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Posted November 28, 2013
Each holiday season I look forward to getting the latest install
Each holiday season I look forward to getting the latest installment in The Christmas Stories series. I love how the author has taken her minor characters from her regular series and given them their own stories all set against the backdrop of Christmas and their own mystery to solve along with a minor romance for them to dabble in. In this case, it is Claudine Burroughs from the William Monk series. This was an enjoyable bit that showcased Claudine's strength, determination and honor and that of a young couple willing to place love and honesty above convenience and money.
Claudine and her husband attend a party where she no sooner meets a poet who challenges her thinking a bit than shortly after he is accused of drunkenly beating a prostitute to near death on the balcony. Three young men from powerful families were there and all claim he did it, but Claudine has her doubts.
Her husband acts superior about it all and treats her concerns like they are nothing. She has been married for many years and it was a marriage of convenience. She might not have loved him, but until now she thought he was at least an honest, decent, good man, but now it saddens her that he is willing to accept the comfortable easy answer and turn a blind eye to the fact that guilt is being determined based on connections to money and power instead of facts and truth.
She determines that she will do what she can to discover the truth half-way believing the poet is still the guilty party. Claudine enlists the help of the reluctant Squeaky Robinson who is a reformed character, but still knows the dark places well. She does her sleuthing amongst afternoon tea visits, evening parties, concerts and soirees. Hints here and there lead her to the truth and to a pair of young lovers that she is determined to help along the way. Time is running out to help Dai avoid the hangman's noose, but Claudine has a bit of Christmas hope for him and for the others.
It's always a real treat to read anything by this author because of how clever she is with blending authentic period backdrop with in-depth real people characters. They have flaws, they have emotions and they experience so much even in these shorter Christmas novellas. This one is set in the mid-Victorian period amongst the glitter and gaiety of the Christmas season for the wealthy of London society. Claudine is nearly drowning in a sea of people because she feels more and needs more than just looking charming on her husband's arm, engaging in trivial conversation and meaningless pursuits. This is why she is drawn to the intensity of the Welsh poet who she meets outside on the balcony at a dinner party and why against everyone telling her otherwise including her own brain she believes he is innocent of brutally beating Winnie Briggs. She's a great heroine because she pursues her course no matter what even though she is well aware of what it may cost her. She even lays out her most private misery for a young couple and the girl's parents to save someone else from a sad marriage. She's just an ordinary woman trying to do what's right and I think that's what I connected with the most.
The mystery wasn't really a big part of the plot other than it was the catalyst to send Claudine on her search to find justice and that revealed a young couple's romance. The holiday setting was very backdrop too even though the theme of Christmas hope is always there in this story for several people. My only niggle was that when the truth came out, there wasn't much follow-up to see what happened with the secondary characters or really what the fall out ended up being for Claudine after that last big argument with her husband. Just my curious mind wanting more. Maybe the next book in the regular William Monk series will say something more.
All in all, it was a nice heart-warming Christmas story in a historical setting with a strong heroine and a bit of a mystery for her to solve.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Posted December 5, 2013
As a first time reader of Anne Perry¿s Christmas novels, I thoro
As a first time reader of Anne Perry’s Christmas novels, I thoroughly enjoyed this Victorian cozy mystery. The heroine is compelling in her aloneness and search for meaning in her life, while the whodunit part of the story is a strong part of the story without being overpowering. Underlying themes of forgiveness, compassion, and love makes this Christmas tale stand out from other mysteries. Clear, succinct writing, with poignant scenes and the sympathetic main character kept me turning the pages. This is a wonderful story, not too long and perfect for the holidays. Very much recommended.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2013
If you like Victorian novels highly recommend Anne Perry and especially her Christmas novels. A Christmas Hope did not disappoint
As always in her Christmas stories Anne Perry takes one of her supporting characters from one of her series as the major character. Highly enjoyed this novel as well as all her previous Christmas offerings
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Posted December 20, 2013
Posted December 13, 2013
Anne Perry fans rejoice!
Once again, Anne Perry ventures into a different take on a Christmas story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Part mystery and all Victorian mores, it is an enjoyable, rather dark tale
set during Christmas time. With a few favorite characters from her Monk series she spins an interesting mystery that illustrates the class struggle and division that was Victorian England and permeated every aspect of the lives of each character.
If you enjoy Anne Perry mysteries, Victorian England and a quick read you should pick up A Christmas Hope. It may wet your appetite to try the other books in her William Monk Series and her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series.
Posted December 10, 2013
A yarn that gives a warm story that you will enjoy
The Christmas can be the heart of of the season. The characters will remind you of some folks that need to see hope that we would like to give the world. This story would be a gift to all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.