Friday, December 20, 2013

A Christmas Promise: Review

A Christmas Promise continues Anne Perry's shorter holiday mystery series with the story of thirteen-year-old Gracie Phipps and her new friend Minnie Maude Mudway.  Gracie is running errands for her Gran when she runs across Minnie Maude--looking sad and lost.  Minnie Maude is an eight-year-old girl on a mission to find Charlie, the beloved donkey that belonged to her Uncle Alf.  Uncle Alf has just been found dead...apparently from a fall from his rag and bone cart.  But the cart and Charlie have both disappeared and Minnie Maude is worried that the donkey is scared and lost.

Gracie promises Minnie Maude that she will help find the donkey.  Not knowing where to go or how to set about it, they wind up consulting Mr. Balthazar, a wise old shopkeeper who warns them that there may be danger in asking too many questions.  They soon discover that Uncle Alf was on the wrong route and may have picked up a valuable object that wasn't intended for the junk collector.  Did someone kill to get the object back?  Will the girls and their ally find the answers before Christmas--so Charlie can be home and safe in time for the holiday?  You'll have to read and find out.

This is a very short and straight-forward mystery with just the right amount of Christmas charm.  It is a good character study in the Victorian era and it is enjoyable to watch the girls quickly become friends.  A bit of suspense and a fast-paced wrap-up make for a very solid Christmas mystery.  Three stars.

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