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A Christmas Secret (Christmas Stories #4)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,181 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Just in time for the holidays, Anne Perry gives her fans a marvelous gift: a new yuletide yarn full of light celebration and dark mischief.

Dominic Corde is thrilled to “fill the robe” as substitute vicar in the village of Cottisham, while the Reverend Wynter is away on a three-week Christmas holiday. Glad to escape his dreary London flat and a less-than-satisfying job as c
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Best Christmas Holiday Books
92nd out of 358 books — 486 voters
Skipping Christmas by John GrishamA Redbird Christmas by Fannie FlaggPastels and Jingle Bells by Christine S. FeldmanThe Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton FrankHome for Christmas by Lia Fairchild
Short and Sweet Christmas Novels
18th out of 54 books — 82 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,891)
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Dorothy
Nov 29, 2008 Dorothy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Perry lovers
Recommended to Dorothy by: My mystery book group leader
This is the book selected for reading by my library mystery book group. It's probably not one I would have chosen on my own, although I am a fan of Anne Perry. I have long loved and followed the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt and the William Monk series. This is a story of another couple in the tradition of those two series. This time it is a vicar, Dominic Corde, familiar from the first Charlotte and Thomas book, "The Cater Street Hangman," and his wife, Clarice. This couple shares many of the same ...more
Correen
Dec 17, 2014 Correen rated it really liked it

Perry features lesser characters from earlier books in her Christmas series. As is the case with the in this series, it is not a complicated book but well done. The characters are a minister and a family member from a Pitt novel. The minister established himself in the earlier novel as highly empathetic. His wife was a daring family, willing to defy family expectations and marry a man of lesser social stature -- she married beneath her station. Perry appears to have used her parson to preach the
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Jess Swann
Aug 27, 2013 Jess Swann rated it really liked it
Un Anne Perry comme je les aime. Déjà il met en scène Dominic Corde, l'ex beau frère de Charlotte que j'ai toujours apprécié. Par ailleurs, l'intrigue est à la hauteur et l'ambiance est bien rendue et le suspens soigneusement distillé. Au contraire des autres contes que j'ai lu, il y a moins de passages philosopho-lyrique ce qui me convient bien aussi. Bon certes le personnage de Clarice fait penser à celui de Charlotte (d'ailleurs le couple en lui-même fait penser aux Pitt, version avant promot ...more
June Ahern
Aug 05, 2013 June Ahern rated it it was amazing
Always Glad to Be Warm - maybe that's why I read so many of this author's Christmas novellas this summer.
I enjoy Anne Perry's mysteries, some more so than others. This one is good. I certainly did feel a cold every time a character ventured out and at times, imagined how drafty the house was. A nice short read as are all the author's Christmas novellas. A youngish very handsome preacher leaves the crowded London with his new wife to take over the duties of a preacher who left quickly for a hol
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Mikka Gottstein
Dec 21, 2015 Mikka Gottstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Der Weihnachtsmord" ist ein kurzes Büchlein, dass man an einem oder zwei Tagen wunderbar weglesen kann. Es ist eine wunderbare Mischung aus historischem Roman, traditionellem Krimi und rührender Weihnachtsgeschichte. Ich war erstaunt, wie viel Festtagsstimmung eine Geschichte um Mord und Totschlag erzeugen kann!

Der Leser folgt dem Ehepaar Dominic und Clare im Jahr 1890 ins beschauliche Dörfchen Cottisham. Dominic ist Vikar und soll über die Feiertage den plötzlich verreisten Pfarrer vertreten.
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Valerie Penny
Mar 19, 2014 Valerie Penny rated it really liked it
I chose this book in my local library, partly because it was short(!) and partly because I had never read anything by Anne Perry. I did not have particularly high hopes for the book, but I was pleasantly surprised. The central characters are Dominc Corde and his wife, Clarice. Dominic is chosen by the bishop to take over for an old vicar who has gone on an end-of-the-year vacation, just at Christmas-time. He is delighted to stand in as substitute vicar in the village of Cottisham while the Rever ...more
Erica T
Despite having a Christmas name and being set during the weeks before Christmas I wouldn't really call this a Christmas story. It was more of a cozy mystery. It was a fun, quick read that was very clean. I didn't really have it all figured out, but honestly I didn't think the author provided the clues to allow you to figure it out which was fine with me. This was my first book by Anne Perry, and I will likely read more by her.
Cathy Cramer
Jan 22, 2016 Cathy Cramer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these Anne Perry Christmas novels this year and will probably check out more next Christmas. I enjoyed the nice, leisurely start to this mystery. In this one, Dominic fills in for another vicar on "vacation."

I didn't figure this one out.

Favorite quotes:

"Tell them about what you said to me about courage then, and how it's the one virtue without which all others may be lost." - Clarice to Dominic

"It doesn't help to close one's eyes. That's how evil flourishes, bec
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Fredell Boston
Feb 17, 2016 Fredell Boston rated it it was amazing
The usual excellent mystery by Anne Perry.
I wasn't sure who the culprit was until the end of the book!
Dominic and Clarice Corde are called upon to "fill the robe" at the little rural English village of Cottisham. Dominic Corde is thrilled to substitute for the vicar in the village of Cottisham, while the Reverend Wynter is away on a three-week Christmas holiday. Glad to escape his dreary London flat and a less-than-satisfying job as church curate, Dominic and his beloved wife, Clarice, set off f
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Carol
yes, I know it's not as satisfying as one of Perry's full-length, non-holiday-set novels, but I loved A Christmas Secret for its sense of place and its narrator. I read it in 2 days and didn't want it to end. For me, that's the mark of a great book.
Heather
Dec 29, 2008 Heather rated it liked it
It was quite plain the Perry was trying to put out a short Christmas mystery for her publisher. It didn't deliver like I'd hoped. The story was very rushed at the end. Although there were plenty of red herrings to distract the reader.
Judy
Jan 05, 2014 Judy rated it liked it
A mystery book in my stocking. Oh my! Someone knows me very well and I suspect that it wasn't Santa. Who wouldn't want to be the substitute vicar for three weeks in the village of Cottisham over Christmas? Eager to leave both London and his unsatisfying job as a curate for at least the holidays, Father Dominic and his wife, Clarice, are initially charmed by the snowy village that looks like a Victorian picture post card, by the friendly and welcoming residents of the village, and by the charming ...more
Rebekah
May 31, 2016 Rebekah rated it really liked it
This one puts a nice bow on the story of Dominic Corde, Charotte's ex-brother-in-law, who has played a part in at least 3 of her books, lastly in Brunswick Gardens. ***spoilers for Brunswick Gardens!***** In that book, we learn that Dominic has repented of his kind of evil ways under the influence of a Bishop and has taken orders. When the Bishop is murdered, Dominic is almost falsely accused. In the end he walks away with one of the daughters of the murdered clergyman, the appealing, intelligen ...more
Judith
Dec 01, 2014 Judith rated it it was amazing
It is nice to have Dominic Corde back again in one of the Perry novels, though this is a novella, really, in length. Perry describes vividly the cold winters brought to small villages at that time and in this novel the deep snow makes this a kind of "locked door" mystery. The murderer has to be in the village. I liked learning a little more about Clarice Corde, who is an astute and very kind woman. While towards the end of the novella, I suspected X was one of a couple good candidates for the mu ...more
Kate
Jul 22, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
When Dominic Corde and his wife Clarice arrive in the picturesque village of Cottisham to serve out a three-week assignment as substitute vicar over the Christmas holidays their biggest worry seems to be how Dominic can make a good impression on the congregation and wow them with an inspiring sermon. However, they quickly discover that the beloved resident vicar, Reverend Wynter, did not go off on vacation as everyone believes. Which of the numerous small town scandals that they uncover explains ...more
Anne
Dec 16, 2010 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very entertaining short novella with a Christmas theme - perfect reading for the time of year, and liked her writing.
Mayda
Dec 06, 2014 Mayda rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, christmas, cozies
In this short tale, Dominic and Clarice have a three week respite from Dominic’s normal duties. The beloved pastor in this little village is on holiday and Dominic is his replacement. While Dominic is off doing everything he can to shepherd the flock left in his care, Clarice knows that something sinister is afoot. She suspects that the Reverend Wynter is not on holiday and now must carefully balance her husband’s best interest with that of justice. Can she winnow out the truth? And if she does, ...more
Annette
Jun 29, 2016 Annette rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
Dominic and Clarice Corde fill in, in the village of Cottisham, while the Reverend Wynter is away on a three-week Christmas holiday. This is to be a short respite from their dreary London flat and what is hoped to be a lovely winter getaway. But murder rears it's ugly head. Clarice finds the body of Reverend Wynter in the coal cellar. Everyone in the village had believed him happily away on his holiday. Now it is up to Dominic and Clarice to seek out the truth. Who in the village wanted the Vica ...more
Tracy Terry
Another less than Yuletide read, once again apart from the title and the fact the book is set at Christmas there is nothing festive about it. Still, it worked well as a 'Cosy' mystery.

Though I did quite like the characters, Clarice more so than her Reverend husband, like previous books in the authors Christmas Novella collection the strength of this this one lay in the beautiful descriptions. Though that said I was disappointed in that, set in the late eighteen hundreds, there was surprisingly l
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Alice
May 15, 2014 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec Le Secret de Noël?

"Ceci est le dernier conte de Noël réedité par 10 18 dans le recueil "Des Contres de Noël" d'Anne Perry. Promis, après je ne vous en reparle plus jusqu'à l'année prochaine (des contes de Noël, pas d'Anne Perry!)"

Dites-nous en un peu plus sur son histoire...


"Dominic Corde, l'ancien beau-frère de Charlotte Pitt, est appelé à remplacer le pasteur de Cottisham pendant la période des fêtes. Clarice, sa nouvelle femme espèr
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Suzie Grogan
Nov 24, 2011 Suzie Grogan rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
Anne Perry is not a writer I have come across before. Even though she was described by The Times as one of the top 100 crime writers of the 20th century, some of her books are probably titles I would not pick up as a rule. She is also incredibly prolific and very popular in the US with her Victorian mysteries which, as I picked up this book at a car boot, worried me a little. Would she be writing about a schmaltzy US view of a typical English Victorian Christmas? Well no, although I wondered if ...more
Ana T.
Dominic Corde is thrilled to “fill the robe” as substitute vicar in the village of Cottisham, while the Reverend Wynter is away on a three-week Christmas holiday. Glad to escape his dreary London flat and a less-than-satisfying job as church curate, Dominic and his beloved wife, Clarice, set off for what they hope will be a lovely winter getaway.

Upon arrival, in the midst of a frigid, exceptionally snowy season, Dominic and Clarice are welcomed by warm, hospitable neighbors and enchanted by the
...more
Ape
Perfectly inoffensive and genteel cosy little Christmas mystery set in Victorian England. I suppose it's a nice length as well, a short little novella, so it doesn't require too much effort when you're full of mince pies and your concerntration is a bit so-so. This is the second of her Christmas mysteries I've read, and there are a few similarities. It's set in a small, rural community again, the vicar plays a key role in the plot (this time he and his wife are the investigators!), the country ...more
Maria
Dec 11, 2011 Maria rated it really liked it
This is the first Anne Perry novel I've ever read. I had heard she was an excellent writer, famous for her period mysteries. For several years, she has taken characters from those mystery novels and written Christmas mysteries. This one is #4 in the series. I normally will only read series in the order they are written, but all of these are stand alone novels, so it's ok to read them any order you wish.

A Christmas Secret is a light, easy to read mystery. It stars the vicar Dominic Corde and his
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LJ
Aug 13, 2007 LJ rated it really liked it
A CHRISTMAS SECRET (Historical-England-1800s) – VG
Perry, Anne – 4th Christmas standalone
Headline, 2006- Amer Hardcover
*** Dominic Corde, brother-in-law to Charlotte Pitt, has left banking, is married to Clarice and is a cleric in a church in London. However, Dominic and Clarice have sent to a small town to fill in for a much-beloved vicar during his Christmas holiday. They soon discover the vicar did not leave town after all.
*** Perry’s Christmas novellas are wonderful little gifts. I love that
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Donna
Jan 24, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Dominic and Clarice Corde arrive in the village of Cottisham from London. Dominic is here to fill in for Reverend Wynter, who went away "on holiday". Apparently, it was a quick decision on the Reverend's part as Dominic was given the orders by the bishop to come and fill in as Vicar. Dominic is worried that the congregation won't accept him. They are, however, welcomed by hospitable neighbors and find a cozy vicarage to house them in their stay.

Clarice discovers the Reverend's body in the cellar
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Ria
Dec 06, 2013 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely festive read.
Reverend Dominic Corde and his wife Clarice have just moved to a new parish temporarily to take over Reverend Wynter's flock while he is away on holiday.
The couple adore the area and hope to prolong their stay but the village seems to hold dark secrets, it seems like each inhabitant has something to hide.
Things are nagging at Clarice, why if the Reverend has gone on holiday did he not take his personal Bible or even his art utensils as he adores drawing, why would they be l
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Vickie
Dec 19, 2009 Vickie rated it really liked it
Anne Perry is known for her dark Victorian era mysteries with Thomas and Charlotte Pitt and William Monk. I do enjoy those two series, but they take more work for me to read. More concentration and working through the language and manners. Perry's holiday mystery books are much lighter, almost cozy in nature. At least the two I've read are cozy since I don't remember a policeman solving the murders.
This one has Clarice feeling compelled to figure out what has happened in what she hopes will be
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Amy  Eller Lewis
Jan 12, 2016 Amy Eller Lewis rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I liked all these Anne Perry Christmas books just fine. They were perfect for lightening my surly Christmas mood. And quite a nice trick she pulls off here: I don't know her main series, but never felt confused, and she managed a lot of characters and a nice mystery in a very short novella format. Light and tight, but only if you're in the right mood.
Catherine Woodman
Dec 14, 2014 Catherine Woodman rated it liked it
A charming English cozy murder mystery that is almost too gentle to believe that someone killed someone else in it. It is set in the late 19th century in a small English village with a new vicar. All is going fine until the old vicar is found murdered in the basement--kind of puts a damper on the holiday season, especially after an attempted murder. Sweet, short and seasonal.
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Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is a British historical novelist.

Juliet took the name "Anne Perry," the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many of them feature a number of recurrin
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More about Anne Perry...

Other Books in the Series

Christmas Stories (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories, #1)
  • A Christmas Visitor (Christmas Stories, #2)
  • A Christmas Guest (Christmas Stories, #3)
  • A Christmas Beginning (Christmas Stories, #5)
  • A Christmas Grace (Christmas Stories, #6)
  • A Christmas Promise (Christmas Stories, #7)
  • A Christmas Odyssey (Christmas Stories, #8)
  • A Christmas Homecoming (Christmas Stories, #9)
  • A Christmas Garland (Christmas Stories, #10)
  • A Christmas Hope (Christmas Stories, #11)

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