For many readers, the countdown to Christmas wouldn’t be complete without bestselling author Anne Perry’s annual Yuletide treat. A Christmas Hope marks the 11th novel in her holiday series of books, which have been called winter beach reads.
Claudine Burroughs finds no joy in her life of privilege and dreads the holiday season in Victorian London. She’s in a loveless marriage to a “coldly ambitious” man and isn’t looking forward to all the parties and social obligations her wealth and class require. Her one joy is her charity work at a women’s clinic, but her husband doesn’t approve.
When a young woman, who’s discovered to be a prostitute, is murdered at a gala, Dai Tregarron, a charming poet, is accused. Claudine isn’t so sure he’s the killer (she suspects an upper-class culprit) and is compelled to search for the truth, enlisting the help of Squeaky Robinson, the clinic’s bookkeeper, to prove Dai’s innocence. And help “a lonely woman’s search for meaning in her life” during the season of miracles.
— Celeste Williams
A CHRISTMAS HOPE
By Anne Perry
Ballantine Books, $18