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Publisher's Summary

After a year of marriage - and numerous adventures - Lady Julia and Brisbane hope for a quiet, intimate Christmas together - until they find themselves at her father's ancestral estate, Bellmont Abbey, with her eccentric family and a menagerie of animals.

Nevertheless, Julia looks forward to a lively family gathering - but amongst the celebrations, a mystery stirs. There are missing jewels, new faces at the Abbey, and a prowling ghost that brings back unwelcome memories from a previous holiday - one that turned deadly. Is a new culprit recreating crimes of the past? And will Brisbane let Julia investigate?

©2012 Deanna Raybourn (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

Recommended for fans of the series only

Nice little story if you are familiar with the characters but would not be a good introduction for anyone hoping to get a taste before delving into the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly
  • Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • 03-30-18

Christmas mystery

Setting: Sussex, England 1889
Genre: Mystery
Lady Julia and Brisbane return to Bellmont Abbey, the family seat of the Earl of March for Christmas to find the Earl depressed, reports of a ghost, and then jewelry starts going missing. Lady Julia is on the case!
The characters are well-rounded and consistent with previous works in the series. The plot is simple, a little above average, but complexity isn’t expected in a novella.
Once again, Ellen Archer provides a creditable performance.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • BikeVON
  • Southfield, Mi, United States
  • 03-01-18

Christmas with the family and a mystery

This is an enjoyable series with likeable characters. Lady Julia and Brisbane began their relationship with the death of her husband. After several incidents Julia begins to believe Brisbane’s warning, that her husband was killed. Thus, begin Julia’s detective career.

Through the series Brisbane is driven crazy with Julia investigating in dangerous situations. Julia is wealthy, intelligent, bored and a liberated woman. She is very likeable and exhausting with her views, but likeable. She discovers clues to put all the pieces in place.

I particularly like her family and all the color they add to the story. She is the youngest girl in a family of 10 kids, 5 boys and 5 girls. They are a very unconventional family. All the girls are educated and have been taught to be independent. Her favorite sister is a lesbian and single mom. The youngest son is a doctor. It is a disreputable occupation because it requires a doctor to work with their hands. The eldest son is a politician whose family antics cause embarrassment. Because of her wealth and family, she is tolerated in the ton. Her family’s eccentricities are entertaining. Most of then go against the 1800s codes of conduct.

Of course, Brisbane is the dark mysterious bad boy who does not want to tarnish Lady Julia’s character. Julia does not make that easy. Even marries, she constantly inserts herself in compromising or dangerous situations. My attention was held through the series with little reveals of Brisbane history. I found Julia unreasonable at times with her lack of understanding of her lack of experience. I am all for women’s liberation and being treated equally but be real Julia. She was delusional to think that she could be an equal partner when considering Brisbane’s experience.

The mystery takes more time in the story than the romance.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Cheery Christmas Novella

As the title suggests, this novella is a Christmas-centric one - postponing the trip for Rome that had been set up at the end of The Dark Enquiry. Julia, Brisbane, Plum, Portia, and Jane the Younger (along with the loyal staff and the menagerie of pets) return to Belmont Abbey for the holiday. Some loose ends are tied up with Lord March, another missing jewels case is solved and fresh romance abounds alongside the deepening relationship between Julia and her husband. It's a cheery story and nicely sets up the next novella - also Christmas-themed, with the every decade tradition of the March family performing a play for the local village - and including a mandatory role for Brisbane! As usual, I am looking forward to continuing on with the series!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Timeless

I must have read this whole series 5 times or more. Timeless. I always need my March family at Christmas..

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

Good for fans of the series

Short, sweet, and light. A welcome continuation of the series but we really need a full-length book.

I was hoping to find out more about the trip to Italy that was more than strongly hinted at in the conclusion to the last book. But this Christmas interlude brought the usual characters back together and that's always fun.

The "mystery" was very mild and solved in a paragraph. Still, Julia and Brisbane enjoy their time together - Really enjoy it. Wink wink.

The narration was good with a few mispronounciations.

I thought it odd to refer to Pug and " his wife." That made me lose the flow of the story for a bit. Strange. But this was a great LITTLE story. I understand the following novella continues the story. I wish they had been combined in one audiobook. I'm not sure a 2 hour book is worth $5.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • 12-31-12

christmasy, but enjoyable year round

I really did enjoy getting to hear from Lady Julia and Nicholas again. I havve missed them since Dark Enquiry came out. And I have to say: this book was just plain fun. All the animals brought unexpected plot twists to the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It was OK.

This book was so-so. It could have been better, seemed like the story was missing something.