A Christmas Vanishing by Anne Perry

December 13th, 2023 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 10 Comments

13th Dec

Sophia Rose is here with the twenty-first Christmas Story from Anne Perry. A Christmas Vanishing offers a chilling whodunnit. Come see why Sophia Rose recommends it….

A Christmas Vanishing by Anne Perry
A Christmas Vanishing
by Anne Perry
Series: Christmas Stories #21
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Charlotte Pitt’s clever grandmother investigates the sudden disappearance of her dear friend in this chilling holiday whodunit by New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry.

Mariah Ellison, Charlotte Pitt’s grandmother, accepts her longtime friend Sadie’s gracious invitation to spend Christmas with her and her husband, Barton, in their picturesque village. But upon arrival, Mariah discovers that Sadie has vanished without a trace, and Barton rudely rescinds the invitation. Once Mariah finds another acquaintance to stay with during the holiday season, she begins investigating Sadie’s disappearance.

Mariah’s uncanny knack for solving mysteries serves her well during her search, which is driven by gossip as icy as the December weather. Did Sadie run off with another man? Was she kidnapped? Has someone harmed her? Frustratingly, Mariah’s questions reveal more about the villagers themselves than about her friend’s whereabouts. Yet in the process of getting to know Sadie’s neighbors, Mariah finds a kind of redemption, as she rediscovers her kinder side, and her ability to love.

It is up to Mariah to master her own feelings, drown out the noise, and get to the bottom of what occurred, all before Christmas day. With the holiday rapidly approaching, will she succeed in bringing Sadie home in time for them to celebrate it together—or is that too much to hope for?

Sophia Rose’s Review

In this most recent of Anne Perry’s historical Christmas featuring prominent side characters from her regular Charlotte and Thomas Pitt or William Monk series, the spotlight lands on Mariah Ellison, Charlotte Pitt’s starched up, steely-eyed cranky grandmother who sapped the light and joy from a room just with her presence all through the series.  But, this is Christmas and a lonely Mariah has determined to change this late in life.  Her turning over a new leaf coincides with an invitation to visit a village and friend where she spent some of her younger, married years.

Like she has before, Anne Perry crafted a character who was not all or only one way, but held nuances of dark and light that made her real as a fictional character can be.  Mariah was not a favorite character for me and was something of a tartar so I was fascinated to see how Anne Perry took me from disliking her to applauding her for inner strength and new found courage to change.

Much of A Christmas Vanishing is introspective.  Mariah is trying to find her friend, Sadie, but also finding herself after decades of growing into a bitter, hateful woman because of the abuse she took privately at the hand of her husband.  Mariah struggles against letting her old bad habits reign in her life, but is making great efforts even while she renews an old acquaintance and forges a friendship as they look for Sadie and she meets a man who becomes a fast friend and partner in the search.

The mystery does eventually take the forefront, and it was a sad affair with spikes of suspense.  The end is a softer, heartwarming village Christmas and forgiveness and new chances at the heart.  Much of the story is strongly developed character-wise and plotting with a bit of late-Victorian era Christmas backdrop, but there is repetition in some of the inner monologue that did slow the pace down at times.

All in all, this standalone long-novella Christmas mystery hit the spot and I can recommend the series to those who want holiday flavor to their historical mystery.

Amazon | Audible

A Christmas Vanishing by Anne Perry delivered a long-novella Christmas Mystery that hit the spot – Sophia Rose #bookreview Click To Tweet

About Anne Perry

Anne Perry

Juliet Hulme a British historical novelist took the name "Anne Perry," the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many of them feature a number of recurring characters, most importantly Thomas Pitt, who appeared in her first novel, and amnesiac private investigator William Monk, who first appeared in her 1990 novel The Face of a Stranger. As of 2003 she had published 47 novels, and several collections of short stories. Her story "Heroes," which first appeared the 1999 anthology Murder and Obsession, edited by Otto Penzler, won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best Short Story.

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About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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10 Responses to “A Christmas Vanishing by Anne Perry”

    • Sophia Rose

      I agree. I really didn’t like ‘Grandmama Ellis’ through the whole series so this was an interesting story for me with her as the protagonist.

  1. Lorna

    I can’t believe I still have never read a book by this author! I’m glad you mostly enjoyed it. Repetition of thoughts etc. can really get tiresome at times, but I do love a good mystery.

    • Sophia Rose

      LOL, there are so many really great series out there that I’ve yet to start, too. Someday, Lorna!

      Yeah, I was impatient to get past the repetitive stuff. It didn’t put me off the mystery, but did get me skipping over some of it.

  2. Lover of romance

    What a lovely review you have here Sophia! I like that it has some heartwarming Christmas feels but a shame that the pacing was off there. That can be disappointing.