A Christmas Gathering

A Christmas Gathering

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"As beautiful as it may be, their friends' country home is not where Lady Vespasia wishes to spend Christmas with her new husband, Victor Narraway. She'd rather pass a relaxing holiday at home with him--especially because Victor, former head of the LondonSpecial Branch, seems to be hiding some undercover dealings with the other guests who have gathered in the spacious home. As tensions grow among the couples, the young and beautiful Iris Watson-Watt becomes the center of several men's focus. Unbeknownstto Vespasia, Iris carries a message for Victor that may help unmask a British traitor. As Victor plots his moves, he is reminded of a similar case from twenty years before, when a young Frenchwoman also carried a clandestine message--one that resulted inher murder, still unsolved to this day. Victor has always been tormented by his failure to protect her--and now, with all eyes on Iris, Victor must act fast before history repeats itself. With the joy of Christmas at risk of being forgotten and Vespasia feeling alone on this holiday meant to be shared with loved ones, Victor must ultimately learn to forgive himself"--
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, ©2019.
ISBN: 9780525621010
Characteristics: 193 pages ;,20 cm.

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g
glotet41
Oct 18, 2020

I would not call this a "cute" or "fun" mystery. But a mystery it is, and the setting is Christmas time. I imagine that because the main characters are much older, that it will not be experienced or even appreciated the same way by readers of a younger age. I found it engaging enough, perhaps because I am an older reader myself, to read it and follow the story through to the end. Not one of the author's best reads.

m
maipenrai
Aug 03, 2020

Fun short mystery with Lady Vespasia and her new husband, Victor Narraway. Kristi & Abby Tabby

k
knobbyknees69
Jan 19, 2020

My first read by Anne Perry. So, for some time I will peruse the library shelves and chance other reads. This was a quick read, with seemingly plenty of "fill wording". I did like the ending, after all the anguish/behaviors of everyone throughout the set up for a closure.

h
hadlock
Jan 09, 2020

Victor and Vespasia are still navigating their newlywed status when they are invited to a Christmas house party. She would just as soon stay home, but he wants to go. No, not wants, but maybe needs. He isn't telling her everything. They are in a group they don't know very well, she is the oldest person in attendance, and the hostess is hostile toward Vespasia. Victor gets the papers from Iris, is shot at outside in the middle of the night, Iris is injured and in a coma, and most of the house party attendees do not really know his former position, since Special Branch operates in secret. Vespasia supports him in her own way, making sure the injured woman is watched 24 hours a day until she wakes up. And he hides the papers and keeps his secrets. It is, for him, about a 20-year-old case where a woman like Iris died, and he is reliving his failure.

It really only happens at Christmas. There is no other Christmas features in the story. And the house party is small enough that it is pretty easy to determine who the man was who injured Iris and shot at Victor. And the reason has to do with 20 years ago.

If you like Perry's books, you will want to read this one. But it is not as Christmassy as her others.

l
lovethelibraryme2
Dec 27, 2019

A disappointing Christmas book. Having read almost every book Anne Perry has written, I
found this a sad commentary on human interaction. I stopped reading the book after 97
pages.

n
nelll
Nov 16, 2019

A cute story...Aunt Vespesia is priceless in this story....a good read for the winter days...

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