Welcome to a huge celebration of Christmas-themed books! Every November I impulse buy a ton of Christmas-themed books (mostly romances) and dump them onto my Kindle. I then spend the next two months wallowing in wonderful, heart-warming, sometimes sexy reads. This year I'm sharing twelve of my favorites, and day nine takes us on a train journey to the Highlands.
A Christmas Journey, by Anne Perry
It’s Christmas and the Berkshire countryside lies wrapped in winter chill. But the well-born guests who have gathered at Applecross for a delicious weekend of innocent intrigue and passionate romance are warmed by roaring fires and candlelight, holly and mistletoe, good wine and gorgeously wrapped gifts. It’s scarcely the setting for misfortune, and no one–not even that clever young aristocrat and budding sleuth Vespasia Cumming-Gould–anticipates the tragedy that is to darken this light-hearted holiday house party. But soon one young woman lies dead, a suicide, and another is ostracized, held partly responsible for the shocking turn of events.
To expiate her guilt, Gwendolen Kilmuir sets out for the Scottish Highlands, hoping to explain to the dead girl’s mother the circumstances surrounding the sorrowful act–and to bring her back to England for the funeral. Gwendolen’s sole companion on this nightmarish journey is Vespasia. As Vespasia learns more about the victim and the ugly forces that shaped her desperate deed, she understands the heartbreaking truth of the tragedy.
This book was recommended to me by my mother years ago. You see, she collects these Anne Perry Christmas books, and for the last few years they've been one of my gifts to her and she usually reads them on Christmas Day. Short but still satisfying, these books have lovely period details , in particular the train ride. If you find yourself enjoying them, you should give the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Mysteries or the William Pitt Mysteries a go.
Check back tomorrow for more Christmas reading recommendations as the 12 Days of Christmas Reads rolls on with a trip to the Welsh coast for a touch of magic. If you want to see all of the 12 Days of Christmas Reads recommendations in one place, you can check out this handy landing page. And be sure to download my London-set Christmas novella, Kiss Me at Midnight.