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A Christmas Guest (The Christmas Stories) Hardcover – Nov 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345483804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345483805
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 14.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,169,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

With twenty million books in print throughout the world, Anne Perry's bestselling novels are noted for their memorable characters, exploration of social issues and historical accuracy. Selected by The Times as one of the twentieth century's '100 Masters of Crime', Anne lives in Scotland.

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Review

Praise for the Christmas novels of Anne Perry A Christmas Journey "A Christmas Journey is that rarest of seasonal thrillers: one that exemplifies the message and spirit of the holiday. . . . This brief work has an almost Jamesian subtlety, and with its powerful message of responsibility and redemption-'We need both to forgive and to be forgiven'-it conveys a moral force in keeping with the season."-The Wall Street Journal "One of the best books to brighten the joyous season." -USA Today A Christmas Visitor "[Perry] has a flair for humor, and the names she chooses for her characters are so wondrous it's a pity to kill any of them off."-Richmond Times-Dispatch "A heartwarming family reunion . . . [Perry] creates excellent winter atmosphere in the wild, snowy lands of northern England."-The Arizona Republic --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The third of Anne Perry's delightful Christmas novellas, A CHRISTMAS GUEST depicts, with humour and compassion, one woman's discovery of the true meaning of Christmas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jane Austen Fan on 7 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed this book, much more than A Christmas Visitor which had a much heavier feel than A Christmas Guest. Anyone who has "met" Thomas and Charlotte Pitt in Anne Perry's Pitt series will have encountered Charlotte's bad-tempered and judgemental Grandmother before. In this story, Grandmother finds herself following in her granddaughter's footsteps and searching for the truth. Grandmother's irascible nature hides some painful and shameful secrets of her own, revealed in a previous book, and in this story she undergoes something of a catharsis, and by trying to "help" the dead woman and her relatives, finds new possibilities for her own future dealings with others that may lead to a better chance of happiness. Sorry if this seems garbled. Read the book and you'll see what I mean.
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By Serendipity Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I had imagined Anne Perry to be from the Catherine Cookson brigade, who I avoid like jellied eels. Alas I admit to be so wrong. Anne Perry writes a brilliant Victorian crime novella in the style of Agatha Christie. I really enjoyed reading this book and watching as the main character followed the clues to work out who committed the crime.

Mariah Ellison has been forced to spend Christmas with ex daughter in law and new husband, whilst her granddaughter goes to France for Christmas. She is not at all happy about the situation and makes herself the most inhospitable guest that she can be. Until another unexpected guest is forced upon the couple which changes everything. Mariah dislikes her straight away and only really begins to see what a wonderful person she was after she is found dead the following morning. Mariah is convinced that she was given some kind of poison and sets off to the house of her relatives who rejected her at Christmas to tell them the sad news and secretly find out who killed her.

Anne Perry draws upon the hidden lives of many Victorians as they try to keep their secrets away from scrutiny. Mariah herself suffered intensely during her marriage, but has never let anyone know the truth. It was not the way to create a scandal. Whilst searching for the killer and helping the family come to terms with their loss, she finds a way of coming to terms with her own past and finds herself mellowing with time.

From what I can gather Anne Perry uses a lot of the same characters in her other books. Mariah is the grandmother to Charlotte from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries which I might just have to investigate.
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By M. J. Bourne on 20 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hinted at bad things have turned Mariah Ellison into a cranky old woman who is put up with rather than liked by her relatives. With her usual hosts deciding to visit France for Christmas, the crotchety Mariah is dumped at her daughters. She is joined there by another exile from a family, Maude, a woman who has indecorously spent forty years abroad. In spite of herself, Mariah takes a shine to this stranger. When Maude is found dead, apparently of heart failure, Mariah suspects she was murdered. Is the answer to be found with the dead woman's family?

This is the latest in a series of detective novellas set around Christmas. You don't get a lot for your money - this is only about 30,000 words - but on the plus side what you do get is superb characterisation and excellent period feel. The snobbery, pretension and strait-laced rules of Victorian society are beautifully illustrated in a most clear and pleasing way. This is not my usual kind of historical novel, but I found this a real page-turner. Unfortunately, the actual resolution of the plot at the end is very disappointing, and Mariah's conversion to Christmas cheer doesn't convince. Still, there are worse ways to spend a holiday than reading this!
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By Lorraine on 25 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mariah Ellison, grandmother to Charlotte Pitt and Emily Radley, is forced to spend Christmas with their mother Caroline. The murder of another guest at Carolines forces Mariah to face up to things in her past that she has kept hidden and makes her a more pleasant person.
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