Gracie Tellman, former maid to Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, is enjoying her home and family in Victorian-era London and looking forward to Christmas with her daughter, Charlie, when a knock sounds at the door. Millie, a young maid in the Harcourt household, has come with disturbing news. High-quality food is disappearing, and it won’t be long before the mistress of the house finds out. The servants are scared that somebody will be accused of theft, and nobody knows the culprit. Gracie decides to take Millie’s place for nine days leading up to Christmas in order to solve this mystery. Gracie soon learns that all is not as it seems, and reveals that sometimes evil can parade about in fancy clothes.
This satisfying Christmas novella combines mystery, suspicion, upheaval, acts of kindness, and a Christmas miracle together to create a captivating story. The perils of servant life in a Victorian household are well described, and the young age of some of the servants at the time is shocking. The rich also had the ability in those days to completely ruin the lives of their servants by sending them to the street, homeless, with no reference. The fact that some homeowners held this power over the heads of those in their employ in order to terrorize them is disturbing. But despite the tumult, a sense of truth, loyalty, and fairness is also woven into the story, and it ends with a miracle so wonderful that it could only happen at Christmas. Anne Perry has once again created a Christmas tale that will captivate the reader and transport them straight to Victorian London during the holidays.
I received a free copy of this book from Ballantine Books for Historical Novels Review Magazine. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Assassin and The Shifting Tide, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including The Cater Street Hangman, Calandar Square, Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as six holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Grace. Anne Perry lives in Scotla