Welcome aboard, train wreck
It’s December. Christmas is barreling down on us faster than my husband on homemade fudge. (OK, me too.) This week has been a little crazy in the Baldwin homestead. I’ve been working from home to help my mother in law who hurt her back. Like unable to walk without assistance kind of hurt. It’s also invoicing week for work and two major projects were given to me with the highest priority. Very little reading has occurred even in audiobook. But never fear. I’m going to pull out one of my favorite tricks to get some books in this month.
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So, naturally, I had to go with Christmas themed books. And by the luck of all, I happened to have eight Christmas themed cozy mysteries available to me through my Audible library.
Not gonna lie. Most of my books are audiobooks. And Audible has been such a huge help with that. It’s how I did my 31 in 31 horror book reading challenge for October. If you’ve been wanting to try it, now is a great time.
I found Anne Perry’s Christmas themed mystery series. And I have the first eight. But wait, there’s more. They’re all only about four hours long. That’s perfect for me. Even if I don’t finish a book at work, I can still listen while walking Lucy or working on my social media or blog planning. Now, on to the list. All descriptions are from the Amazon listings.
A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry
Attending the party and taking a leading role in the ensuing investigation is one of the most beloved characters from Anne Perry’s Thomas Pitt series: Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould. Lady Vespasia’s friend Isobel has made a cruel remark about Gwendolen Kilmuir on the night Gwendolen was meant to have become engaged to the eligible Bertie Rosythe. Gwendolen flees the room, and the next morning her body is found in the lake in the gardens of the estate. It appears she has jumped from the bridge. The host, Omegus Jones and Vespasia decide to find who or what might have led Gwendolen to resort to such an extreme measure. They vow to make the guilty party seek forgiveness and expiation through the task of taking a sealed letter written by Gwendolen before her death to her mother up in the north of Scotland. The journey will be both physically and emotionally arduous but will bring answers to some unexpected and profound questions.
A Christmas Visitor (The Christmas Stories) by Anne Perry
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.
A Christmas Guest: A Novel (The Christmas Stories) by Anne Perry
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.
A Christmas Secret: A Novel (The Christmas Stories) by Anne Perry
Just in time for the holidays, Anne Perry gives her fans a marvelous gift: a new yuletide yarn full of light celebration and dark mischief.
Dominic Corde is thrilled to “fill the robe” as substitute vicar in the village of Cottisham, while the Reverend Wynter is away on a three-week Christmas holiday. Glad to escape his dreary London flat and a less-than-satisfying job as church curate, Dominic and his beloved wife, Clarice, set off for what they hope will be a lovely winter getaway.
Upon arrival, in the midst of a frigid, exceptionally snowy season, Dominic and Clarice are welcomed by warm, hospitable neighbors and enchanted by the cozy, inviting vicarage. Everything seems almost too perfect. Dominic’s only concern is how he will be received by the congregation, who hold the Reverend Wynter in such high regard. But as Clarice soon discovers, she and Dominic have much more dire matters to worry about. It turns out that the Reverend Wynter isn’t on holiday at all–and that something very sinister has transpired.
As a blizzard leaves Cottisham treacherously snowbound and the isolated village swirls with unsavory secrets, Dominic and Clarice suddenly find themselves in deadly danger.
A Christmas Beginning: A Novel (The Christmas Stories) by Anne Perry
Whatever the season, a new novel by bestselling author Anne Perry is always a wonderful gift, but her holiday novels are particularly special treats, and A Christmas Beginning is a deeply felt story of passion and redemption.
Superintendent Runcorn of Scotland Yard is spending Christmas on the wild and beautiful island of Anglesey off the north coast of Wales. On one of his solitary strolls, the lonely bachelor stumbles upon a lifeless body in the village churchyard. The unfortunate victim is quickly identified as Olivia Costain, the local vicar’s younger sister.
In life, Olivia had been a free spirit, full of charm and grace. For Runcorn, she is a haunting reminder of Melisande Ewart, the one woman he’s never been able to forget. Everyone on Anglesey is quick to insist that only a stranger to the island could have committed the heinous crime. But the evidence proves otherwise, and the unpopular work of discovering who among Olivia’s friends and neighbors–and numerous eligible suitors–is a ruthless killer falls to Runcorn. A plebian outsider in the drawing rooms of the snobbish local gentry, Runcorn never dreams that the key that will unlock the secrets of Olivia’s life and death may also, miraculously, open the door to a new future for himself.
A Christmas Grace: A Novel Hardcover by Anne Perry
When the season brings a chill, nothing warms the heart or elevates the spirits like a new novel by Anne Perry, whom the Chicago Sun-Times calls “the most adroit sleight-of-hand practitioner since Agatha Christe.” Perry’s gifts are on full display in A Christmas Grace–a hope-filled tale of forgiveness that is rich with mystery and intrigue.
With Christmas just around the corner, Thomas Pitt’s sister-in-law, Emily Radley, is suddenly called from London to be with her dying aunt. Leaving her husband and two children behind, Emily makes the long journey to an all-but-forgotten town in the county of Connemara, on the western coast of Ireland. She soon discovers that a tragic legacy haunts the once closeknit community.
Violent storms ravage the coast and keep alive painful memories of an unsolved murder and unsettling fears that a killer may still live among the residents of the lonely Irish town. Determined to lighten her aunt’s heart and help the troubled community, Emily sets out to unmask the culprit. When a lone shipwreck survivor washes up onshore, he brings with him not only the key to solving the terrible crime but the opportunity for the townspeople to make peace with the past–and with one another.
A Christmas Promise: A Novel Hardcover by Anne Perry
Anne Perry’s Victorian Christmas novels have attracted as many faithful readers as her two New York Times bestselling series featuring investigators Thomas Pitt and William Monk. A Christmas Promise is the seventh in Perry’s holiday series, and it will surely bring joy to this special season.
Three days before Christmas, in the freezing slums of London’s East End, thirteen-year-old Gracie Phipps encounters Minnie Maude Mudway, who is only eight, alone, and determined to find her friend Charlie.
However Charlie is no ordinary companion: He is a donkey who belonged to Minnie Maude’s Uncle Alf. Gracie is shocked to learn that only the day before, someone brutally murdered Uncle Alf and made off with his rag-and-bones cart and the beloved beast who pulled it. Now, come hell or high water, Minnie Maude means to rescue Charlie–and Gracie decides to help. But the path that Uncle Alf had taken to his death was not his regular route, and in his cart were not just the usual bits of worn silver and china but also, the children are told, a dazzling golden box. What its contents may have been no one can say, for, like Charlie and the cart, it too has vanished.
Uncertain where their four-legged friend may be, the children are drawn into an adult world far beyond their innocent imaginings. And in a shop gleaming with beautiful objects, they recruit an unexpected ally: Mr. Balthasar, who warns them that the shining prize may be a Pandora’s box of evil.
Set in the Victorian world where Anne Perry reigns supreme, A Christmas Promise culminates in a radiant finale that will remain with you long after the final page is turned.
A Christmas Odyssey: A Novel by Anne Perry
In her beloved Christmas novels, Anne Perry brings readers both the authentic Victorian charm and the nail-biting suspense that have made her Thomas Pitt and William Monk tales bestsellers for a generation. Though rife with intrigue, these special seasonal stories beam with the blessed light of the holiday.
Ten days before Christmas, as an icy wind cuts through London, wealthy James Wentworth feels not joy but grief. His reckless son, Lucien, has been lured into a deadly world of drugs and wild passion. Wentworth’s only hope, he believes, is his old friend Henry Rathbone, who volunteers to search for the prodigal son. Rathbone knows nothing of the sensation-obsessed underworld where Lucien now dwells, but he acquires two unexpected new companions who do: Squeaky Robinson, a reformed brothel-keeper who now works in Hester Monk’s medical clinic, and Crow, a mysterious slum doctor who turns no one away, however undeserving.
Slowly this odd trio gathers clues—about Lucien’s mad infatuation with a beautiful woman named Sadie, and about Shadwell, the ruthless man who owns her and, like the Devil, never lets go of one of his own. Rathbone, Squeaky, and Crow even welcome into their little band a most valuable recruit: young Bessie, a teenager whose courage holds fast even in the depths of the slum. And so they set forth on their odyssey into London’s dark streets, on a mission whose outcome they cannot begin to guess.
Anne Perry’s novels are supreme masterpieces of suspense, and A Christmas Odyssey ranks with the very best. The days leading up to Christmas may prove to be fraught with challenges, but ’tis the season for comfort and joy and miracles.
There you have it. I think it’s doable to go through these. And it’ll give a chance to see if I like historical fiction.
What’s on your TBR for this month? Let me know in the comments. Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.
I hate the cold. I hate being cold. And then I saw this and I knew it was made for me. Like I need one for home and work.
To help you get through your TBR, I’m giving you this printable bookmark. Print it on cardstock and laminate it to make it last longer. Hope you enjoy.