A Christmas Legacy: A Novel by Anne Perry – #BookReview – Historical Mystery

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Thomas and Charlotte Pitt’s former maid takes a new job as Christmas approaches—but not everyone in the household may survive the holidays in this tension-filled novel from bestselling author Anne Perry.

A Christmas Legacy by Anne PerryAfter leaving her position with Charlotte and Thomas Pitt to get married, Gracie thought her days as a maid were behind her. But when her good friend’s daughter, Millie, turns up on her doorstep just before the holidays, frantic because things are going missing from the kitchen in the household she serves, Gracie knows she has to find out what is happening. Millie, whose mother died years before, can’t risk being accused of theft and getting thrown out on the street, with no character references for a new position.

So Gracie takes on Millie’s job herself, claiming Millie is sick and needs a few days to recuperate. At first, it seems that all is normal in the household, even if the couple’s elderly granny keeps entirely to her bedroom upstairs. But Gracie begins to realize that Granny is suffering from neglect—and rather than helping her, the husband and wife have decided she isn’t dying fast enough.

His Review:

A Christmas Legacy by Anne PerryOrphans and runaways lived a very difficult life in big cities at the turn of the century. Either they are placed in strict government-run children’s homes or are left to fend for themselves on the streets. Many freeze to death or die of malnutrition. The very wealthy take them in and provide room and board and little if any compensation. They are given specific jobs and are expected always to be available.

A young lady knocks on Gracie Tallman’s door and asks for help. She is sick with a cold and cannot accomplish her work. Gracie replaces her and helps in the job while she recuperates. Without a reference from another family or maintaining her job, however, all will be lost. I found the life in the city to be extremely eye opening. How could people have such little regard for the health of young orphaned children?

Every aspect of life in the rich person’s manor is closely monitored by the wife of the landlord. How dare the people living in livery expect more than a warm bed and a paltry diet! The offspring of the very wealthy expect everyone to provide all luxuries for them without recompense or even a simple thank you. Just being allowed to live in the luxury in which they are born should command total loyalty.

CE WilliamsThe end result of Ms. Perry’s writing is a glimpse into a totally different world of excess and poverty, the entitled and their servants. Even an older person may be hidden away while the family hopes for a quick death to speed the execution of the will and acquisition of the properties. The heirs themselves then quickly become objects of disdain and hate. Currently on pre-order. 5 stars – CE Williams

It’s been some time since we’ve read an Anne Perry book. Back in 2017, I enjoyed An Echo of Murder. This time I thought the CE might enjoy the historical aspect of her writing style. He did. We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Historical Mystery, Historical British Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: ‎ 059315939X
ASIN: B08VSKGJG3
Print Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: A Christmas Legacy [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Add to GoodreadsAnne Perry - AuthorAnne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Assassin and The Shifting Tide, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including The Cater Street Hangman, Calandar Square, Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as six holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Grace. Anne Perry lives in Scotland.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Happy Autumn Weekend to you from Rosepoint Publishing

The White Feather Killer by R N Morris – a #BookReview

The White Feather Killer by R N MorrisTitle: The White Feather Killer (A Silas Quinn Mystery Book 5) by R N Morris

Genre: Historical Mysteries, World War I Historical Fiction

Publisher: Severn House Publishers

  • ISBN-10:0727888854
  • ISBN-13:978-0727888853
  • ASIN: B07QFSCCNQ

 Print Length: 288 pages

Publication Date: June 1, 2019

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: The White Feather Killer

Book Blurb:

London, 1914. The declaration of war with Germany has made the capital a dark, uncertain place, rife with fear and suspicion. As the pressure on young men to enlist grows stronger, Pastor Cardew holds a rally at his church. Unfortunately, it ends in humiliation for Felix Simpkins when he receives a dreaded white feather – the ultimate sign of cowardice.

Meanwhile, DI Silas Quinn returns to New Scotland Yard after his recent sick leave to find the Special Crimes Department has been closed and his team absorbed into CID. But when a body is discovered in Wormwood Scrubs the day after Cardew’s rally, a white feather placed in its mouth, Quinn finds himself unable to take a back seat in the investigation. Was the murderer really a foreign spy . . . or someone closer to home?

The White Feather Killer by R N MorrisMy Review:

The declaration of war changes London, the country, and the people. The mood has turned dark, distrusting, and suddenly things change between those born in the country and those who immigrated. Men are flocking to enlist and those who do not are beginning to be looked on as cowards (or worse). Many receive the “white feather,” the ultimate, shameful sign that marks the man.

DI Silas Quinn has returned to New Scotland Yard after a sick leave. His Special Crimes Unit has been closed and his former team are now members of the CID, where he’ll also report in a new capacity. When a young girl is discovered murdered and left with a white feather in her mouth, it has to be concluded that she bestowed the feather to a man who took brutal umbrage. But the new head of CID discounts it and decides it must have been a German spy.

In a rather sluggish start, it’s oft-repeated “there’s a war on” and that seems to be the mantra throughout, not to be forgotten that things have changed. There’s a war on. There are a number of characters to be introduced, not the least of which the protagonist, who is slow to develop. There are veiled references to Quinn being in the boobie hatch and that seems to color the relationships of his former co-workers and friends.

So here’s the thing: Guess I didn’t realize this would be on the dark side, almost historical noir in a police setting. It is 1914, so forms of speech would be different and the author stilts the dialogue somewhat to reflect the times. Support characters are fleshed out in rather depressing descriptions and Quinn’s former situation tends to haunt him. The author has a rather unique style of writing that tends to the verbose and he frequently ran to a fascinating turn of phrase. (“…the silent scream of her thoughts…”) Also enjoyed learning some new words, i.e., Antinomianism – that the true believer can do no wrong. Wha???

I enjoyed the easy affectionate familiarity with characters who shared history, the way the dialogue swung to nicknames, giving a light point every now and then to often contentious dialogue. There were red herrings that introduced more possibilities and all along you had your own suspicions and were just waiting for the evidence to be presented.

Then, the final twist. YES! I suspected all along! But in the meantime, a couple even darker incidents, one particularly ugly one that totally aggravated me and wondered why it had to be included. Okay, there was a war on, guess it might have been understandable.

This is book five of the series and doesn’t particularly develop the characters except perhaps for Quinn, but then I had real difficulty with him and couldn’t invest. Possibly would have understood him better had this not been my introduction to the series and the author. The conclusion rolled in on not one, but several reveals, all quietly answering any questions left–and the way it ended? Okay, Interesting… Justice will be done, one way or the other.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review and these are my own opinions. Recommended for those who enjoy a dark, historic police procedural with a damaged protagonist.

+Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Three-point Five of Five Stars Three point Five of Five Stars

R N Morris - authorThe Author (from Goodreads): Roger N Morris (born 1960 in Manchester) is an English writer and advertising copywriter. His short fiction has been published in a number of mainstream, genre, and literary publications. One of his short stories, “The Devil’s Drum”, appeared in the horror anthology Darkness Rising, and was subsequently made into an opera performed by the Solaris Musical Theatre Company in the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank.

©2019 V Williams

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