Among my Christmas books is one book with two mysteries. Anne Perry’s Christmas Mysteries includes “A Christmas Guest” and “A Christmas Secret”. One thing I like about Anne Perry’s writing is that she deals in character and not just in plot. This concept is heightened in these two short novels.
Yes, there are “mysteries” in both. In finding the answers, however, those involved find out much more about themselves and the people around them then just their knack for solving a mystery.
“A Christmas Guest” is about Grandmama who is shuffled off from the warmth and comfort of her London family to a daughter and son-in-law (who, heaven help us, is an actor!) who are spending Christmas in the wilds of the English coast. Into this home comes another unexpected and shuffled off guest who has the audacity to die after only two days in the house. Might it be murder? Much to her own dismay and amazement, Grandmama sets out to bring justice to this woman she was determined to despise and whom instead she found herself admiring.
“A Christmas Secret” is the story of a Vicar who, with his lovely wife, is sent to fill in over Christmas for another priest who had to go out of town suddenly. Or did he? And when the Vicar’s wife finds the vacationing Vicar's body in the basement, she is determined to learn what happened. Again as she and her husband learn about the parish, now theirs, they learn that every small town and even smaller church have secrets they don’t want even their Vicar to know.
Perry does not shy from emotions and (very pleasing to me) the faith of the Vicar, his wife and the people of their church. These are real people, struggling with their own lives and insights into themselves. The mystery is there to be solved but takes second place to the mysteries of the human heart. Both are very gentle reading for the Christmas season. Enjoy ~ and blessed be on your journey of grace.