Playing detective, Grandmama has one of her more exciting Christmases...
The third of Anne Perry's delightful Christmas novellas, A Christmas Guest, depicts, with humour and compassion, one woman's discovery of the true meaning of Christmas. Perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom and Sarah Perry.
'The characterisation is superb. The period feel is excellent... a real page-turner' - Historical Novels Review
Mariah Ellison isn't merely disappointed to learn that she won't spend Christmas at home with her married granddaughter: she is furious. Instead, Grandmama is being packed off to a house in the Romney Marshes to stay with her ex-daughter-in-law. Never having got on with Caroline, Mariah much disapproves of her new husband: decades younger than her, Joshua, an actor, is scarcely even respectable. There will be nothing to do, no one to visit, and no doubt the terrible weather will make even taking a walk impossible. It is going to be the worst Christmas of Grandmama's life.
As if that weren't enough, another visitor is foisted on the household. Then something shocking and quite unexpected happens. Has a crime been committed? Grandmama is surprised to find herself turning detective - another profession she deplores - and proving extremely good at it.
What readers are saying about A Christmas Guest:
'It was a lovely Christmas read... Perry has done a remarkable job of bringing the Victorian traditions to life'
'Another gripping story by Anne Perry'
Charlotte's tetchy Grandmama from Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries does a bit of sleuthing on her own (and learns the true meaning of Christmas) in the author's latest holiday treat (A Christmas Visitor). When the London lady finds herself banished to the Romney Marshes home of her former daughter-in-law, Caroline (now married scandalously, in Grandmama's opinion to a younger actor), she is more than indignant. As if it isn't bad enough to be exiled to "some bog by the sea" at Christmastime, another guest soon arrives: "pointlessly joyous" Maud Barrington, the middle daughter of an old local family who has returned after 40 years of travel in Muslim Africa. Maude's family won't have her; they think she'll be an embarrassment to a visiting peer. Grandmama doesn't take to brash, vivid Maude, either but as soon as Maude is discovered, suddenly and suspiciously dead in her bedroom, Grandmama regrets her coldness and vows to uncover the truth. When she imparts the sad news to Maude's family in the nearby town, she finds the reaction of Maude's two sisters strange. Their husbands, too, seem odd. Who might be the guilty party? Grandmama digs deep into family secrets and betrayals and becomes a whole new person along the way in this quick and enjoyable read.