A Christmas Guest
I don’t usually read mysteries, but Anne Perry’s, A Christmas Guest caught my eye on display at the library this Christmas. I enjoy period novels so I read the inside flap to see what it was about. What struck me right away is the main character, Mariah Ellison, who is described as a “vinegar-tongued Grandmamma”. She has been foisted upon her uncultured relatives, Caroline and Joshua Pitt, for Christmas and is determined to have a miserable time during her stay in the Romney Marshes.
When Maude Barrington is also foisted upon on the Pitt’s good nature, Grandmamma doesn’t fully appreciate their relationship until Maude turns up dead. Suspecting foul play, Grandmamma takes it upon herself to play detective.
As the story unfolds we come to understand why Grandmamma is such a cranky old woman. As a writer, it is a reminder to me of the importance of character development, as well as the importance of loving all your characters, even the cranky ones.
Anne Perry has done a wonderful job setting this story during the Victorian era. We are treated to details of a Victorian Christmas, even as Grandmamma solves the mystery of Maude’s death and uncovers family secrets.
I am so glad I signed this book out and plan to read more in Anne Perry’s Christmas series.