A Christmas Visitor
by Anne Perry
Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 0345476700
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
A Christmas Visitor
Ballantine, Oct 2004, $16.95
Ten years had passed since the four Dreghorn brothers had been home together, but they were gathering to spend Christmas reunion in their Lake District family home. However, a tragedy occurred when one of the siblings Judah died when he slipped on wet rocks cracking his head. His distraught wife Antonia, mother of a nine year old, asks her Godfather Henry Rathbone to help her in an upcoming fight in which her late husband’s highly regarded moral reputation as an honest Justice of the Peace is at stake. Henry drops everything to assist Antonia.
Ashton Gower has recently accused Henry of being corrupt. Over a decade ago Peter Colgrave took Ashton to court insisting that the latter’s claim to ownership was based on forged documents. Henry examined the questionable deed and agreed with Peter. Gower went to prison for forgery while Colgrave sold the estate to Judah. Gower asserts he was the victim of a fraud between Ashton and Judah. Henry investigates Gower’s allegation, but also looks into Judah’s alleged accidental death as being too conveniently timed.
A CHRISTMAS VISITOR is a fabulous Victorian cozy that stars a delightful mathematician as a sleuth trying to learn what happened eleven years ago and what occurred a few days ago because he cares for his goddaughter. Rathbone, whose son Oliver is a recurring player in the Monk novels, is terrific as the lead. The support cast adds depth, but ironically mostly in providing insight into Judah, who Rathbone also knew quite well; thereby making the case more difficult because he has a positive frame of reference that is diagonally opposite that of Gower. Ms. Perry provides a wonderful Yuletide historical mystery.
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