A young girl is searching for the truth behind her uncle's death. Can she solve the mystery before the Christmas bells toll?
Set in the Victorian world where Anne Perry reigns supreme, A Christmas Promise culminates in a radiant finale that will remain with you long after the final page is turned. Perfect for fans of C. J Sansom and Harriet Smart.
'[Perry] writes with detail that invades the senses' - Lincoln Journal Star
Three days before Christmas, in the freezing slums of London's East End, thirteen-year-old Gracie Phipps encounters Minnie Maude Mudway, who is only eight, alone, and determined to find her friend Charlie. However Charlie is no ordinary companion: He is a donkey who belonged to Minnie Maude's Uncle Alf. Gracie is shocked to learn that only the day before, someone brutally murdered Uncle Alf and made off with his rag-and-bones cart and the beloved beast who pulled it. Now, come hell or high water, Minnie Maude means to rescue Charlie-and Gracie decides to help. But the path that Uncle Alf had taken to his death was not his regular route, and in his cart were not just the usual bits of worn silver and china but also, the children are told, a dazzling golden box. What its contents may have been no one can say, for, like Charlie and the cart, it too has vanished.
Uncertain where their four-legged friend may be, the children are drawn into an adult world far beyond their innocent imaginings. And in a shop gleaming with beautiful objects, they recruit an unexpected ally: Mr. Balthasar, who warns them that the shining prize may be just a Pandora's box of evil...
What readers are saying about A Christmas Promise:
'You feel you are there in Victorian England with all the smells, sights and sounds that accompany the story-telling'
'Very atmospheric, entertaining, well written and just that bit different'
While bestseller Perry doesn't offer much of a puzzle in her seventh Christmas-themed Victorian historical (after 2008's A Christmas Grace), she does a highly credible job of evoking Dickens, especially in the opening scenes set in Whitechapel. As the 1883 holiday season nears in London's East End, 13-year-old Gracie Phipps, a supporting character in Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series (Buckingham Palace Gardens, etc.), encounters a woebegone younger child, Minnie Maude Mudway, on the mean streets of her neighborhood. Minnie is looking for a missing donkey, Charlie, which belonged to her beloved uncle Alf. The animal disappeared the day before, around the same time Alf, a bone-and-rag dealer, was killed. The two girls turn detective in an effort to find Charlie as well as the truth about how Alf died. Mr. Balthasar, a shopkeeper who assists in the sleuthing, lends an appealing Holmesian touch.