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A Christmas Visitor (Christmas Stories, #2)
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A Christmas Visitor (Christmas Stories #2)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  1,136 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Renowned for her acclaimed Victorian novels as well as a stunning new series set in World War I, Anne Perry consistently dazzles us with stories rife with emotion, intrigue, and psychological depth. She recently expanded her talents with the delightfully rendered novella, "A Christmas Journey," which "USA Today" called "one of the best books to brighten the joyous season." ...more
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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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
131st out of 358 books — 486 voters
Belgrave Square by Anne PerryParagon Walk by Anne PerrySilence in Hanover Close by Anne PerryAt Some Disputed Barricade by Anne PerryWe Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry
Best of Anne Perry
47th out of 100 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,757)
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Do not believe the descriptors! "On the heels of the success of A Christmas Journey comes this festive mystery." "In this delightful Christmas tale . . ."

Part of my 2015 Christmas marathon, the only reason I didn't abandon this is that it was so short. I struggled through the last hour and in the end I had no idea of what had happened to cause the death of the murder victim whose name I cannot remember. What I do remember is that poor Henry Rathbone, godfather of the murder victim's wife, had to
Dec 30, 2010 Knitme23 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
Well, I'm not sure why this one is hailed as a Christmas story. It's about a murder, and spends an inordinate amount of time focusing on poor Henry Rathbone having to tell the victim's siblings, one by one, the bad news as they arrive for the holiday visit. The descriptions of the weather, the food, the setting, and even the detecting are interesting and rich, but every so often I would think, "Wait a minute: uplifting Christmas story? HUH?" Perhaps this is an example of marketing actually putti ...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
Dec 29, 2010 Bronwyn Rykiert rated it liked it
This is a short story and though it was enjoyable enough most of the time I felt there was too much left out or maybe I just missed bits.

Judah Dreghorn dies in mysterious circumstances and his wife Antonia calls on her godfather Henry Rathbone to come to her aide after his death. There are also her husband's brothers Benjamin, Efrim and her sister in law Naomi. They have all come home for Christmas and it is left to Henry to tell them the sad news about their older brother and the claim that the
More of a Murder Mystery than a Christmas story.
Dec 26, 2015 Mayda rated it liked it
A happy Christmas reunion of the Dreghorn family was thwarted by the sudden death of one of the brothers. Though ruled accidental, the gathering family cannot believe the tragedy was simply an accident. In trying to understand the events that led up to the death, they suspect it could have been murder. But digging deeper, they uncover an unsavory act that could change all their lives forever. This intricate plot has as many twists as a country road, and will keep your interest until the very end ...more
SUMMARY: The Dreghorn family is gathering for an anticipated reunion in the Lake District of England. The blissful tranquility of the snowbound estate, however, is soon shattered by what appears to be an accidental death. The victim’s distraught wife, Antonia, summons her godfather, distinguished mathematician and inventor Henry Rathbone–one of the most beloved characters from Perry’s bestselling William Monk series. But questions about the tragic event turn into whispers of murder, sending shoc ...more
Sep 04, 2007 LJ rated it really liked it
A CHRISTMAS VISITOR (Historic Mystery-England-1850’s) - VG
Anne Perry – Standalone
Ballantine Books, 2004- Hardcover
Harry Rathbone is off to spend Christmas with his newly widowed goddaughter, Antonia Dreghorn, and her family. But when he finds her husband’s death may not have been accidental, he decides to find out the truth.
*** This is the second year Ms. Perry has taken one of the secondary characters from her main series and given them their own Christmas mystery novella, which is wonderful. I
Dec 19, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
I first read Anne Perry when I was in college. At the time, I spent my two years getting my associate’s degree working my way through her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mysteries. After I moved on to complete my undergraduate work, I went to a different school and didn’t have access to those books any longer. This year, I found this book on my shelf and, lacking anything else to read, I picked it up.

It’s a novella-length story, so I figured that I could read it while I waited for the loan request tha
Dec 24, 2012 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Perry here writes a morality tale rather than a stereotypical mystery. It is also a character study, a comparison between brothers (one courageous and idealistic, and another - dead - who was quiet and forgiving. The character of Benjamin (the courageous and idealistic one) reminds me a bit of St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre - unrelenting in his idealism, but harsh and judging.

This is a quiet tale, with some magic and mystery, with a Christmas message.
Nov 01, 2010 Kim rated it it was ok
I haven't read much Perry (I can't get past being creeped out that someone who committed a brutal and horrifying murder makes their living writing murder mysteries), but this one was not great. There was nothing special about this being a Christmas book - it could have taken place anytime at all. And, as I was attracted by the Christmas in England aspect, that was disappointing. I also figured out the ending way before the end of the book.
David Freudenburg
May 05, 2016 David Freudenburg rated it it was ok
Shelves: beach-reads
This short, quick and succinct mystery is really about the size of a novella. There aren't enough books this size these days so it is refreshing to have something like that. Even so, there is a surprising amount of padding. There are plenty of somewhat needless descriptions of food, drink, breakfast, dinner, ale, brandy and weather. In addition, a side-plot describing how one character has always been in love with another seemed rather pointless. All in all, this could have been a very clever, ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Lesley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Anne Perry. I don't normally read short stories / novellas but found this one pleasant on the whole, in that Christian beliefs are well spoken of and adhered to by the characters. Henry Rathbone also seems an intelligent, empathetic and perceptive main character. Also appreciated the depth created by the characters having "history". The setting and mood were both well evoked (although very occasionally the era seemed to slip into modern times ever so slightly).

However, it seeme
Jan 26, 2016 Eliece rated it it was ok
This novella features one of the characters of the William Monk series. Henry Rathbone is a distinguished mathematician and the father of Sir Oliver Rathbone (who was a one-time suitor off Hester Monk.) He is summoned to the Lake District by his goddaughter Antonia Dreghorne, whose husband has recently died in what appeared to be a senseless accident. But his good name is being smeared by a man he sent to prison for 11 years, and now Judge Dreghorne's wife and brothers fear he was murdered by As ...more
Kristie J.
Jan 20, 2016 Kristie J. rated it liked it
This book was a relatively short (200 small pages), intriguing mystery set in Victorian England's Lake District in wintertime. Christmas is mentioned a couple of times in the book (decorating for Christmas, etc.) but it is really not a book about Christmas. It's basically a mystery set in December with snowstorms, riding in carriages, and sitting by the fire in the winter, etc. The characters were a little dry and it took me a while to get into the book, but about halfway through I was fully eng ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Donna rated it it was ok
I like Henry Rathbone in the Monk series, but he doesn't seem a strong enough character to base a story on. Perhaps this book indicates why most mysteries are long...otherwise the "detecting" seems to move too quickly and wrap up too soon.
Dec 08, 2009 Alyse rated it it was ok
SPOILER ALERT*** Honestly I was looking for a good holiday mystery but this book is SO depressing and it ends horribly, without really ending.
Mar 02, 2010 VMom rated it it was ok
Henry Rathbone (Sir Oliver's father in the Monk series) solves a mystery. Quite unrealistic ending though.
Dec 08, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club, holiday
A straightforward holiday mystery. The plotline of several siblings (plus one friend) all coming home for Christmas to discover their brother died in an apparent accident seems like it should have been a bit better than this was. Nothing to particularly like or dislike, it just felt like there was not enough depth to the characters for a whodunit. This is the second Ann Perry Christmas book we've discussed in book club, and I may have to try one of her standard books instead which I understand a ...more
Sep 21, 2009 Christa rated it it was ok
ok, not much of a mustery, not much of an anything really.
Tracy Enright
Jan 04, 2015 Tracy Enright rated it liked it
I like Anne Perry's Christmas novellas. They're a nice, light read but this one was lighter than most. There was a mystery at the heart of it but it was less complex than her usual offerings and left me wondering a little whether this would have been better as a sub plot in one of her full length novels. Despite that, it was well written with all the little period details that make the author's books a joy to read. I'm glad I read it but only because it gave me a little more insight into one of ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
I read an Anne Perry Christmas mystery last year, and thought I would give them one more chance! A Christmas Journey's plot left something to be desired but the writing style was great!
Judah Dreghorn, the owner of a British estate dies a suspicious death. Concurrently all his siblings and his good friend Henry Rathbone are converging on the estate for what they think is a celebration. The plot also concerns forged deeds and the obligatory villain Ashton Gower. But is all what it seems??????
Dec 15, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it
I'm skeptical about Christmas-themed fiction, so I was surprised that this one is such a gem. It's actually a murder mystery of the classic sort. One of four brothers has been found dead, apparently by slipping and falling in a stream. Then, doubts surface. Was it accident or murder? If murder, who and why? I don't want to spoil the mystery, but Christmas isn't just a backdrop for the story. Rest assured that if this was sentimental mush I wouldn't recommend it. It's a quick, enjoyable read for ...more
Rea K
Pop Sugar Book Challenge: Mystery (EVEN THOUGH THIS ONE SUCKS)

*snores* Wait, what? I finished it? Golly but it was boring.
So. This dude was found dead in a stream. His brothers and sister-in-law were toddling back for Christmas. Our lead is a friend of the family.
I just... thought it was boring. Uneventful. Lots of talking. No action besides riding back and forth between town and the manor and walking. I was literally reading it and I had to close my eyes for a bit because I was falling asleep
Dec 14, 2014 Correen rated it liked it

A quick holiday read about a lesser character, Henry Rathbone, father of Oliver Rathbone in the Monk series. Henry does not play much part in the series except as an enhancement of Oliver. The character of the senior Rathbone is much like that of his son, except more consistent and less emotional.

Perry uses these holiday novels to give greater depth to the characters in her series. The books are less complex and require little effort to read but are pleasant for regular series readers.

This started as good story, an interesting premise. The death of Judah Dreghorn shortly before his brothers were due to arrive at the family estate for Christmas. The widow Antonia calls her godfather Henry Rathbone to join them and to offer her some support. As the two other brothers Ephraim and Benjamin arrive and Naomi, widow of the fourth Dreghorn brother Nathianiel arrive and learn the tragic news, they begin to wonder if there is more to Judah's death than it being just a tragic accident. ...more
Dec 06, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it
This novella gives a fun little mystery with a heart-warming message for the season. Henry Rathbone travels to the country to stay with his goddaughter whose husband has just died. The family is gathering for the holiday and Henry becomes involved in the investigation of a possible murder. He's an engaging character who wants to find out the truth and the Dreghorn family is also quite interesting. The theme of the book is really forgiveness and there are some nice passages.

"Henry remembered the
Dec 30, 2012 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec Le Voyageur de Noël?

"Les nouvelles de Noël d'Anne Perry deviennent vite introuvables après leur parution et il m'en manquait toujours quelques-unes. Heureusement, cette année, 10 18 a eu la riche idée de publier un recueil des quatre premières: la Disparue de Noël, le Voyageur de Noël, la Détective de Noël et le Secret de Noël.

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

"Henry Rathbone se rend chez les Dreghorn à la demande de la maît
Jess Swann
Aug 27, 2013 Jess Swann rated it it was ok
troisième conte de Noel que je lis sous la plume de Anne Perry et cette fois c’est père d’Oliver ( série Monk) qui est au centre de l’histoire. Soyons franc, Henry n’est pas mon personnage secondaire préféré et mon intérêt pour lui est proche de zéro. Cependant, l’histoire de spoliation d’héritage, de faux en écriture et d’un accident qui ressemble de plus en plus à un crime avait tout pour me plaire. Et ça m’a plu. Pendant les deux tiers du livre. Malheureusement, après un synopsis aussi promet ...more
"A Christmas Visitor" is another of Anne Perry's Christmas mysteries, the second one she wrote. Unlike her first effort in this series (which I read and reviewed a couple days ago), this story is more mystery and less character study.

Henry Rathbone has come to spend Christmas with his friends, Judah Dreghorn and family. Unfortunately, before Henry arrives, Judah dies under mysterious circumstances. At first thought to be an accidental drowning, Judah's death begins to look more and more like mu
Ana T.
Feb 07, 2008 Ana T. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas, victorian
Another novella about Christmas and in this case about doind the right thing...this is my second novella by Perry and once again it's very good.

Henry Rathbone arrives to spend Christmas at the Dreghorn family manor house near Ullswater. He is greeted by the news that the master of the house, Judah Dreghorn has slipped while crossing a stream in the grounds of the estate in the middle of the night, and drowned. Not only this, but Ashton Gower, recently released from prison, is slandering Judah's
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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
More about Anne Perry...

Other Books in the Series

Christmas Stories (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories, #1)
  • 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)

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“Sometimes we bring to a struggle or cause the gifts we see most clearly, a courage, a strength, or a charm others have told us we have. But often we find more is asked of us than that, more than we intended or thought we possessed. We are asked to offer that which we thought dearest, to forgive what seemed unpardonable, to face what we feared the most and endure it. Sometimes we have to travel to the last step a path that was not of our own choosing. But I promise you this ... it will lead to a greater joy in the end. The difficulty is that the end is beyond our sight, it is a matter of faith, not of knowledge.” 9 likes
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