A Christmas Grace ), she does a"/>
 

A Christmas Promise

Anne Perry, Author
Anne Perry, Author . Ballantine $18 (193p) ISBN 978-0-345-51066-2
Reviewed on: 08/03/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009

While bestseller Perry doesn't offer much of a puzzle in her seventh Christmas-themed Victorian historical (after 2008's A Christmas Grace ), she does a highly credible job of evoking Dickens, especially in the opening scenes set in Whitechapel. As the 1883 holiday season nears in London's East End, 13-year-old Gracie Phipps, a supporting character in Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series (Buckingham Palace Gardens , etc.), encounters a woebegone younger child, Minnie Maude Mudway, on the mean streets of her neighborhood. Minnie is looking for a missing donkey, Charlie, which belonged to her beloved uncle Alf. The animal disappeared the day before, around the same time Alf, a bone-and-rag dealer, was killed. The two girls turn detective in an effort to find Charlie as well as the truth about how Alf died. Mr. Balthasar, a shopkeeper who assists in the sleuthing, lends an appealing Holmesian touch. (Nov.)

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