Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Challenge: Review- Silent Nights by Anne Perry

Another Christmas book for my challenge.  This one actually consisted of two separate 'novellas' each featuring one of Perry's secondary characters from her William Monk and Charlotte Pitt series.

The first, A Christmas Beginning, features Superintendant Runcorn from Perry's William Monk series.  We see Runcorn arriving on a bleak island off the coast of Wales to spend his Christmas holiday.  There he discovers the secret love of his life whom he met working a case  in London, and further discovers a dead body in the Church yard shortly after his arrival.  In very UN-Runcorn fashion, he treads delicately with the local constable as he helps solve the murder.  There was a completely unexpected ending (in the very last sentence of the story) that really blew me away.  I enjoyed getting to know Runcorn better--I've been a fan of the Monk series for years, and feel I know him better now that this case is finished.  It will be interesting to see if Perry takes these personality developments further in future books in the Monk series.

The second story, A Christmas Grace was a real stretch.  It has Emily Radley (sister of Charlotte Pitt- another of Anne Perry's series) spending her Christmas in very rural Ireland, nursing her dying aunt from whom the entire family has been estranged for years.  I found this story awkward, with the characters very cardboard, and the plot really contrived.  I had to force myself to finish it because frankly, it just wasn't very interesting...

I like Anne Perry's works, but the Christmas stories (I've read 3 now) seem to be quickies thrown together without a lot of thought. I'll try one more next year, but after that, we'll see............


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