A Christmas Odyssey

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Overview

In her beloved Christmas novels, Anne Perry brings readers both the authentic Victorian charm and the nail-biting suspense that have made her Thomas Pitt and William Monk tales bestsellers for a generation. Though rife with intrigue, these special seasonal stories beam with the blessed light of the holiday.

Ten days before Christmas, as an icy wind cuts through London, wealthy James Wentworth feels not joy but grief. His reckless son, Lucien, has been lured into a deadly world ...

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A Christmas Odyssey: A Novel

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Overview

In her beloved Christmas novels, Anne Perry brings readers both the authentic Victorian charm and the nail-biting suspense that have made her Thomas Pitt and William Monk tales bestsellers for a generation. Though rife with intrigue, these special seasonal stories beam with the blessed light of the holiday.

Ten days before Christmas, as an icy wind cuts through London, wealthy James Wentworth feels not joy but grief. His reckless son, Lucien, has been lured into a deadly world of drugs and wild passion. Wentworth’s only hope, he believes, is his old friend Henry Rathbone, who volunteers to search for the prodigal son. Rathbone knows nothing of the sensation-obsessed underworld where Lucien now dwells, but he acquires two unexpected new companions who do: Squeaky Robinson, a reformed brothel-keeper who now works in Hester Monk’s medical clinic, and Crow, a mysterious slum doctor who turns no one away, however undeserving.

Slowly this odd trio gathers clues—about Lucien’s mad infatuation with a beautiful woman named Sadie, and about Shadwell, the ruthless man who owns her and, like the Devil, never lets go of one of his own. Rathbone, Squeaky, and Crow even welcome into their little band a most valuable recruit: young Bessie, a teenager whose courage holds fast even in the depths of the slum. And so they set forth on their odyssey into London’s dark streets, on a mission whose outcome they cannot begin to guess.

Anne Perry’s novels are supreme masterpieces of suspense, and A Christmas Odyssey ranks with the very best. The days leading up to Christmas may prove to be fraught with challenges, but ’tis the season for comfort and joy and miracles.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Christmas novels of Anne Perry
 

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

 
A Christmas Guest

 
“[A] satisfying tale.”—The Wall Street Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345518583
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/26/2010
  • Series: Christmas Mysteries Series , #8
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Perry
 
Anne Perry is the bestselling author of seven earlier holiday novels—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.

Biography

Born in London in October 1938, Anne Perry was plagued with health problems as a young child. So severe were her illnesses that at age eight she was sent to the Bahamas to live with family friends in the hopes that the warmer climate would improve her health. She returned to her family as a young teenager, but sickness and frequent moves had interrupted her formal education to the extent that she was finally forced to leave school altogether. With the encouragement of her supportive parents, she was able to "fill in the gaps" with voracious reading, and her lack of formal schooling has never held her back.

Although Perry held down many jobs—working at various times as a retail clerk, stewardess, limousine dispatcher, and insurance underwriter—the only thing she ever seriously wanted to do in life was to write. (In her '20s, she started putting together the first draft of Tathea, a fantasy that would not see print until 1999.) At the suggestion of her stepfather, she began writing mysteries set in Victorian London; and in 1979, one of her manuscripts was accepted for publication. The book was The Cater Street Hangman, an ingenious crime novel that introduced a clever, extremely untidy police inspector named Thomas Pitt. In this way an intriguing mystery series was born…along with a successful writing career.

In addition to the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels, Perry crafts darker, more layered Victorian mysteries around the character of London police detective William Monk, whose memory has been impaired by a coach accident. (Monk debuted in 1990's The Face of a Stranger.) She also writes historical novels set during the First World War (No Graves as Yet, Shoulder the Sky, etc.) and holiday-themed mysteries (A Christmas Journey, A Christmas Secret, etc), and her short stories have been included in several anthologies.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Anne Perry:

The first time I made any money telling a story I was four and a half years old—golden hair, blue eyes, a pink smocked dress, and neat little socks and shoes. I walked home from school (it was safe then) with my lunchtime sixpence unspent. A large boy, perhaps 12 or 13, stopped me. He was carrying a stick and threatened to hit me if I didn't give him my sixpence. I told him a long, sad story about how poor we were—no food at home, not even enough money for shoes! He gave me his half crown—five times sixpence! It's appalling! I didn't think of it as lying, just escaping with my sixpence. How on earth he could have believed me I have no idea. Perhaps that is the knack of a good story—let your imagination go wild, pile on the emotions—believe it yourself, evidence to the contrary be damned. I am not really proud of that particular example!

I used to live next door to people who had a tame dove. They had rescued it when it broke its wing. The wing healed, but it never learned to fly again. I used to walk a mile or so around the village with the dove. Its little legs were only an inch or two long, so it got tired, then it would ride on my head. Naturally I talked to it. It was a very nice bird. I got some funny looks. Strangers even asked me if I knew there was a bird on my head! Who the heck did they think I was talking to? Of course I knew there was a bird on my head. I'm not stupid—just a writer, and entitled to be a little different. I'm also English, so that gives me a second excuse!

On the other hand I'm not totally scatty. I like maths, and I used to love quadratic equations. One of the most exciting things that happened to me was when someone explained non-Euclidean geometry to me, and I suddenly saw the infinite possibilities in lateral thinking! How could I have been so blind before?

Here are some things I like—and one thing I don't:

  • I love wild places, beech trees, bluebell woods, light on water—whether the light is sunlight, moonlight, or lamplight; and whether the water is ocean, rain, snow, river, mist, or even a puddle.

  • I love the setting sun in autumn over the cornstooks.

  • I love to eat raspberries, pink grapefruit, crusty bread dipped in olive oil.

  • I love gardens where you seem to walk from "room to room," with rambling roses and vines climbing into the trees and sudden vistas when you turn corners.

  • I love white swans and the wild geese flying overhead.

  • I dislike rigidity, prejudice, ill-temper, and perhaps above all, self-righteousness.

  • I love laughter, mercy, courage, hope. I think that probably makes me pretty much like most people. But that isn't bad.
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      1. Also Known As:
        Juliet Hulme
      2. Hometown:
        Portmahomack, Ross-shire, U.K
      1. Date of Birth:
        October 28, 1938
      2. Place of Birth:
        Blackheath, London England

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    Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
    • Posted October 11, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      The annual Anne Perry Victorian Christmas saga is a great but very dark thriller

      With less than two weeks before Christmas, not everyone in frozen London is rejoicing. Affluent sexagenarian James Wentworth feels bah humbug ill over the behavior of his son Lucien. All the younger Wentworth dies for are drugs and sex ever since he discovered the dens of iniquity in the West End last year after meeting Sadie.

      Desperate to save his offspring from himself, Wentworth turns to his long time friend Henry Rathbone for help. Henry agrees to find the lad who he remembers as being nice and charming. However, though he has hope and promise for a happy intervention, Henry also knows he ventures into a part of London's depravity he is totally unfamiliar with. On his Christmas Odyssey into the West End, Rathbone meets former brothel owner Squeaky Robinson employed at Hester Monk's clinic and Dr. Crow physician to the downtrodden and underbelly. The three unite to follow clues to Sadie and her brutal owner Shadwell while also encountering Bessie the courageous teen.

      The annual Anne Perry Victorian Christmas saga is a great but very dark thriller in which the beacons of light in the Shadwell shadows of the slums comes from the hopes of the three males and the teen who joined them on their venture. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action as the audience anticipates a Christmas showdown between the Odyssey voyagers and the evil that welcomes them to his version of the Eagles' Hotel California.

      Harriet Klausner

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