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. From the Hardcover edition.
When murder ruins Christmas holidays in the Lake District, Henry Rathbone drops in from Perry's William Monk series to do some amateur sleuthing. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 26, 2004
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Excerpt from A Christmas Visitor by Anne Perry
"THERE, MR. RATHBONE, SIR, ARE YER RIGHT?" THE old man asked solicitously.
Henry Rathbone tucked the blanket around his legs where he sat in the pony trap, his luggage beside him. "Yes, thank you, Wiggins," he replied gratefully. The wind had a knife-edge to it, even here at the railway station in Penrith. Out on the six-mile road through the snow-crusted mountains down to Ullswater, it would get far worse. It was roughly the middle of December, and exactly the middle of the century.
Wiggins climbed up into the driver's seat and urged the horse forward. It must know its own way by now. It had come here most days when Judah Dreghorn was alive.
But Judah was dead now--and that was Henry's miserable reason for coming back to this wild and marvelous land he loved. Even the place names woke memories of days tramping up long hills, wiry grass under his feet, sweet wind in his face and views that stretched forever. He could see in his mind's eye the pale blue waters of Stickle Tarn looking over toward the summit of Pavey Ark; or the snow-streaked hills of Honister Pass. How many times had he and Judah climbed Scafell Pike to the roof of the world, and sat with their backs to the warm stone, eating bread and cheese and drinking rough red wine as if it had been the food of gods?