Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
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.
After 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.
Orphans 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.
The 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.
Genre: Historical Mysteries, Historical Mystery, Historical British Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Print Length: 192 pages
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: A Christmas Legacy [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
Anne 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