A Christmas Homecoming

A Christmas Homecoming

3.5 12
by Anne Perry
     
 

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Among the brilliant array of Anne Perry’s New York Times bestselling novels, her Christmas stories occupy perhaps the warmest spot in the hearts of readers. Each one is a masterpiece of suspense; each is alight with the true holiday spirit.

In A Christmas Homecoming, a familiar face from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt

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Overview

Among the brilliant array of Anne Perry’s New York Times bestselling novels, her Christmas stories occupy perhaps the warmest spot in the hearts of readers. Each one is a masterpiece of suspense; each is alight with the true holiday spirit.

In A Christmas Homecoming, a familiar face from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels—Charlotte’s mother, Caroline—travels with her young husband, Joshua Fielding, and his theatrical troupe to Whitby, the Yorkshire fishing village where Dracula the vampire first touched English soil in the sensational novel named after him. Joshua has arranged to produce a stage adaptation of Dracula by the daughter of Whitby millionaire Charles Netheridge during the Christmas holiday, but after the disastrous first read-through of her amateurish script, only the fact that the company is depending on Netheridge’s financial backing for their spring tour keeps them at work. 

As tempers flare and wind and snow swirl around Netheridge’s lonely hilltop mansion, a black-cloaked stranger emerges from the storm—an eerily opportune arrival, for this enigmatic figure, one Anton Ballin, turns out to be a theatrical genius. At the same time, a brooding evil makes itself felt. Instead of the theatrical triumph that Netheridge desired for his daughter, there is murder—shocking and terrifying.

Anne Perry’s ninth Christmas novel keeps us poised on a razor’s edge of suspense, hypnotized by a story in which the heartwarming power of goodness is challenged by the seductive power of inner darkness. In the end, A Christmas Homecoming lifts the spirit and rejoices the heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Perry’s fine ninth Victorian Christmas mystery (after 2010’s A Christmas Odyssey) takes Caroline Fielding, the mother-in-law of Insp. Thomas Pitt of Scotland Yard (the lead of Perry’s main series), to the town of Whitby, in York, where Dracula came ashore in Stoker’s recently published horror novel. Caroline and her actor husband, Joshua, are the guests of Charles Netheridge, whose daughter, Alice, has adapted Stoker’s book for the stage. Joshua, who’s brought the lead actors in his acting company to the Netheridges’ huge mansion, hopes to parlay Alice’s Dracula, to be performed for the locals at Christmas, into Charles’s financial backing for the coming theatrical season. Then a mysterious stranger shows up at their snowbound door seeking refuge: Anton Ballin, who alarmingly resembles the vampire king himself. While Ballin makes some staging suggestions that improve the play, his arrival provides the catalyst for bloodshed. Caroline proves herself an astute sleuth in this challenging whodunit. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Christmas novels of Anne Perry
 
A Christmas Odyssey
 
“[Perry] writes with detail that invades the senses.”—Lincoln Journal Star
 
A Christmas Promise
 
“Poignant . . . should be on the Christmas stocking list of anyone who likes a sniffle of nostalgia.”—The Washington Times
 
A Christmas Grace
 
“[A] heartwarming, if crime-tinged, complement to the holiday season.”—Booklist
 
A Christmas Beginning
 
“Intriguing . . . Perry’s use of period detail is, as always, strong and evocative.”—The Seattle Times
 
A Christmas Secret
 
“A delightful little book . . . Perry’s gift is that she can evoke a sense of place and time while still producing the thrills and chills expected of a modern-day mystery writer.”—The Orlando Sentinel
Kirkus Reviews
Christmastime in Victorian England. What better setting for staging a vampire play and solving a murder mystery? The ninth in Perry's series of Christmas mysteries (A Christmas Odyssey, 2010, etc.), the book follows Caroline Fielding as she travels with her young husband, Joshua, and his acting troupe from London to Whitby. Hoping to secure Charles Netheridge's patronage for the next season, Joshua has contracted to put on a Boxing Day performance of Dracula, adapted by Netheridge's daughter, Alice. Charles hopes to rid his daughter of frivolous interests before she marries and settles down. However, Alice, engaged to the conservative and artistically unsupportive Douglas Paterson, yearns for independence. The play is amateurish, but encouraged by Caroline, Joshua works closely with Alice to bring the gothic tale to life. Outside, a relentless snow storm isolates the cast and family, and underlying tensions begin to percolate. Douglas' eye begins to wander towards one of the actors, the lovely Lydia. Vincent, playing Van Helsing, challenges Joshua at nearly every directorial turn. Despite the storm, the mysterious Anton Ballin arrives, seeking shelter and proving to be an expert on not only vampires but also stagecraft. Just as the play falls into shape, Caroline stumbles over a dead body in the dark of night. Isolated by the storm, only one of them could be the murderer. But who? With careful attention to the nuances of character, Perry offers a tale worthy of mulling over by the fireplace.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345524638
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/25/2011
Series:
Christmas Mysteries Series, #9
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
658,831
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of eight earlier holiday novels—A Christmas Odyssey, A Christmas Promise, A Christmas Grace, A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Visitor, A Christmas Guest, A Christmas Secret, and A Christmas Beginning—as well as the William Monk series and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series set in Victorian England, five World War I novels, and a work of historical fiction, The Sheen on the Silk. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
Date of Birth:
October 28, 1938
Place of Birth:
Blackheath, London England
Website:
http://www.anneperry.net

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A Christmas Homecoming: A Novel 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
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This was my first Anne Perry novel and I will not read her books again. I was not impressed with the writing style, uniqueness of the story line or character development. Furthermore, there was hardly anything about Christmas in this book. A big disappointment!
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Pitt's mother-in-law Caroline Fielding and her husband Joshua the actor travel to Whitby, York for a performance of Bram Stoker's recently published novel Dracula. Alice Netheridge has adopted the horror thriller to be performed on the stage at the town where the Count first disembarked on English soil. Joshua will direct the play with hopes of obtaining major funding from Alice's wealthy father Charles for next spring's theatre productions. Charles hosts the Fielding couple and actors from Joshua's troupe. A heavy snowstorm isolates everyone at the mansion on the hill. While the weather outside is frightful, a straggler Anton Ballin arrives asking for sanctuary from the storm. He uncannily resembles Dracula and makes recommendations to improve the production that sound like someone who is a vampire insider. Soon after his arrival, murder follows. With everyone locked inside the mansion believing Ballin is the cold blooded killer, Caroline investigates. The latest Anne Perry Victorian Christmas mystery (see Silent Night and A Christmas Odyssey) is a superb locked mansion whodunit as Caroline proves to be a capable detective and a wonderful protagonist who holds the entertaining tale together. The cast is solid while Carline's detecting is clever fun. Fans will enjoy Pitt's in-law as an amateur sleuth investigating a homicide. Harriet Klausner