Review of A Christmas Deliverance, by Anne Perry

A Christmas Deliverance

by Anne Perry

Ballantine Books, 2022. 204 pages.
Review written December 11, 2023, from a library book.

Years ago, I got in the habit of reading an Anne Perry mystery novella at Christmas time. But now most years, I’m reading for the Cybils Awards at this time. This year, though, I was reading for the Morris Award instead, and we’ve chosen our Finalists (to be announced soon), so I have a little time to read what I want before getting serious about reading for the Mathical Book Prize — and I picked up last year’s Anne Perry Christmas mystery, with this year’s on hold. Unfortunately, Anne Perry passed away in April of 2023, so this year’s may be the last Christmas mystery to be published.

I always realize that I really should get started reading the author’s main mystery series to enjoy these more, but so far haven’t gotten around to it. This book features a side character from her series about William Monk of the Thames River Police. Dr. Crowe works as a doctor down near the river, helping poor people with whatever medical care they need. His assistant is William and Hester Monk’s foster son Scuff, who was once a mudlark.

The mystery here, happening just as Christmas approaches is about a young lady that Dr. Crowe cared for after she was in a carriage accident near his practice. Now she is engaged to a man who is abusive to her in public. Dr. Crowe is convinced the young man’s father is holding something over the young lady’s father, because why else would she agree to marry him?

And so he investigates a fire in a warehouse, where the two men ended up with a considerable insurance settlement — and the night watchman died.

The story was a little repetitive, and was more about watching Dr. Crowe find things out than it was about solving a puzzle. But there’s a touch of romance, heart-warming characters helping the poor (even a little girl and a kitten!), and evildoers facing justice, with a happy ending on Christmas Day. So it does make for nice holiday reading.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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