Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories, #1)” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
A Christmas Journey
Anne Perry
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories #1)

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  1,734 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
A tranquil weekend party at an English country manor is shattered by a suspicious death. Taking a leading role in the ensuing investigation is one of the most beloved characters from Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt series: Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, "the ultimate aristocrat who could trace her blood to half the royal houses of Europe."
Audio, 0 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Sound Library (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Christmas Journey, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Christmas Journey

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ana T.
Dec 08, 2007 Ana T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas, victorian

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
Saándhra Solita
No es una novela típica de misterio policial, porque lo que ocurre es un suicidio y quien investiga las causas del mismo no es la policía, por lo que se hace una novela interesante más que nada por el misterio que encierran los personajes que se encuentran involucrados en la historia: Vespasia, Gwendolen e Isobel... MI RESEÑA COMPLETA AQUÍ:
Dec 22, 2008 Tierney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, christmas
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
This was a very quick read - more a novella really - I started and finished it on Boxing Day - and read other books as well! It was…interesting, but not gripping. Not sure whether it makes me want to read more Anne Perry or not… I think I would read one more - if it is like this one, I may not read any more, but I have hopes a full-length novel would be more developed.
First sentence: Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould hesitated a moment at the top of the stairs.

Premise/plot: A country-house party in December goes terribly wrong when one of the guests decides to jump off a bridge and commit suicide. The "victim" of this mystery (Gwendolen) was first the victim of a cutting insult. The other guests decide that Isobel (the woman who was 'rude') is to blame. She's to be ostracized from that day forward. But the host (Omegus Jones) and the heroine (Lady Vespasia) concoct
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
Dec 10, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 09, 2009 Nicole Romine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
For a book classified as a Christmas novel there really wasn't Christmas in it. I was actually disappointed to be honest, it may have been a fast read but it wasn't overly satisfying. Maybe I was expecting more Christmas in the book.

Jan 01, 2017 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
A good story that I enjoyed.
Nov 22, 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.
Not really a mystery in any traditional sense, although thinking of it as a mystery probably allows the reader to suss out the few surprises the plot has in store. Still, Anne Perry's attention to both the details of Victorian life and the details of human nature is evident here, and the strength of her moral vision and reflections on the meaning of Christmas is what carries the story through.
Dec 20, 2016 Tameeka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book felt more like a journey that happened to be at Christmas. The holiday is lightly sprinkled throughout this novella but doesn't take on a more prominent role until the final pages. I couldn't relate to one character in this story. I thought it had something to do with the length of the book but even the length did not entice me to read more of Anne Perry's work.
Mary Lauer
I FINALLY read carefully enough to understand the motivations. ;)
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
Feb 28, 2017 Jeanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice story
Jess Swann
Aug 27, 2013 Jess Swann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 01, 2013 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2012 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Peg Schwarz
Jan 21, 2016 Peg Schwarz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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-Gould–one of the most memorable characters from the Thomas Pitt series–who appears here as a lively young woman, the ultimate ...more
Cathy Cramer
Ever since I discovered them, I have enjoyed reading a couple of Anne Perry's Christmas novels every Christmas. I've done so haphazardly, but finally decided that this year I would read the first in the series. I enjoy reading them because while they definitely contain a holiday theme, they are not overly sentimental or saccharine-sweet like most of the Christmas genre.

This is a somewhat haunting story of a suicide - not haunting in the other-worldly sense, but in the unsettling sense of longing
This book 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 self-exploration with the whoddunit part becoming a secondary story. I was left wanting to know more ...more
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
Dec 16, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 18, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just discovered Anne Perry this year and have been devouring her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels. In them, the character I have grown to love the most is Great-aunt Vespasia. So I was very excited to see that she was the central character of Perry's first Christmas novella.

To begin with, it *is* a novella. It is short and efficient in the storytelling. It is a mystery but there is never the "big reveal". It is puzzled out then left alone. Because the mystery is the format but the purpose is
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
Dec 17, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A number of guests have gathered at Applecross, the country home of Omegus Jones for a weekend party. Many of them are society's elite. It w I don'as after dinner as they gathered in the withdrawing room that a cruel comment was made. The next morning a guest is found to have committed suicide. One guest is determined to be to blame. Omegus sets out a plan: she can deliver the letter written by the dead woman to her mother and explain her role. If she completes the trek, she will be welcomed ba ...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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Christmas Tree
  • A Rumpole Christmas
  • Finding Father Christmas (Father Christmas, #1)
  • The Paper Bag Christmas
  • A Stillness in Bethlehem (Gregor Demarkian, #7)
  • The Christmas Wish
  • How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas (The Christmas Chronicles #2)
  • When Christmas Comes
  • A Catered Christmas (A Mystery with Recipes, #3)
  • On Strike for Christmas
  • The House Without a Christmas Tree
  • Smuggler's Moon (Sir John Fielding, #8)
  • The Christmas Promise (Christmas Hope, #4)
  • Holly and Homicide (A Domestic Bliss Mystery, #7)
  • The Christmas Clock
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Two Cooks A-Killing (Angie Amalfi, #11)
  • Mistletoe and Molly
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 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)

Share This Book

“Where physical survival was relatively easy, one created rules to make social survival more difficult.” 0 likes
“It is not necessarily what is but what is perceived that society will judge.” 0 likes
More quotes…