As Christmas approaches, justice must be served...
Anne Perry sweeps her readers away to India in her tenth seasonal novella, A Christmas Garland. Perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom and Sherlock Holmes.
'Perry avoids all of the mawkish pitfalls that are usually the hallmark of holiday books by choosing an unconventional setting and decidedly different approach. Rather than leaning on sentiment, she writes an honest, though somewhat grim, story that captures the essence of 19th-century India and the character of a compassionate man. A novel approach to an oft-explored subject, this tale will delight Perry's fans and bring her new ones' - Kirkus Reviews
1857. After the fire of mutiny has swept through British India, young Lieutenant Victor Narraway arrives at a battered military base at Cawnpore. It is just two weeks before Christmas, but no one is able to celebrate: they have been betrayed. A soldier under arrest for dereliction of duty has killed a guard and escaped to join the rebels, taking crucial information that led to the massacre of nine men on patrol. Someone must have helped him, and medical orderly John Tallis is the only man unaccounted for at the time. He is now on trial for his life, and Narraway is commanded to defend him.
Narraway knows that his is an impossible task. The British Army needs justice to be carried out in full, and there seems no doubt of Tallis's guilt. But Narraway cannot see any motive for his actions. Will an innocent man hang before Christmas?
What readers are saying about A Christmas Garland:
'Make yourself a pot of tea, turn on your reading lamp and settle in for another deliciously atmospheric tale from Perry'
'Christmas would not be Christmas without a Perry novella'
A particularly strong plot distinguishes bestseller Perry's 10th Christmas mystery (after 2011's Christmas Homecoming). In India in 1857, unrest over the oppressive minority rule of the East India Company has come to a head, with thousands of civilians as well as company employees dying in the ensuing violence. Against this tense backdrop, inexperienced Lt. Victor Narraway must defend Cpl. John Tallis, the medical orderly at Cawnpore, who stands accused of aiding an escaped Indian prisoner, Dhuleep Singh, who murdered a guard and fled with classified information on British troop movements. Though no one doubts Tallis's guilt, Narraway's military superiors order him to mount a vigorous defense to preserve a sense of law and order. The tension becomes palpable as the lieutenant frantically strains to find some evidence to exonerate Singh. Few readers will anticipate the clever solution.