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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anne Perry Christmas Mysteries
First of all, I adore the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series set in the Victorian era so naturally I was eager to read side stories set in that same era that delved deeper into some of the characters in that series. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 was because I felt that 'A Christmas Guest', while still good, was a bit weak. Given the sour nature that...
Published on December 9, 2008 by Angela F

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly Entertaining
In later years Agatha Christie typically published in time to catch the Christmas sales--thus giving rise to a publishing tradition of murder mysteries as a seasonal event. Anne Perry has followed suit with a number of novels that are not only published at Christmas but which feature the holiday season, an atmosphere that is sweetened by Perry's use of Victorian period...
Published on September 22, 2010 by Gary F. Taylor


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anne Perry Christmas Mysteries, December 9, 2008
By 
Angela F (Lakewood, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries: Two Holiday Novels (Paperback)
First of all, I adore the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series set in the Victorian era so naturally I was eager to read side stories set in that same era that delved deeper into some of the characters in that series. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 was because I felt that 'A Christmas Guest', while still good, was a bit weak. Given the sour nature that Grandmama Ellison's character has always had in the Pitt series, her character in this book did not feel entirely believable to me as her personality seems to evolve at much too rapid a pace for such a short story (and time frame). In addition, the mystery aspect held little intrigue or suspense and the ending was not too surprising. However, it was still enjoyable. In contrast, I absolutely loved 'A Christmas Secret'. Perry reveals a depth and freshness to the character of Dominic Corde and how much he has matured since his first marriage to Charlotte's sister Sarah. In this story Dominic, along with his new wife Clarice, strive to solve a mystery in a small English village. The country scene at Christmas makes for a lovely setting. The plot is full of intrigue with startling twists and turns and an added dash of spookiness makes this a delicious read that I couldn't put down. I plan to re-read this story again and would highly recommend it to mystery fans. I believe that even those who have never read any of the books in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series would find this story enjoyable and easy to follow. All in all these two holiday novels are quick reads best savored slowly like hot cocoa on a cold winter's eve.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly Entertaining, September 22, 2010
This review is from: Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries: Two Holiday Novels (Paperback)
In later years Agatha Christie typically published in time to catch the Christmas sales--thus giving rise to a publishing tradition of murder mysteries as a seasonal event. Anne Perry has followed suit with a number of novels that are not only published at Christmas but which feature the holiday season, an atmosphere that is sweetened by Perry's use of Victorian period and which plays upon our largely false notions of "a good old fashioned English Christmas." Published in 2008, ANNE PERRY'S CHRISTMAS MYSTERIES consists of two works, A CHRISTMAS GUEST, originally published in 2005, and A CHRISTMAS SECRET, originally published in 2006. Neither are particularly memorable.

A CHRISTMAS GUEST is the weaker of the two novellas. Trapped with unliked relatives over the Christmas holiday in the dismal St. Mary's In The Marsh, ill-tempered Grandmama Ellison is further annoyed by the arrival of Maude Barrington--at least until Maude is found dead in her bed, at which point Grandmama Ellison begins to pity her as a possible murder victim. As in many Perry stories, the family and social relationships are extremely complicated. Often this is part of Perry's charm, but where A CHRISTMAS GUEST is concerned it tends to read as complication for the sake of complication, and the story contains considerable filler in the form of Grandmama's musings. That aside, and although the motive is somewhat obscure, the killer is easily spotted from the way in which the story is constructed, so there's very little mystery at all.

A CHRISTMAS SECRET is considerably better, the story of Rev. Dominic Corde and wife Clarice, who are summoned to the isolated village of Cottisham to fill in for a vicar who has unexpectedly chosen the Christmas season as vacation. Much of the story passes in bits of village scandal that cumulate when Clarice discovers the vacationing vicar has never left the village at all. Although the plot device is as old as publishing itself, Perry does manage to put a few new pins in it here and there, and her gift for atmosphere and her ability to recreate Victorian England is particularly in evidence here.

Both titles are fairly short. A CHRISTMAS GUEST runs about one hundred fifty pages; A CHRISTMAS SECRET runs just under two hundred pages; and the print is large and the lines doublespaced. Either or both can be easily read in a single sitting, and indeed I would describe both more as substantial short stories than as novellas. Although neither are among Perry's most interesting work, there are worse ways to pass the time. Mildly recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Merry Christmas!, January 28, 2013
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This review is from: Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries: Two Holiday Novels (Paperback)
The middle of winter, death, victorian mores...plus a mystery & a blizzard! Anne Perry rises to the occassion
again. If only she would write a book every 60 days, I would be in mystery heaven. Her ability to make you
truly care about the mundane and normal, plus take you into another era are superb. Starting with the
Calder Street Hangman, her books just get better and better, Keep them coming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great mysteries, January 12, 2013
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I did not figure out who done it until it was revealed at the end of both of the stories
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Warm Holiday Read, December 13, 2014
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Both separate stories are warm and interesting right up to the end. Christmas/Winter Spirit surrounds the plots regarding how we ordinary people of the English speaking world act and react to things that happen socially around the Holidays, and because of them. How do we treat each other? Who do we share this season of Christian merriment with and why? How do we interact during this seemingly "joyous" time of year? The author pulls you in to her characters' stories and you want to find out how each protagonist resolves their feelings. Good read for the season. The author makes us think about ourselves through the characters she develops. Highly recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read, June 13, 2014
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I gave this book 4 stars. I absolutely love Anne Perry. She delivers a great read by developing characters, giving great attention to setting and time period and just, overall, telling a good story. Her use of imagery and her attention to the human psyche is great. Her plots are always interesting and captivating. Both stories were good entertainment. It's amazing how Perry is able to complete a full murder mystery in just a small amount of pages.The only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars is because, though I enjoy her short stories, I really long to read more full-length novels. Love her William Monk and Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, but I will take anything by her while I'm waiting for a new one of either series to come out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Mysteries, May 2, 2014
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This review is from: Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries: Two Holiday Novels (Paperback)
As always, Anne Perry does not disappoint. I love the shorter stories of certain people in her series of novels with Christmas theme.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I am an Anne Perry fan, April 25, 2014
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This review is from: Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries: Two Holiday Novels (Paperback)
It is fun to be able to pick up a short novel by Perry and read it quickly. I like her writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love these Christmas Mysteries!, February 11, 2014
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Anne Perry is one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading her books. I have read all of her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt books and the Monk series and look forward to the next one. The Christmas series is focused on a person we've already met.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not her usual quality, January 7, 2014
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I found these to be pretty thin novels, even for Christmas reading. Wanted more substance!

I can't recommend this title.
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Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries: Two Holiday Novels
Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries: Two Holiday Novels by Anne Perry (Paperback - October 28, 2008)
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