Reviewed December 17, 2009.
Ballantine Books, New York, 2009. 193 pages.
There's nothing like a cozy Christmas murder mystery to put me in the mood for the holiday!
Seriously, I've come to enjoy Anne Perry's Christmas offerings. They are short and quick to read. They have just a hint of sweetness, but no overt sentimentality, and enough tension and mystery to provide a puzzle and a sense of relief when the danger is past.
Two poor girls in Victorian England are the focus of A Christmas Promise. Thirteen-year-old Gracie Phipps comes across little eight-year-old Minnie Maude, looking for Charlie, her Uncle Alf's donkey. Minnie Maude insists that her uncle was murdered, and that Charlie must be lost and frightened because he didn't come home.
Gracie's compassion for the little girl quickly gets her involved. But what can two girls do if Uncle Alf was murdered?