Another Review at MyShelf.Com

A Christmas Guest

by Anne Perry

      This is the third of Anne Perry's Christmas novellas, each of which has centered upon a different secondary character from one of her sets of books. This time it is Mariah Ellison's turn, the irascible "Grandmama" who so disapproves of everybody, particularly if they seem to be having fun. She is looking forward to spending an opulent Christmas with Emily and her family, but they are going abroad and so she ends up spending it with Caroline and her "unsuitable" new husband in chilly provincial Romney Marsh. When a strange visitor is foisted upon them and found dead, Mariah takes it upon herself to find out whodunit.

As Anne Perry's full-length works are so densely plotted, I didn't think that she would take well to the novella, but she has. It is easy to guess whodunit, but it is the getting there that is so entertaining. I particularly enjoyed reading something told from the point of view (albeit in the third person) of a sideline character and seeing how they too can grow and change if their circumstances will it. There are some lyrical descriptions of Romney Marsh in winter that are poetic and most enjoyable, as well as a glimpse of how a full-blown Victorian Christmas was prepared for. Dickens himself would surely have approved of these annual treats, and can we hope to expect a fourth concerning a character from her newest WWI series? Highly enjoyable.

The Book

December 2005
Historical Crime [1890s, Kent UK]
More at US || UK
NOTE: Christmas interest

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006