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A Christmas Visitor (The Christmas Stories) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 26, 2004

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Anne Perry’s A Christmas Journey

A Christmas Journey is that rarest of seasonal thrillers: one that exemplifies the message and spirit of the holiday. . . . This brief work has an almost Jamesian subtlety, and with its powerful message of responsibility and redemption–‘We need both to forgive and to be forgiven’–it conveys a moral force in keeping with the season.”
–The Wall Street Journal

“A doozy of a Christmas mystery.”
–The Dallas Morning News

From the Inside Flap

Renowned for her acclaimed Victorian novels as well as a stunning new series set in World War I, Anne Perry consistently dazzles us with stories rife with emotion, intrigue, and psychological depth. She recently expanded her talents with the delightfully rendered novella, A Christmas Journey, which USA Today called "one of the best books to brighten the joyous season." Now she has given readers another gift–a yuletide offering full of holiday magic . . . and murder.

The Dreghorn family is gathering for an anticipated reunion in the Lake District of England. The blissful tranquility of the snowbound estate, however, is soon shattered by what appears to be an accidental death. The victim's distraught wife, Antonia, summons her godfather, distinguished mathematician and inventor Henry Rathbone–one of the most beloved characters from Perry's bestselling William Monk series. But questions about the tragic event turn into whispers of murder, sending shock waves among members of the Dreghorn clan, who haven't seen each other in ten years.

Now Rathbone must put his analytical and creative capacities to the test as he assumes the role of an amateur investigator. But while searching for clues and mulling over potential motives, he cannot help but wonder: Will another poor soul meet the same untimely end–and be silenced like the night?

In this Christmas novella, featuring a colorful, somewhat eccentric cast of characters and an irresistible plot as twisty as a ribbon, Rathbone rescues the holiday with a grace that would impress William Monk himself.

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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Series: The Christmas Stories
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345476700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345476708
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Assassin and The Shifting Tide, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including The Cater Street Hangman, Calandar Square, Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as six holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Grace. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on October 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"A Christmas Visitor" may not be in the style of a grand puzzler, but it was a great read nevertheless. As is usual with a novel by Anne Perry, at the heart of "A Christmas Visitor" lies a question of morality -- doing the right thing no matter the personal cost, and the feelings that this act arouses within oneself and those affected by the act. "A Christmas Visitor" is a very short novella, and it is a very fast read -- it doesn't possess a very complex storyline, nor is it full of clever and suspenseful twist and turns, and yet within the 199 pages, Ms Perry expounds on the theme morality very well, holding my interest from start to finish.

Judah Dreghorn was a very well thought of, highly respected and much loved Justice of the Peace. And yet, just before his tragic accidental death, he was accused by Ashton Gower of being corrupt and venal. Eleven years ago, Ashton Gower's ownership of his estate was questioned by his cousin, Peter Colgrave. It was Colgrave's contention that Gower had forged the deeds and that the estate rightfully belonged to him, Peter Colgrave. The case was put before Judah Dreghorn, who upon examining the deeds, discovered them to be a forgery. Gower was sent to prison for forgery and fraud, and Colgrave inherited the estate -- an estate he promptly sold to Dreghorn. But now, Gower who has been released from prison, has returned to the area to accuse Dreghorn of a deliberate miscarriage of justice in order to acquire the estate. A few days later, Judah accidentally slipped and cracked his head on some sharp stones in a deep stream. And now it is left to Judah's family (his wife, Antonia and his three brothers) to protect his name and the estate from Gower's claims.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mercedes J. VINE VOICE on December 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was just ok for me. It's very short, it only took me a day to finish, and I really wanted to know who-dunnit, but the story seemed to be lacking some, and was a bit repetitious. The excitment didn't really pick up till about 3/4 of the way through.

This is the story of the Dreghorns. A very prominent family living in England that has ownership of a glorious house and all it's property. When Judah Dreghorn, the eldest of four brothers (3 surviving) dies in a freak accident, everything they know is challenged. The two surviving brothers, the widow of the previously dead one, and Mr. Henry Rathbone, a long-time family friend, come to tend to Judahs widow Antonia, and their son Joshua. While there they all try to figure out the mystery of how Judah died exactly, and for what reasons.

I found the battle of the property to be a little confusing sometimes, but by the end I knew how it worked and what was going on. I gave this 3 stars because I was truly surprised with the ending of this book. The mystery part of it is very clever, however the rest seemed to fall a little flat for me. Overall, I though it was decent read for the Christmas season, and though I don't highly recommend it, it's not a complete waste of time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DRob VINE VOICE on March 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In this second of her Christmas parables, Anne Perry chooses to focus on Henry Rathbone, a minor character in her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. The book is short and easy to read. The mystery itself is somewhat confusing-- the issue regarding the date of property deeds took my slow little mind a while to catch on, but by the end I understood everything. If you are looking for a happy ending, you won't find it with this book, but the ending is a surprise and is a good morality tale. I have a feeling that in real life, it wouldn't quite end as simply as Ms. Perry would have it, but then, it is fiction.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on April 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the second year Ms. Perry has taken one of the secondary characters from her main series and given them their own Christmas mystery novella, which is wonderful. It's a tradition I hope she continues. There is no one who creates a sense of time and place, as does she. The story contains a message of the true spirit of Christmas, wrapped in a very good mystery. If you're either a Perry fan or one who loves period mystery, I highly recommend it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Rowe Hill on April 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Scotland's Anne Perry writes an easy to read, meaningful story in A Christmas Visitor. Set in mid-19th century England, it surrounds the homecoming of the Dreghorn clan for the Christmas holidays and how they deal with the news of the death of Judah Dreghorn, which has been ruled an accident. As the Dreghorns pursue the events of the night of Judah's death, murder seems more likely than a fatal mishap. Issues of the past come to the fore and questions of honor in an honor-bound time take center stage. Family friend, Henry Rathbone, comes to spend the holiday and is instrumental in helping to seek out the answers to the prickly questions that arise about forgery, an error in judgement that sent a man to prison for eleven years, and murder. The story seems to me a wonderful parable, a lesson to be learned; a chance to make things right when making them right may deprive you of all you've come to love in the way of material wealth and property.

The book is easy to read. I read it, with minor interruptions, in about three hours. I am not well acquainted with Ms. Perry's work, though I certainly intend to become more so. This book would be a good one for families to read together and to then discuss the ramifications of its messages.

Carolyn Rowe Hill
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