A Christmas Garland: A Novel

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“An annual treat,” declared The Wall Street Journal of Anne Perry’s Victorian-era holiday mysteries. Now she continues this magnificent tradition with A Christmas Garland, a yuletide tale set in exotic India. This time the mistress of mystery tells the story of a terrible crime that sets the stage for another: accusing an innocent man of murder.
 
The year is 1857, soon after the violent Siege of Cawnpore, with India in the midst of rebellion. In the British garrison, a guard is killed and an Indian prisoner escapes, which leads to yet more British deaths. Cries for revenge are overwhelming. Despite no witnesses and no evidence against him, a luckless British medical orderly named John Tallis is arrested as an accomplice simply because he was the only soldier unaccounted for when these baffling crimes were committed.
 
Though chosen to defend Tallis, young Lieutenant Victor Narraway is not encouraged to try very hard. Narraway’s superiors merely want a show trial. But inspired by a soldier’s widow and her children, and by his own stubborn faith in justice, Narraway searches for the truth. In an alien world haunted by memories of massacre, he is the accused man’s only hope.
 
The trial of John Tallis equals the white-knuckle best of Anne Perry’s breathtaking courtroom dramas. And thanks to a simple Christmas garland and some brilliant detective work, Narraway perseveres against appalling odds, learning how to find hope within himself—and turn the darkest hour into one full of joy and light.
 
PRAISE FOR THE CHRISTMAS NOVELS OF ANNE PERRY
 
A Christmas Homecoming
 
“Could have been devised by Agatha Christie . . . [Perry is] a modern master.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
“Vastly entertaining . . . uplifting and thought-provoking by turns.”—The Star-Ledger
 
A Christmas Odyssey
 
“[Perry] writes with detail that invades the senses.”—Lincoln Journal Star
 
A Christmas Promise
 
“Poignant . . . should be on the Christmas stocking list of anyone who likes a sniffle of nostalgia.”—The Washington Times
 
A Christmas Grace
 
“[A] heartwarming, if crime-tinged, complement to the holiday season.”—Booklist
 
A Christmas Beginning
 
“Intriguing . . . Perry’s use of period detail is, as always, strong and evocative.”—The Seattle Times
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More by Anne Perry

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In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre–World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her dead lover’s final, world-shattering message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power.

On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, twenty-eight-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister, Margot, have finally been able to move on from the lasting trauma of the Great War, in which the newly married Margot lost her husband and the sisters their beloved brother. Touring with her camera in hand, Elena has found new inspiration in the striking Italian landscape, and she’s met an equally striking man named Ian. When Ian has to leave unexpectedly, Elena—usually the more practical of the sisters—finds she’s not ready to part from him, and the two share a spontaneous train trip home to England. But a shocking sequence of events disrupts their itinerary, forcing Elena to personally deliver a message to Berlin on Ian’s behalf, one that could change the fate of Europe.

Back home, Elena’s diplomat father and her secretive grandfather—once head of MI6, unbeknownst to his family—are involved in their own international machinations. Worried when Elena still hasn’t returned from Italy, her grandfather starts to connect the dots between her change in plans and an incident in Berlin, where Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich are on the rise. It seems the message Elena delivered has forced her into a dangerous predicament, and her grandfather’s old contacts from MI6 may be the only people who can get her out alive—if Elena can tell the difference between her allies and her enemies.

New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry merges family secrets with suspense on the world stage, as darkness bubbles under the surface of a Europe on the brink of change. In these complicated times, Elena emerges as a strong new heroine who learns quickly that when nothing is certain, she can rely only on herself.
3.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Oct 30, 2012
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780345535979
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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’Tis the season of giving—and with this wonderful book, New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry shares a brand-new holiday mystery filled with bygone relationships and hidden secrets.

As Charlotte Pitt’s grandmother Mariah Ellison finds herself investigating a long-unsolved slaying, it becomes clear that grappling with intrigue and foul play runs in the family. A festive Christmas package left on Mariah’s doorstep contains an ominous present, sparking memories of a twenty-year-old murder that shattered her friendship with the victim’s widow. Though the gift is a bitter reminder of that tragic time, in the spirit of the season Mariah travels to Surrey in hopes of reconciling with her estranged friend and solving the crime that drove them apart. 

On arrival, Mariah joins forces with the murdered man’s grandson, a sleuth in his own right who’s discovered promising evidence as well as a suspect. But Surrey’s picturesque hills conceal dark doings and shocking revelations that could make the holiday anything but calm and bright.

Decked with intrigue and trimmed with Yuletide spirit, A Christmas Return is a holiday treat wrapped in the glorious storytelling talents of the reigning master of Victorian mystery.

Praise for A Christmas Return

“This compact little gem, [Anne] Perry’s fifteenth Christmas novella, demonstrates her proficiency in writing Victorian-set mysteries. . . . The atmosphere of close-knit village life in the 1890s feels pitch-perfect, from the homeliness of residents’ holiday decor to the gossip that spreads like a dreadful stain. The characterization is superb, and the work’s short length is perfect for the material. The spirit of the Christmas season is cleverly evoked through the underlying theme that it’s never too late for reconciliations and second chances.”—Historical Novels Review (Editors’ Choice)
 
“Perry’s many fans will enjoy another winning Victorian-era mystery set during the holidays.”—Library Journal
 
“Exceptional . . . Perry unobtrusively incorporates insights about the true meaning of the season into the engrossing plot.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Anne Perry has dazzled readers for decades with her gripping Victorian novels and has won new fans with her acclaimed World War I series. Perry’s thrilling Christmas novels, recent additions to her unique repertoire, are set in the most joyous season of the year.

In A Christmas Guest, Mariah Ellison, better known as the vinegar-tongued Grandmama from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, makes a stunning appearance in a bracing story full of devious delight . . . and certain death.
For Grandmama Ellison, Christmas is no reason to celebrate. And when her daughter and son-in-law plan a Christmas vacation to Paris sans hers truly, the cantankerous Grandmama is forced to stay elsewhere–and travels to the chilly, windswept Romney Marshes to spend the holiday with Charlotte Pitt’s parents, Caroline and Joshua Fielding.

Grandmama is immediately miserable. For starters, Christmas with the Fieldings is nothing like the cultured life to which she’s accustomed, and the Romney Marshes are unbearably provincial. When Joshua’s cousin Maude Barrington arrives, Grandmama is at her wit’s end. Although Maude is well traveled and friendly, Grandmama thinks she’s improper and strange. But when Maude is found lifeless in bed, Grandmama senses foul play and takes it upon herself to assume the role of amateur detective–uncovering not only the truth about Maude Barrington but some startling truths about herself as well.

Enlivened with bold characters and vivid, witty writing, A Christmas Guest is yet another holiday novella with the perfect combination of mystery and murder mixed with a generous helping of yuletide cheer.
Among the brilliant array of Anne Perry’s New York Times bestselling novels, her Christmas stories occupy perhaps the warmest spot in the hearts of readers. Each one is a masterpiece of suspense; each is alight with the true holiday spirit.

In A Christmas Homecoming, a familiar face from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels—Charlotte’s mother, Caroline—travels with her young husband, Joshua Fielding, and his theatrical troupe to Whitby, the Yorkshire fishing village where Dracula the vampire first touched English soil in the sensational novel named after him. Joshua has arranged to produce a stage adaptation of Dracula by the daughter of Whitby millionaire Charles Netheridge during the Christmas holiday, but after the disastrous first read-through of her amateurish script, only the fact that the company is depending on Netheridge’s financial backing for their spring tour keeps them at work. 

As tempers flare and wind and snow swirl around Netheridge’s lonely hilltop mansion, a black-cloaked stranger emerges from the storm—an eerily opportune arrival, for this enigmatic figure, one Anton Ballin, turns out to be a theatrical genius. At the same time, a brooding evil makes itself felt. Instead of the theatrical triumph that Netheridge desired for his daughter, there is murder—shocking and terrifying.

Anne Perry’s ninth Christmas novel keeps us poised on a razor’s edge of suspense, hypnotized by a story in which the heartwarming power of goodness is challenged by the seductive power of inner darkness. In the end, A Christmas Homecoming lifts the spirit and rejoices the heart.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Anne Perry’s superb New York Times bestselling novels set in the glorious reign of Victoria are loved by readers far and wide. Now, with this new Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery, Perry returns us to that charmed era, when wealth and power rule—but where, alas, poisonous corruption lies coiled in the heart of the empire.
 
As commander of the powerful Special Branch, Thomas Pitt has the job of keeping Britain safe from spies and traitors. So there’s no obvious reason why he is suddenly ordered to investigate two minor incidents: the blood, hair, and shards of glass discovered outside the home of naval weapons expert Dudley Kynaston, and the simultaneous disappearance of Mrs. Kynaston’s beautiful lady’s maid.
 
But weeks later, when the mutilated body of an unidentified young woman is found near Kynaston’s home, Pitt realizes that this is no ordinary police investigation. Far from it. Is Kynaston—one of Britain’s most valuable scientists—leading a double life? Is Pitt saddled with a conspiracy so devilishly clever that it will ruin him?
 
A baffled Pitt has never needed his friends more desperately, including his indomitable wife, Charlotte; his canny old colleague Victor Narraway; and his personal drawing-room spy, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould. But even these allies may not be able to save Pitt—or Britain.   
 
Only Anne Perry could have created the tense unfolding of plot and counterplot, love and betrayal, scandal and murder that follows. Death on Blackheath is rich with fascinating characters, authentic period flavor, knife’s-edge suspense, and a haunting, unforgettable denouement.

Praise for Death on Blackheath
 
“There’s just no stopping Anne Perry. . . . [Her] Victorian mysteries never disappoint.”—Bookreporter
 
“Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining . . . The period detail is beautifully done, and realistic characters and tense action are woven seamlessly together.”—Historical Novels Review
 
“What distinguishes [Anne] Perry’s work is her clean, penetrating style and her contemporary take on antique, prewar society.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
Praise for Anne Perry’s most recent Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels
 
Midnight at Marble Arch
 
“Sweeping and scandalous . . . Perry has perfected a delicate touch.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Perry is a master at illuminating the wrongs of the Victorian age.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
Dorchester Terrace
 
“The always clever Anne Perry infuses Dorchester Terrace with the right amount of intrigue and complex relationships that have made this prolific series one of the finest in modern mystery fiction.”—Bookreporter
 
Treason at Lisson Grove
 
“Perry has always done her historical homework on the darker elements of the British ruling class, and she has outdone herself this time.”—The Washington Times
 
Buckingham Palace Gardens
 
“An intricate plot about a murder at the palace [with] an irresistibly appealing Upstairs, Downstairs perspective . . . a fine introduction to Perry’s alluring world of Victorian crime and intrigue.”—The New York Times Book Review
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