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A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories #1)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,297 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Readers of Anne Perry’s bestselling suspense novels revel in a world that is all their own, sharing the privileged existence of Britain’s wealthy and powerful elite in West End mansions and great country houses. It is also a world in which danger bides in unsuspected places and the line between good and evil can be razor thin. This new novel features Lady Vespasia Cumming- ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,110)
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Ana T.

I found this book a really interesting read.It is set as usual in the Victorian period. Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould attends a house Party with some friends, there is some gossip and some less than friendly emotions going round and when one of the guests - Isobel Alvie - makes a cruel remark to another, that will apparently lead to the suicide of the latter.

As Isobel is shunned and condemned by all except Vespasia the owner of the house as the idea of proposing an expiation journey for Isobel - t
I thought that the best thing about this book was that it was short. It takes place in mid-19th century high society England - a young girl, Gwendolin, mysteriously drowns during a weekend party and her death is deemed a suicide. The guests ridiculously blame a woman named Isobel for the whole tragedy because of a rude comment she made just before the girl's death - apparently in society England, rude comments are nearly equivalent to attempted murder. Isobel is then sent with a friend on a biza ...more
I am still scratching my head after reading this one. I read it in an evening. It is a story about a group of “high Society” English people who are spending the holidays at an estate. IT definitely shows the snobby side of the English back in the days when you can hear a lady coming by the sound of her skirts dragging on the floor behind her. Vespasia, a character from one of Perry’s series, is in the midst of a tragedy at the estate when one of the women jumps off a bridge into a pond. Everyone ...more
Although this was certainly not an uplifting & light Christmas tale, it was an excellent read with plenty of application to our lives today. It is the story of a young woman who is made to feel responsible for the death of another woman due to careless and cutting remarks. She is sent on a journey to Scotland to deliver a letter to the mother of the deceased woman in order to be forgiven for the remarks and allowed back into the Victorian society of which she is a part. If she fails, she wil ...more
The story and major characters are fleshed out well, and "A Christmas Journey" boasts an actual plot unlike the short Christmas-related trifles that many popular authors knock off between novels. The observations of and insights into human beings are interesting and could spark some rumination about deeper subjects. The premise is unusual, though I would note the contrast between Isabel's journey to cleanse her sin and Jesus' coming to cleanse us of our sins because we cannot wipe them clean. St ...more
Nicole Romine
A quick, easy read. In this book, you get a superficial psychological mystery. In fact, I felt like I was reading the outline for an interesting novel rather than a fully developed story. The plot develops not through action, but rather through the guessing of the main character. Unsatisfying.
Tracy Enright
This is the first of the author's Christmas novellas and tells the story of a suicide and a journey taken to inform the mother of the deceased. This time the secondary character brought to the fore is Lady Vespasia. The story is set when she was in her late 20s.

The plot for the book is pretty much covered in the title. It's a journey. Whilst there are some life-changing revelations for the characters they tend towards the tame which makes the whole story a little pedestrian which is disappointin
This has got to be the least Christmasy book or story that I have ever read. There is very little that is happy or shows good cheer. At a dinner party in the English countryside, a rude guest makes a comment to another, and that woman is found the next morning drowned. A man who takes charge has the stupid sounding name of Omegus Jones. He suggests that the rest of the guests will refrain from mentioning her faux pas if she takes the letter written to the deceased woman's mother in far Scotland. ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Leilani marked it as gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
Hated it... Couldn't even finish. Too many people at the start too confusing. I just couldn't do it.
This was another book that started off well, but didn't really deliver in the end. The idea of a country party with a dead body is a classic one that can be a lot of fun, but that was really the end of the mystery aspect. You knew how the death happened from the beginning and the rest of the story was just a long drawn out trip about telling the deceased woman's mother. There was no mystery element and the trip itself was not even very interesting or exciting to make up for it. Furthermore, the ...more
Robert Palmer
A quick,easy read,set in theVictorian period of England,late 1800s. A group os "high society" friends are spending the Christmas holidays at an estate. The people are for the most part snobby and one wrong move for a woman and she would be ostracized from society. One of the female guest's drown's and it is deemed a suicide and the group blames a woman names Isobel because of something she said to the victim ( it would take to much space to explain what) she take a long journey to absolve her gu ...more
I gave this book two stars because Goodreads says that two stars means "It was ok." That is exactly what it was, just ok. The book is divided into three parts, each shorter and less satistying than the previous. When I first started reading it took me a while to get used to the formality of speech between the characters, but then again, this is Victorian-era England. It started out as a suspenseful whodunnit among the wealthy and titled gentry. Then part two really became a book about internal s ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
The plot of this book was an interesting twist on the idea of punishment as attonement. A young woman guest at a stately country mansion insults another young woman who commits suicide later that evening. Everyone agrees that her cutting words could have pushed the vulnerable young woman over the edge and one of the guests contrives a quest which will atone for her ill tempered remarks and, if completed, will bind the other guests to secrecy and render the careless young woman forgiven. The tric ...more
A charming little festive novella.
A Victorian weekend party takes a frightening turn when a brief altercation after dinner throws up spite and jealousy thereby inciting one of the guests involved to commit suicide.
Isobel Alvie in a brief moment of envy and malice accuses Gwendolen Kilmuir of trying to "hook" one of the other affluent guests, spat over the guests again go about enjoying themselves until the next morning when Gwendolyn is found dead in the ornamental lake.
The guests instantly accu
Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec La Disparue de Noël?

"Voilà quelques temps maintenant que je dévore tout ce que je peux lire de la plume d'Anne Perry. Malheureusement, lorsque je l'ai connue, on ne trouvait déjà plus certains de ses récits de Noël. Quand j'ai trouvé celui-ci d'occasion mais en parfait état, j'ai sauté sur l'opportunité et je l'ai dévoré en terrasse, vue sur Notre-Dame de Paris."

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

"Lorsque la jeune veuve, Gwen
Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould hesitated a moment at the top of the stairs.

Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould is enjoying a Christmas party outside of London when a young lady turns up dead from an apparent suicide. Prior to taking her own life the lady had been insulted by Isobel Alvie, her rival in love. All party guests believe Isobel is to blame. Their host comes up with a plan to keep Isobel from being a social outcast while still punishing her for her part in Gwendolen's suicide. Isobel is sent on
This was a book club selection, chosen because of the Christmas theme for our December meeting. The story took place during the Christmas season, but it really didn't have much to do with Christmas. The book read more like a short story than a novel to me. There were parts where another author might go into much more detail, but in this case, less detail did not hamper the story. I also understood this to be a suspense novel, but I didn't find it very suspenseful. All that aside, it was a nice l ...more
Jess Swann
Ce livre est le tout premier de la longue série de "contes de Noel" publiés par Anne Perry depuis quelques années. Comme c'est devenu la règle l'intrigue est centrée sur l'un des personnages secondaires récurrents de l'une des deux principales séries d'Anne Perry. Cette fois, c'est l'excentrique Lady Vespasia, protectrice de Pitt et mentor de Charlotte qui s'y colle. L'intérêt réside dans le fait que l'on découvre une Vespasia jeune ( ça change et on en apprend plus sur le personnage et ses rela ...more
Last night, I read one of Anne Perry's short Christmas mystery novels, A Christmas Journey. According to what I read, this was the first of what has become an annual tradition of Ms. Perry, a holiday-themed novella. This one was less a mystery, and more a personal journey for one of the female characters, Isobel, a lady of Victorian High Society, whose jealousy leads to her making some cutting remarks toward Gwendolyn, a young widow on the brink of remarrying. Isobel's hurtful comments are belie ...more
A Christmas Journey is the first book of the Christmas mystery series by Anne Perry. The story is set in England and Scotland early in December, mid-19th century, when war in the Crimea was only a future possibility.

The story features young Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, barely past 30 years old with young children. Lady Vespasia attends a weekend house party at Applecross, the country house of Omegus Jones. The dozen guests include older couples from ranking society, plus 2 young widows and 2 el
The Book Maven
Meh; I found this book rather mediocre. I love Christmas, and therefore love Christmas novels, but I have a realistic view of them: like Christmas albums by famous musicians, Christmas novels by famous authors do not showcase their talent, but rather hop on the cash-horse that is Christmas.

Perhaps my expectations were too high; I think what I was looking for were some insights on how Christmas was celebrated by the Victorians. No such luck here.

Also, this book was less twisty than Perry's other
Since the title fits the current season I finally read the little book. Set (but not written) 150 years ago; and the manners, customs and moral standards of the people were quite different back then.

A young lady, already widowed and about to remarry, is throwing herself off a bridge and into a lake. And that apparently only because of a cruel remark of another lady (also a widow and in some hope to marry the man in question herself). As a kind of atonement this lady with the sharp tongue has to
I was disappointed in this novel. The plot of the novel was somewhat implausible. The setting is Victorian and it opens with a weekend society gathering. A cruel remark is made which leads to a suicide. The character who made the remark is bullied by the rest of the gathering to make a pilgrimage to tell the mother of the dead lady. It all feels very contrived and odd. The second part of the novel had some lovely descriptions of Scotland and was more interesting than the first half with a little ...more
Kate Baxter
It is a cold December weekend at Applecross, the English country estate of Omegus Jones. His guests are dressed in their finery and have gathered for dinner. A cruel remark by one guest is made of another - a young widow just beginning to socialize again, who appeared to be destined for a marriage proposal over the weekend.

But alas, the next morning, the young widow's body is pulled from the estate's lake - apparent suicide. Isobel Alvie, was perceived to have driven widow, Gwendolen Kilmuir, to
A super, quick read. I wanted to reread the first Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery, but it was checked out. Since I hadn't read any of this series, I thought I would give it a try. So many things are glossed over or just hinted at, so it wasn't as satisfying as a full mystery novel, but I don't think that was the point. A nice reminder at the end of mercy and the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Jill Bowman
Again, for the 'challenge', a Christmas book. Now, I hate Christmas books. They all are so sappy. I saw that mystery writer Anne Perry had written some so I decided to try one of those. Not bad! Pretty thoughtful in fact. Her ideas of a penance, a pilgrimage for the expiation of sins, really works. There's a bit to think of. Especially in light of Anne P herself. I may even read a few more. Someday.
Victorian mystery featuring one of its more interesting characters, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould.
This book is a series. I enjoyed the book and it is found in the adult section. It is a book about an expiation—for a suicide that was commited.
I would not stop my students from reading the novel.
The main idea that I disagreed with in the book was the feminist idea that it is okay for married women to have feelings for other men. The novel does not focus on this, but I am assuming Anne Perry, a woma
This story features a young Lady Vespasia, who later in her life becomes the companion, defender, and patron of Charlotte and Thomas Pitt.

Vespasia is attending a house party near Christmas time and a young woman in the party commits suicide by throwing herself off a bridge into a lake on the property. The guests blame a friend of Vespasia, Lady Isobel, for the suicide since the evening prior, Isobel had made a rude and spiteful comment to the victim.

Isobel and Vespasia embark on a trip to Scotla
Lady Vispasia, aunt of Charlotte Pitt, in a story from her youth. While at a house party, a cruel remark to a young widow causes her to commit suicide by drowning herself. The group present will never mention this again if the offending speaker, Isabel, takes the dead woman's final letter to her mother. Vispasia agrees to travel with her, as they need to go to Inverness in Northern Scotland in December. When they finally arrive at the lady's home, they learn she has not lived there for a year an ...more
Charla Wilson
This is the first Anne Perry Book that I have read, however, it will not be the last. I loved the imagery, the victorian era, the story line and the fact that it was a short read! Lady Vespasia(what a name!)is attending a dinner with many other wealthy folks and one lady insults another lady in front of everyone. The insulted lady is then found drowned, an apparent suicide. It is assumed it is because of the insult. Lady Vespasia and the insulter are sent on a trip of atonement to the see the de ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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 cate
More about Anne Perry...

Other Books in the Series

Christmas Stories (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • A Christmas Visitor (Christmas Stories, #2)
  • A Christmas Guest (Christmas Stories, #3)
  • A Christmas Secret (Christmas Stories, #4)
  • 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)
The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1) The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #1) Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #2) A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2) Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)

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