991)
Belgrave Square (1992)
Farrier's Lane (1993)
The Hyde Park Headsman (1994)
Traitors Gate (1995)
Pentecost Alley (1996)
Ashworth Hall (1997)
Brunswick Gardens (1998)
Bedford Square (1999)
Half Moon Street (2000)
The Whitechapel Conspiracy (2001)
Southampton Row (2002)
Seven Dials (2003)
Long Spoon Lane (2005)
Buckingham Palace Gardens (2008)
Betrayal at Lisson Grove (U.S. title: Treason at Lisson Grove) (2011)
Dorchester Terrace (2012)
Midnight at Marble Arch (2013)
Death on Blackheath (2014)
The Angel Court Affair (2015)
Treachery at Lancaster Gate (2016)
Murder on the Serpentine (2016)

Daniel Pitt Series
Twenty-One Days (2018)
Triple Jeopardy (2019)
One Fatal Flaw (2020)
Death with a Double Edge (2021)
Three Debts Paid (2022)
The Fourth Enemy (2023)

Hester Latterly and William Monk Series
The Face of a Stranger (1990)
A Dangerous Mourning (1991)
Defend and Betray (1992)
A Sudden, Fearful Death (1993)
The Sins of the Wolf (1994)
Cain His Brother (1995)
Weighed in the Balance (1996)
The Silent Cry (1997)
A Breach of Promise (alt. title: Whited Sepulchres) (1997)
The Twisted Root (1999)
Slaves of Obsession (alt. title: Slaves and Obsession) (2000)
A Funeral in Blue (2001)
Death of a Stranger (2002)
The Shifting Tide (2004)
Dark Assassin (2006)
Execution Dock (2009)
Acceptable Loss (2011)
A Sunless Sea (2012)
Blind Justice (2013)
Blood on the Water (2014)
Corridors of the Night (2015)
Revenge in a Cold River (2016)
An Echo of Murder (2017)
Dark Tide Rising (2018)
Elena Standish Series Death in Focus (2019)
A Question of Betrayal (2020)
A Darker Reality (2021)
A Truth To Lie For (2022)
The Traitor Among Us (forthcoming, 2023)

The World War I series
No Graves As Yet (2003)
Shoulder the Sky (2004)
Angels in the Gloom (2005)
At Some Disputed Barricade (2006)
We Shall Not Sleep (2007)

The Christmas stories
A Christmas Journey (2003)
A Christmas Visitor (2004)
A Christmas Guest (2005)
A Christmas Secret (2006)
A Christmas Beginning (2007)
A Christmas Grace (2008)
A Christmas Promise (2009)
A Christmas Odyssey (2010)
A Christmas Homecoming (2011)
A Christmas Garland (2012)
A Christmas Hope (2013)
A New York Christmas (2014)
A Christmas Escape (2015)
A Christmas Message (2016)
A Christmas Return (2017)
A Christmas Revelation (2018)
A Christmas Gathering (2019)
A Christmas Resolution (2020)
A Christmas Legacy (2021)
A Christmas Deliverance (2022)

Tathea (2000)
Come Armageddon (2002)

Timepiece Series (young adult novels)
Tudor Rose (2011)
Rose of No Man's Land (2011)
Blood Red Rose (2012)
Rose Between Two Thorns (2012)

Other Books
The One Thing More (2000)
A Dish Taken Cold (2001)
I'd Kill for That (2004, co-written by multiple authors)
Letters from the Highlands (2004)
Heroes (2011)
The Sheen on the Silk: A Novel (2010)
The Scroll (2014)

Short Story Anthologies
Death by Horoscope (2001, edited by Perry)
Much Ado About Murder (2002, edited by Perry)
Death by Dickens (2004, edited by Perry)
Thou Shalt Not Kill: Biblical Mystery Stories (2005, edited by Perry)