Release Date: Nov 3, 2020
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Ballantine Books
I have read most of Anne Perry’s full-length novels in both the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series and the William Monk series. Perry’s holiday novellas do a wonderful job of spotlighting minor characters from each series and letting them take the lead.
This story features a side character from the Monk series, set in the 19th century in London. Detective John Hooper, who is Monk’s assistant at the Thames River Police, is newly married and looking forward to spending the holidays with his wife, Celia. John agrees to help Celia check into the past of her good friend’s fiancé. Celia is afraid Seth Marlowe’s pious exterior is an act and that Celia will be in danger if she becomes the next Mrs. Marlowe.
This story is set around the time of the holidays, but doesn’t have a lot of details about preparations or Christmas traditions of the times. The theme of friendship and forgiveness continues through the book and makes it a fitting holiday story. I like how John is willing to use his detective skills to do as his wife asked and investigate Seth. Rumors had been going around that Seth had something to do with his first wife’s death and Celia wants to make sure her friend Clementine won’t be throwing away her happiness or even risking her life by marrying this arrogant man. The best parts of the book are John’s investigation into Seth’s past. William Monk even makes a small cameo in the story, when John goes to him for advice. My least favorite scenes are those in which Seth confronts and threatens Celia. He is so judgmental and arrogant, it was hard getting through some of these scenes.
A Christmas Resolution is a short read with a touching ending. There is some ambiguity that only hints at what could happen next in the lives of the main characters, but I chose to think that things turn out for the best for Clementine after all she went through. Fans of the Thomas Monk series will enjoy Perry’s latest holiday story, as would any reader who enjoys a short, well-written historical mystery story.