Miss A Columnist

Melissa McKee is an avid reader whose love of discovering new books is only surpassed by her love of discovering new spots in New York City.

12 Reads Of Christmas: A Christmas Garland

Miss A presents “the Twelve Reads of Christmas” – twelve stories sure to wrap the reader in the spirit of the season. From stories of hope to stories of celebration, these twelve (must) reads will get any Scrooge to remember the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future.

Photo Credit: Random House

(Photo Credit: Random House)

For 10 years, Anne Perry has gifted readers with a heartwarming Christmas novella set in Victorian London. Holly, fir, ivy, and mistletoe became pagan winter festival symbols adopted by Christianity. The Industrial Revolution influenced the celebrations by introducing printed cards, postage for mail sent on railways, and toys produced by machines. The most enduring relic of the Victoria age are the stories of Charles Dickens.

In A Christmas Garland, Perry brings us to British occupied India during the 1857 rebellion. In December, a prisoner escapes, a soldier dies, and a young medic is charged with the crime. The hero, Lieutenant Victor Narraway, a young commissioned officer barely 20 years old, has been assigned to counsel the  defendant.

At first glance, Narraway’s supervisors see the case as being an “open and shut.” The medic is guilty. Under orders to restore the morale of the troops, he must find a reason why the atrocity occurred. With time running out before Christmas, Narraway is under pressure to close the case in time for the holidays. Courtesy of the inevitable twist in any decent mystery, Perry delivers a classic “who dunnit” that questions not only who is the criminal, but questions the definition of justice.

The Verdict: Traditionally, Anne Perry delivers a Christmas story in classic Dickensian detail. A Christmas Garland is a historical fiction novella with an exotic twist. Brew a cup of chai and travel to colonial India this holiday season while enjoying the annual treat from the master of Christmas classics.

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