22 December 2009


by Anne Perry

Dominic Corde, once the brother-in-law of Charlotte Ellison Pitt, is now a curate with a loving wife, Clarice, working in a dreary parish with an overbearing superior. When he is offered a temporary job at a church in a small village over the Christmas holidays, he jumps at the chance. But while he worries about what he can say to a congregation whose minister seems almost perfect, Clarice begins to suspect that there is something strange about the Reverend Wynter's holiday after she discovers that he has left his personal Bible—as well as other objects—behind, items he would have certainly taken on a holiday.

This was more like what I was expecting from an Anne Perry Christmas mystery, unlike A Christmas Grace: a compelling setting, a complex and interesting mystery, and Christmas as the background. Plus Perry's forté for description comes to the forefront: I could almost see the homey parsonage and feel the stinging cold of the snow and winter wind. The village characters are also an interesting lot as their mysteries are revealed, especially the sexton who suddenly gave up his job. All in all a satisfying short cozy.

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