Anne Perry’s A Christmas Homecoming is her annual gift to readers and a sweet one it is. If you are a fan of Perry, you will enjoy this Victorian-set tale with Charlotte Pitt’s mother as narrator. Caroline has married an actor seventeen years her junior and his troupe has been invited to gentry for the holidays, tasked with helping an honorable daughter put on her first play, a production based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula (then all the rage in London). With a wonderful atmosphere, fun plot, but coming-out-of-left field conclusion, A Christmas Homecoming is nevertheless a fun read for us Perry fans. If you’ve never read Anne Perry, start with another, Treason at Liasson Grove for example, and come to her Christmas novels later.
I picked up Paradise Walk by Mary Malloy at the library yesterday and I am loving it! A mystery set around The Canterbury Tales and a modern-day exploration of whether or not his Widow of Bath was based on a real weaver woman from the 14th century, and also involving the bones of Saint Thomas Beckett, Paradise Walk is a delight for many reasons, just one of which is Malloy’s fun details about Christmas posset (a disgusting sounding drink that her characters insist is delicious), Christmas pudding, and the Yule Log.
Another good Christmassy mystery is Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle.
And don’t forget, for ghosts and mysteries and Christmas, no one is better than Charles Dickens. I reread the perfect A Christmas Carol ever year, but I love all of his many other Christmas tales as well.