Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Book Review: A Christmas Secret: A Novel (Christmas Stories #4) by Anne Perry

Just in time for the holidays, Anne Perry gives her fans a marvelous gift: a new yuletide yarn full of light celebration and dark mischief.

Dominic Corde is thrilled to “fill the robe” as substitute vicar in the village of Cottisham, while the Reverend Wynter is away on a three-week Christmas holiday. Glad to escape his dreary London flat and a less-than-satisfying job as church curate, Dominic and his beloved wife, Clarice, set off for what they hope will be a lovely winter getaway.

Upon arrival, in the midst of a frigid, exceptionally snowy season, Dominic and Clarice are welcomed by warm, hospitable neighbors and enchanted by the cozy, inviting vicarage. Everything seems almost too perfect. Dominic’s only concern is how he will be received by the congregation, who hold the Reverend Wynter in such high regard. But as Clarice soon discovers, she and Dominic have much more dire matters to worry about. It turns out that the Reverend Wynter isn’t on holiday at all–and that something very sinister has transpired.

As a blizzard leaves Cottisham treacherously snowbound and the isolated village swirls with unsavory secrets, Dominic and Clarice suddenly find themselves in deadly danger.

This is the first Anne Perry novel I've ever read.  I had heard she was an excellent writer, famous for her period mysteries.  For several years, she has taken characters from those mystery novels and written Christmas mysteries.  This one is #4 in the series.  I normally will only read series in the order they are written, but all of these are stand alone novels, so it's ok to read them any order you wish.

A Christmas Secret is a light, easy to read mystery.  It stars the vicar Dominic Corde and his wife, Clarice, from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series.  All the characters in this book are full of life, each with their own personality quirks.

I particularly enjoyed Clarice who, even though a female in the Victorian era, was a very strong lady and didn't rely on her husband for everything.  She did her own part in looking for clues in solving the murder.

This is a great Christmas book to pick up if you enjoy mysteries, historical fiction, and don't want anything too heavy. 

I give this book 4 Christmas Penguins!

Hardcover:  198 pages
Publisher:  Ballantine Books; 1st edition (November 7, 2006)
ISBN-10:  0345485815
ISBN-13:  978-0345485816

Paperback:  160 pages
Publisher:  Headline (October 31, 2007)
ISBN-10:  0755334299

Format:  Ebook 122 kb
Print Length: 208 pages
Sold by:  Random House Digital, Inc.

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