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Publisher's Summary

Spurred by holiday cheer and a surprise hidden in Christmas pudding, an elderly aristocrat tries to right a past wrong by solving a decade-old murder in the latest Christmas novella from New York Times best-selling author Anne Perry.

When a beautiful Christmas package appears on Grandmama's porch, it's much too heavy for the Christmas pudding it holds. With her family away for the holidays, Grandmama digs in to the pudding, only to find a cannon ball baked inside. Instantly, her memory flies back to a friendship she destroyed a decade before.

Hoping to make amends, Grandmama travels to Surrey and joins up with her former friend's grandson to solve the murder of his grandfather - who Grandmama once loved and whose death she blamed, out of jealousy, on her friend. Grandmama has learned a thing or two from her detective grandson-in-law Thomas Pitt, and her friend's grandson, a sleuth in his own right, has found a suspect and some promising evidence. With Grandmama now on board, the pair sets out for justice amidst the picaresque Surrey hills, hoping to solve an old murder and restore a former friendship before the holiday spirit fades.

Author bio: Anne Perry is the New York Times best-selling author of two acclaimed mystery series set in Victorian England, the William Monk novels and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, and a series of five World War I novels. She has also written 15 holiday novels as well as a stand-alone novel set in the Ottoman Empire, the best seller The Sheen on the Silk. She lives in Los Angeles.

©2017 Anne Perry (P)2017 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mariah Ellison tackles another Christmas mystery

With the Christmas season approaching, Charlotte Pitt's grandmother, Mariah Ellison, is at the home of her other granddaughter, Charlotte's sister Emily, with none of Emily's family in residence. They're traveling for the holiday. Mariah has mixed feelings about spending the holiday alone except for Emily's servants, but has no plans to do anything to change that.

Then a most unusual package arrives. It's improbably heavy, especially when it's revealed to be a Christmas pudding. Or at least, it looks like a Christmas pudding. It proves to be about an inch or so of cake around a small, decorative cannonball. Then in the later post that day, she also receives a Christmas card with a message from an old friend's grandson. He sent her the cannonball, and he wants her to come help with an impending family crisis, the long-delayed fallout from an unsolved murder twenty years ago.

Mariah Ellison has long been a grumpy, cantankerous woman, not easy to get along with. Nevertheless, she once had a close friendship with Rowena Wesley and her husband, attorney Cullen Wesley. Then a shocking murder of a young girl occurred, and Cullen was preparing to defend the accused killer, Dr. Owen Derwood.

And then suddenly he wasn't defending Derwood. With no explanation, he announced that he could no longer handle the case. Days later, he was dead himself. A bookcase fell over, and he was struck in the head by that decorative cannonball. Derwood was acquitted anyway, and left town. Rumors swirled that instead of Cullen's death being an accident, Rowena might have killed him, in jealousy over his supposed interest in Mariah. The two friends have not met since.

Now Derwood has returned to town, apparently intending to clear his name--which will mean proving the vile rumors about Cullen, Rowena, and Mariah. Rowena's grandson, Peter Wesley, wants Mariah's help in fighting back--which will mean finding, and proving, the truth of what really happened.

As with all of Perry's Christmas novellas, this is a contained story, in a contained location with a small cast of characters. Also like the other Christmas stories, it's an opportunity for a minor character who gets short shrift in the main series novels to take center stage and get some growth and character development. This is Mariah Ellison's second Christmas outing, and I'm starting to like her quite a bit.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely

I truly enjoyed listening to this holiday book by Anne Perry. I have listened to her earlier holiday books and enjoyed them all. My only complaint is that it was too short. The narrator did an excellent job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining seasonal story

enjoyed this story from Victorian Times. good performance and just the right length for a trip.

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A Christmas Read

I love all of Anne Perry's Christmas books. This one was very good. They are short and I look forward to them every year.