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A Christmas Visitor

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,008 ratings  ·  233 reviews
It is mid-December and Henry Rathbone travels to the Dreghorn family manor house near Ullswater. But despite the festive season and the beautiful surroundings, this is not a happy occasion; he is going to comfort the family following the death of his friend, the master of the house [Judah Dreghorn]. It seems that Judah Dreghorn slipped while crossing a stream on the ground ...more
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Ballantine Books
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Megan I think the Christmas Visitor is Henry Rathbone, the main character. It's considered a Christmas book because it takes place around Christmas (the boo…moreI think the Christmas Visitor is Henry Rathbone, the main character. It's considered a Christmas book because it takes place around Christmas (the book concludes on Christmas Eve), features a family celebrating Christmas, and has various characters reflecting on how Christmas should affect our lives. (less)

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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,008 ratings  ·  233 reviews

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Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2017-completed
A family’s estate and holdings come under peril when the investigation of a death begins to unravel an old court case that had been settled more than a decade previously.

As the family gathers together for Christmas from the far corners of the world – Palestine, Africa, and the United States – there is a great deal of emotional turbulence that could not just unravel their lives but put them in danger as well.

Henry Rathbone, as a family friend and godfather, takes on the task of trying to keep eve
I'd like to dedicate this review to the wine I drank. You made this book tolerable.

A Christmas Visitor was definitely one of those books that I read for a specific challenge.. because someone said to. I completely regret that decision on my part.. but thankfully I had wine to help me out. So, thank you pinot!

Now I do tend to love murder mystery books.. but this one fell flat for me. Especially since it's around freaking Christmas - which is my damn jam. I love that day - don't ruin that day for
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
Iza Brekilien
When I think "Christmas stories", I think "share the love", "be a better person", warm and fuzzy, cosy reading, a bit gooey. This is not the case here.
This particular novella is rather depressing ! It begins with a traditional family reunion in awful circumstances : one of the brothers has died recently, his morality is questioned, he left a widow and a young son. So the story is laced with mourning, gloom, resentment, anger and violence.

Some parts were repetitive : poor Henry Rathbone has to go
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
While the book isn’t as Christmasy as I had hoped, I’ve really come to enjoy the coziness of these Christmas mysteries.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another highly satisfying novella in Perry's Christmas Stories series. The shorter format allows Perry to tell some unconventional stories. This one explores honesty and integrity, and how far a man will go to set right the errors of the past. ...more
Josephine (Jo)
This story is set in Ullswater in Cumbria in the depth of a cold, snowy Victorian winter. There has been a lot of bad blood between Ashton Gower and the Dreghorn family and when one of the Dreghorn brothers is found dead, Gower is the natural suspect. As luck would have it, Henry Rathbone (famous for his roles in Perry's William Monk series) is a family friend and also a godfather to one of the Dreghorns and he is on hand to help out with the dreadful task of informing the remaining Dreghorn bro ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I listened to this book as an audio book and it was very well narrated. I felt that some things were repeated too many times. For example, we didn't know why Jude went out for a walk so late at night. People kept saying it over and over until I got tired of it! However, it was still a good story with a surprise ending that redeemed it for me. ...more
Lady Delacour
Unusual, clever, mystery story.
The characters were warm,
loving, and real.
Very enjoyable listen.
Narrator Terrence Hardiman
has a nice soothing voice.
Clean except for some Foul Language.
Betty Strohecker
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the Dreghorn family gathers for a Christmas reunion in England's Lake District, members discover that one of their own has met with an accidental death. Struggling to come to terms with this, they are further shocked when evidence points to murder. Anne Perry does a great job of unraveling this murder with a surprising ending. Her writing skill also demonstrates a concise, but effective use of description. Two brothers have traveled a great distance to be together, one from Palestine and the ...more
Sep 04, 2007 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
Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ambience of a wintery Lake District is beautifully portrayed as is the spirit of Christmas and the arrangements within a family house for the festive season as Henry Rathbone, the best friend of the head of the family Judah Dreghorn and godfather to Judah's wife Antonia, makes his way to the Dreghorn family mansion near Ullswater to celebrate the holiday. It is to be a family occasion
as also expected are two Dreghorn brothers, Benjamin and Ephraim, and the wife of a third who had died abroa
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an intriguing Christmas mystery -- all because alleged forgeries and false documents -- and a little matter of a mysterious death, of course. It all comes together in a rather intriguing way.

As every chapter unfolded, I was reminded of an Agatha Christie plot. It was great!

Recommended for: Adults
Suitable for: 12 and up
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
Mary Alice
Jan 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
The Christmas Visitor is a quick read, and somewhat entertaining. But the solution to the mystery of who murdered Judah Dreghorn is predictable from the start. Judah's family pins the blame on the wrong man. But there's no evidence, so they can't hang him. Once the real murderer is revealed to be the person the reader always knew he was (but the family didn't), then we shouldn't mind that there was no evidence to convict evidence at all. But since he was indeed the real murderer, he we ...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
Dec 29, 2010 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.
A nice little mystery with a heavy dose of moralizing at the end. A very old-fashioned book.
Valerie Campbell Ackroyd
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a deeply spiritual book, not your average Christmas mystery. Having followed Anne Perry for years, I can see her own personal faith in the plot and its ending.

For those who are already Anne Perry fans, it's a very enjoyable read, full of her usual descriptions of England's landscapes but without any of the usual society trappings. The story, the kind of story that we would probably have read as young people many years ago, concerns a man, Henry Rathbone, who journeys from London to Cumbe
Like the other two of her 'Christmas' stories, the fact that it is Christmas is almost beside the point... other than the fact of the weather: bitter cold in England and horribly hot in India!
These books (of the three that I've read so far) are mysteries with a strong story-line and interesting characters. Not necessarily cheerful, rather the contrary but very good nonetheless. They are also moralistic in nature, which plays into Christmas a bit more.
Randy Tramp
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A murder mystery. Accidental or not? Henry Rathbone seeks to find the answer.

I enjoy stories with honorable characters. Christmas Visitor ranks up at the top with that distinction.

The read kept my attention from page one to the end. I look forward to the next in the series, as I plan to read every one of Perry's books. They are that good.
Karla Huebner
I've enjoyed a reasonable number of Anne Perry's books, so I thought this novella would be a good item to bring home. It's about family members returning to England for Christmas just in time to learn that the host brother has "accidentally" died during a night-time walk after his son's violin recital. The tone throughout is serious and even lugubrious, and the tale could be said to have a moral. I can't say I really cared for it, however. Didn't really get that interested in the characters. ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, series
A simple, fast read that you could recommend to your grandmother.
Tricia Culp
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This old-fashioned Christmas mystery is a cross between Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Gaskell. A lovely, light winter read
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, christmas, 2018
A quick listen as part of my "all Christmas all the time" reading binge this holiday season. This was less fluffy than some of my earlier picks but not particularly Christmassy. I have come to realize that many of the books with Christmas in the title have very little to do with Christmas! I say humbug to these non-Christmassy offerings. ...more
GERRY Hermans
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Henry Rathbone summoned by his grand daughter to investigate an apparent accidental death but finds murder instead. The Dreghorn clan congregate after being away from each other after 10 years, but is there another victim among them?
Dec 26, 2015 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
Nov 01, 2010 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. ...more
Dec 23, 2012 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.
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Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is an English author of historical detective fiction, best known for her Thomas Pitt and William Monk series. In 1954, at the age of fifteen, she was convicted of participating in the murder of her friend's mother. She changed her name to "Anne Perry" after serving a five-year sentence.

Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979.

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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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.” 12 likes
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