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Review 🔍 A Christmas Resolution by Anne Perry

November 3, 2020
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a-christmas-resolution-anne-perry

Detective John Hooper, William Monk’s right-hand man at the Thames River Police, is blissfully happy in his new marriage to Celia, the cousin of a victim in one of the river police’s recent murder cases. Celia wants the same happiness for her good friend Clementine, who’s just announced her engagement to Seth Marlowe, a member of her church. Christmas is nearing, and this should be extra cause for celebration, but when Marlowe begins receiving threatening letters about his first wife’s death, it becomes clear that he is far from the devout man Clementine thought he was. In his rage, Marlowe accuses Celia of sending the letters, claiming she wants to ruin his engagement to Clementine. At a loss as to how to defend herself, Celia enlists Hooper to investigate the letters’ claims, and what he finds makes her desperate to show Clementine the truth about her soon-to-be husband.

But Celia herself has not always been truthful, especially not during the murder trial following her cousin’s death. How can she be believed now, when she lied on the stand? Especially when Marlowe knows that she did, and could use it against her. This Yuletide season finds love and faith put to the test—and Celia’s and Clementine’s lives on the line.



Release Date:
Nov 3, 2020
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Ballantine Books
Price: $9.99




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.

~ Christine

 

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