William Monk

Created by Anne Perry

Yeah, I know what it sounds like at first.

The handsome invalid. The beautiful nurse. It's a classic romantic setup.

London police inspector WILLIAM MONK woke up in his hospital bed, circa 1850, with no memory of his identity. Brought back to health by his nurse (and eventually, his one love, good and true), Hester Latterly, he becomes a private inquiry agent, and claims the very mean streets of Victorian London as his turf.

Sure, he eventually signs up with the police again, rising to the ranks of Commander with the Thames River Police, but for a brief, glorious while, he was indeed a P.I. So there.

And it would be a mistake to dismiss these books as mere costumed-drama set pieces of romantic fluff. There's meat on dem dere bones. Perry's keen sense of morality is a lethal weapon, as she gleefully strips bare all the lies and hypocrisy of Victorian England, and the proceedings are often surprisingly grim. Suffice it to say that more than bodices are ripped.

Of course, Perry is best known for her other Victorian series, featuring Police Inspector Thomas Pitt and his wife Charlotte.

And a little crime on the non-fiction side, as well. As a girl in New Zealand, she was involved and convicted for her part in the murder of a friend's mother, which inspired the Kate Winslet film Heavenly Creatures, and numerous magazine articles.

But I digress...



November 1998 interview conducted by January editor Linda Richards.

Historical Eyes.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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