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Anne Perry's Silent Nights (A Christmas…
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Anne Perry's Silent Nights (A Christmas Beginning / A Christmas Grace)

by Anne Perry

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This was an ebook with two "novella" length stories that take place in the 19th century. The first one concerns Superintendant Runcorn, one of Ms. Perry's regular characters, who is on holiday in Beaumaris, on the Isle of Anglesey. He discovers the body of a murdered woman and though it isn't his jurisdiction, ends up lending a hand in solving the crime.

The second story is about Emily Radley who has apparently also featured in Perry novels in the past, helping her sister solve crimes in conjunction with her sister's husband, Inspector Pitt. It also takes place in the late Victorian era. Emily goes to a remote village in wild Connemara in the west of Ireland where her aunt is dying. Her aunt wants to find out who killed a young man 7 years earlier. She thinks her late husband knew but didn't say and the knowledge that someone in the village did kill the man has poisoned the spirit of the village ever since.

After a violent storm, a ship sinks off the coast and one young man survives. It seems like the past is recurring as this is the same thing that happened 7 years prior and the young survivor then was the murdered man and like that man in the past, the one in the present day connects with villagers, asking questions and talking to them about their dreams and fears which makes people uncomfortable. Emily must track her aunt's late husband's steps to discover who killed the young man and ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Both stories are pretty good, though wrapped up quickly due to the shorter length. I've not read any Anne Perry before but i probably will do. ( )
  tvordj | Dec 20, 2011 |
Although the two stories in this book were billed as "Christmas", the holiday plays no role in either of them. the stories could have been set at anytime of the year. As mysteries, I found both stories wanting. They certainly weren't page turners. The second story, "Christmas Grace", was just plain dull. It read like a first draft with the slightest of plot. I was not familiar with Anne Perry's mysteries before reading this book. Based on these two stories, I am not inclined to read others. ( )
  odkins | Jan 2, 2010 |
Silent Nights is an special christmas edition featuring two of Anne Perry's seasonal stories. The first A Christmas Beginning, features Superintendant Runcorn from Perry's William Monk series. We see Runcorn arriving on a bleak island off the coast of Wales to spend his Christmas holiday. There he discovers the secret love of his life Melisande from a case he worked in London, and further discovers a dead body in the Church yard shortly after his arrival. In very UN-Runcorn fashion, he treads delicately with the local constable as he helps solve the murder. There was a completely unexpected ending (in the very last sentence of the story) that really blew me away. I enjoyed getting to know Runcorn better--I've been a fan of the Monk series for years, and feel I know him better now that this case is finished. It will be interesting to see if Perry takes this further in the future.

The second story finds Emily Radley (sister of Charlotte Pitt- another of Anne Perry's series) spending her Christmas in very rural Ireland, nursing her dying aunt from whom the entire family has been estranged for years. I found this story awkward, with the characters very cardboard,and the plot contrived. I had to force myself to finish it because frankly, it just wasn't very interesting... ( )
  tututhefirst | Nov 25, 2009 |
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