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A Christmas Odyssey
Christmas Series – Book VIII
Anne Perry

Headline
December 2010/ ISBN 0755376889
Historical Mystery / 1865 London
Amazon


Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

This is the eighth in the series of Christmas novellas, each of which focuses on a minor character in one of Ms Perry’s two historical mystery series. As Christmas approaches James Wentworth begs his old friend Henry Rathbone to help him find his missing son Lucien. Tired of the usual dissipations enjoyed by young-men-about-town, Lucien has gone deeper into the dark side of London to find more unusual pleasures to titillate his jaded palate and has vanished. Henry is not au fait with this side of life so seeks out Hester’s bookkeeper, the reformed criminal Squeaky Robinson, to aid him in his search.

With Anne Perry you can expect a page-turner and you certainly get one. Nobody is quite so adept at showing how the seamy side of Victorian London rubbed shoulders (as well as other body parts) with high society and this novella is no exception. We don’t know much about Squeaky but here we get to shine a light on some aspects of his character, including his longing for friendship and redemption. He gets a chance to help out and be useful as the search for Lucien takes Henry to parts of London he doesn’t even know exists, as well as making a new friend and introducing us to the tragic and equally enigmatic figure of Dr Crow. Having a series like this that allows us to explore characters who normally only have walk-on parts is an excellent idea, and not one I have previously encountered. Once again Ms Perry delivers the goods with some tangible descriptions of places we only want to visit via a novel, and lets us eavesdrop on a number of characters and enrich our enjoyment of the longer novels. More please!

Reviewer's Note: US edition is different || Holiday: Christmas

Reviewed 2011
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