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A New York Christmas


A New York Christmas

For fans of Anne Perry and her delightful Victorian Era novels, the Christmas holiday is not official until her new seasonal mystery is released. For the 11th straight year, readers will be pleased to know that they can add another Christmas-inspired mystery novel to their holiday wish list.

Perry is best known for her two recurring mystery series --- one involving Charlotte and Thomas Pitt and the other featuring William Monk. Over the course of her 11 prior Christmas mysteries, she has utilized both her mainstay characters and several peripheral protagonists to tell these seasonal stories.

A NEW YORK CHRISTMAS is no different as the central character is 23-year-old Jemima Pitt, Charlotte and Thomas’ daughter. Jemima is accompanying a female acquaintance of hers, Delphinia Cardew, to New York, where she is engaged to marry the well-to-do Brent Albright. This transatlantic crossing will mark the first Anne Perry holiday mystery to be set in the United States.

"This is a quick and meaningful read that surely will add some Christmas spirit and hope into your holiday season."

The main shadow looming over the upcoming nuptials is Maria Cardew, the outcast and estranged mother of Delphinia. Fear has overcome Delphinia and the Albrights that Maria may arrive and spoil their happy occasion. Jemima does not understand exactly what Maria did to be exiled from Delphinia's life --- but she is about to find out soon.

The year is 1904, and the United States is a fast-growing nation still trying to get over the Civil War that seems to be fresh in everyone's mind. This fact will come back to haunt the novel in unexpected ways. While Jemima and Delphinia are being shown around town by Harley Albright --- Brent's outgoing brother --- Jemima and Brent swear that they see Maria in the crowd.

Harley and Jemima plan to deal with Maria and are determined to find out where she is staying. They eventually track her down to an apartment house in midtown, and Jemima heads up to her room. Much to her surprise, she finds the woman dead in her own bed. Harley enters moments later and is equally shocked by the finding. He also begins to look at Jemima in a different way. Once the police arrive, led by a young officer named Patrick Flannery, they suspect foul play, and Jemima is directly in their crosshairs as the prime suspect.

How will Jemima, now seemingly alone in a strange country, convince Delphinia that she has nothing to do with Maria's death while at the same time trying to persuade the police to continue to investigate and locate the true murderer? Understanding that this is an Anne Perry novel will clue readers into the fact that nothing may be as it appears on the surface, and political and social values will definitely come into play.

A NEW YORK CHRISTMAS is not imbued with the typical splendor of the season. Rather, the fact that the holiday is looming in the background provides Jemima with the hope that everything will turn out all right, and she will be able to spend the holiday with family and friends instead of in prison as a murder suspect. This is a quick and meaningful read that surely will add some Christmas spirit and hope into your holiday season.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on December 11, 2014

A New York Christmas
by Anne Perry