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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

November 5, 2023

A Christmas Vanishing by Anne Perry ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

When octogenarian Mariah Ellison arrives in the town of her youth she finds the woman who invited her for Christmas is missing. While the woman's husband, along with the rest of the town, does not seem concerned about her disappearance, Mariah knows she must search for her.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of holiday cozy mystery novel A Christmas Vanishing by Anne Perry
November 2023; Ballantine Books; 978-0593359181
audio, ebook, print (208 pages); cozy mystery

Anne Perry died earlier this year, and I wasn't sure if there would be a Christmas novella this year. A Christmas Vanishing is her last novel. As I only discovered her thematic novella series of Victorian Christmas stories in 2020, I have quite a few to catch up on. 

I've also only read a few of her other books - mostly the Elena Standish series, so I didn't recognize that Mariah Ellison is the grandmother of Charlotte Pitt, the main character in one of Perry's other series. Charlotte is only mentioned in passing so it is okay if you are familiar with her. 

The tone of A Christmas Vanishing seemed different than the other Christmas books I've. It still has the familiar themes of forgiveness and repentance. At one point, I thought to myself, I wonder if Perry knew this was her last book. If you are a Perry fan, then you are probably aware of her past (if not, you can google it) and it felt a little like she may be speaking to that period of her life.

The cast seemed smaller as well and there weren't the usual holiday festivities. I like reading Perry's Christmas stories because of the Victorian English Christmas setting as well as keeping the meaning of Christmas at the heart of the story. This novel definitely has the latter, but the former seems to be missing. Except for a few references to Christmas the setting could have been any winter month.

From the start, I thought that this novel might be a little of a "Scrooge" tale. Thematically it does share aspects with Dickens's classic, but not as dramatic. 

The message of the book is one that applies to so many - including me - and Christmas time can cause us to reflect on our own nature so you may find yourself examining your own attitudes as you read this novel.

Buy A Christmas Vanishing at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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