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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Series of fiction books by Anne Perry


Guest Simon Bull

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Guest Simon Bull

I have recently come upon a series of fictional books written and set in the Great War by a woman called Anne Perry. I understand that she is basically a detective story writer although I am not clear that the books which she sets in the First World War are detective stories. I believe there is a series of four but I've only managed to find the titles of two, namely "No Graves as Yet" and "Shoulder the Sky".

Has any of the Pals read any of these books and are they any good?

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Hi Simon, :)

Can't say that I've ever heard of her, but I'd be interested as to other peoples opinions !

Cheers

Tim.

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That's funny I was riding home on the Paris métro this evening and I noticed a guy reading what looked like an old paperback by Anne Perry, of whom I have never heard. It had a cover that made it look definitely like a crime thriller. He looked pretty engrossed....

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I have only had a quick look at one (can't even remember the title) of her WW1 books, and naturally I was looking for technical errors. I seem to recall mention of a VAD as something other than Voluntary Aid Detachment - something like volunteer assistance driver.

I found that like so many authors, perhaps hoping to grab a larger chunk of the US market, she makes sure that she has more American characters (ambulance drivers, nurses,etc.) than Canadian ones which seems a bit odd for 1915. I would have thought that most people at the front with a North American accent at that particular time would have been Canadian.

One major character is a padre, and I was a bit puzzled about the interactions between the enlisted men and him. Very civilian, as opposed to military. Anyway, initial impressions, setting aside the actual mystery element.

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Anne Perry is best know for her mid 1800's detective series based on a character called William Monk (that I find so-so), and her lat 1800's series with a detective Thomas Pitt (which I enjoyed). She has published the first 2 of what will be at least a 5 series set of novels that are set in the first World War.

The first novel in the series, "No Graves as yet" features a minister whose parents are murdered on the eve of the outbreak of war. The father was trying to stop an un-named person from "brokering" a peace between England and Germany.

I found the book to be terrible.

I listened to the second, "Shoulder the Sky" on CD during a series of long drives (it was 10 hours for the full book). This continues the first book and is set in 1915 during 2nd Ypres and Gallipola and while improbably, and riddled with errors, has some interesting observations on the perspective of human fraility and what would drive a man to serve and die

I can't say that it was good, but at the end I was pleased that I had listened to it.

That said, I borrowed both from the library and neither will ever reside in my (extensive) collection of books.

marc

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Since I'm interested in the period and law enforcement, I've tried to read a couple of her mysteries set in the 19th century, but I've never been able to slog through one.

The 1994 movie, "Heavenly Creatures" which was set in New Zealand and had Kate Winslet playing her, is about a murder that she was tried for in that country and did five years for before she was released. (Born in 1938, the murder was in 1954, so she was a minor at the time.)

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Guest Simon Bull
Since I'm interested in the period and law enforcement, I've tried to read a couple of her mysteries set in the 19th century, but I've never been able to slog through one.

The 1994 movie, "Heavenly Creatures" which was set in New Zealand and had Kate Winslet playing her, is about a murder that she was tried for in that country and did five years for before she was released.  (Born in 1938, the murder was in 1954, so she was a minor at the time.)

Intriguing - I had not made the connection!

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