by Anne Perry
Anne Perry has been writing Christmas novellas since 2003. They never get old and every year I look forward to seeing which of my favorite characters may be featured. This time it is Hooper, a member of the River Police who is a colleague of the well-known Monk.
What I enjoyed most about this Christmas read was the wisdom of Anne Perry and the beauty of her descriptions. She writes gorgeously about what the water means to former sailor Hooper. She is tender when she talks about the recent marriage and the love that connects Hooper and his wife, Celia. It is a slightly later in life relationship for them and it is based on deep affection and shared world views and values.
The story is about Celia’s close friend Clementine who is about to marry a rather self-righteous, dour and, at times, threatening man. Marlowe had a first marriage that did not go well and is estranged from his daughter. He is eager to marry Clementine who, like Celia was, is alone in the world and a bit older for a first time bride. Marlowe seems to want to control her. He is also apparently being blackmailed. For what? How will everything resolve bearing in mind that this is a Christmas read and forgiveness is one of the novella’s themes? Will everything be forgiven? Will things be okay?
Readers new to this series should be aware that the novella refers to events from a previous book so there is a spoiler in there. A Christmas Resolution can still be enjoyed by those unfamiliar with that earlier story.
This book would make a perfect stocking stuffer for an Anne Perry fan. I am only sorry that I will now have to wait a year for her next Christmas title.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.