Christmas Stories is a series of novellas written by Anne Perry. Anne Perry is a bestselling author best known for works like the William Monk Series and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt books.
Order of Christmas Stories Series
|1||A Christmas Journey||2003|
|2||A Christmas Visitor||2004|
|3||A Christmas Guest||2004|
|4||A Christmas Secret||2006|
|5||A Christmas Beginning||2007|
|6||A Christmas Grace||2008|
|7||A Christmas Promise||2009|
|8||A Christmas Odyssey||2010|
|9||A Christmas Homecoming||2011|
|10||A Christmas Garland||2012|
|11||A Christmas Hope||2013|
|12||A New York Christmas||2014|
|13||A Christmas Escape||2015|
|14||A Christmas Message||2016|
The Christmas Stories novellas are an interesting creation. They are basically small books that use characters from both the Monk and Thomas Pitt series. Rather than a recurring set of protagonists, Anne Perry instead takes supporting characters from her Pitt and Monk novels and places them in unique situations.
The characters are forced to either put their pre-existing sleuthing skills to good use or learn some much needed sleuthing skills to resolve a problem emerging around Christmas, typically a heinous crime for which only Anne’s chosen hero is well equipped to solve.
Anne’s approach to writing the Christmas Stories novellas has been welcomed by most of her fans because she takes characters that play minor role in her other books and then puts them in the driving seat, making them the protagonists of their own story and using the opportunity to either develop them or unveil unknown facets of their lives.
The novellas have allowed Anne Perry’s mystery world to grow, giving more context to characters some readers have probably never given much thought to.
It all began with a Christmas Journey, the first book in the Christmas Stories novellas which was published in 2003 and featured Lady Vespasia Cumming from the Thomas Pitt series.
A Christmas Visitor followed in 2004, this time throwing Mathematician and Inventor Henry Rathbone from the William Monk series into the limelight. Since then, the Christmas Story novellas have become commonplace in Anne Perry’s every expanding world.
Best Christmas Stories Books
The Christmas Stories Novellas have most been a hit, drawing attention from readers that are curious to see Anne Perry’s worlds expand, with some of the best titles in the Christmas Stories series including the following:
A Christmas Journey: A winter Chill has enveloped the Berkshire countryside. It is Christmas time and everyone gathered at Applecross is looking forward to a delicious weekend filled with intrigue and some passionate romance, complemented by mistletoe, candlelight, and roaring fires.
Misfortune is the furthest thing from the minds of the well-born guests in attendance. Even Vespasia Cumming-Gould, a clever aristocrat, and budding sleuth is completely caught off-guard by the death of a young woman, whose apparent suicide elicits shock and awe.
Things take an even more interesting turn when another woman is held partly responsible for the shocking events and ostracized. Gwendolen Kilmuir, determined to expiate her guilt, makes for the Scottish Highlands in the hopes of speaking to the dead girl’s mother and bringing her back for the funeral.
Vespasia accompanies Gwendolen, the journey giving her insight into the victim and the forces that ultimately forced her hand.
A Christmas Journey is effective in its attempts at exploring the snobbier aspects of aristocratic life in Victorian England. Concepts like the Expatiation of a crime prove curious and intriguing, though this book isn’t long enough to provide readers intimate insight into Anne Perry’s world, especially the emotions surrounding the dead girl and those who seemingly drove her to commit suicide.
A Christmas Secret: Christmas holds no allure for Mariah Ellison, the cantankerous Grandmama from the Thomas Pitt Series. Some unexpected Christmas vacation plans on the part of the Pitts drive Ellison to ran away to the provincial Romney Marshes of Caroline and Joshua Fielding, parents to her daughter.
There Ellison meets Maude Barrington, cousin to Joshua, who is friendly enough but also displays some mannerisms and impropriety that push Grandmama too far. Things take a curious turn when Maude fails to wake up and Ellison begins to smell foul play.
While this book seemingly places Ellison in a situation to solve a murder, Anne Perry uses the opportunity to reveal to Grandmama some unexpected truths about herself.
Other Book Series You May Like
“Gaslight Mystery Series”: This is a mystery series written by Edgar Award-nominated author Victoria Thompson. Beginning in 1999, the series follows Sarah Brandt, a midwife, and Frank Malloy, a Police Detective. Sarah fell on hard times when she was cast aside by her wealthy family for marrying someone below her station. The widow now works with Frank to solve murders even while making a living as a midwife.
The “Maisie Dobbs” books are written by Jacqueline Winspear. The books, which began in 2003, follow Maisie Dobbs, a psychologist living in Post WWI London who began life as a maid in a wealthy family’s household before becoming a nurse in the war.
Maisie eventually returns to London and opens a detective agency.