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A Christmas Journey

(Christmas Stories #1)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,663 ratings  ·  341 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
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published November 18th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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LaRita No. The stories stand alone well on their own. There are character qualities and behaviors that may be a bit richer when read in order. However, I hav…moreNo. The stories stand alone well on their own. There are character qualities and behaviors that may be a bit richer when read in order. However, I have read them in order when possible and also enjoyed them out of order when the next novel was not yet on my bookshelf.

The Christmas novels are meant to stand alone in my opinion .(less)

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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  2,663 ratings  ·  341 reviews

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Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This story was the first in what was to become 15 years’ worth of Christmas Stories from the writer, Anne Perry. (So far.) As in her splendidly crafted novels, these stories take place in the British Isles during the Victorian era in the mid-1800’s. This is a time and a place that have always fascinated me, and perhaps due to Dickens, seem to be so well-suited to tales of Christmas.

In this story, Christmas happens only at the end – and it ties in nicely with the objectives and challenges assigne
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I was expecting more of a Christmas setting with this novella, but nonetheless it was still a perfect winters read.

The story opens at a party in early December.
Gwendolen Kilmuir body is found in the lake the morning after the gathering, she had committed suicide after Isobel has made a cruel remark to her the previous evening.
Vowing to make the guilty party pay Omegus Jones and Vespasia journey to Scotland with a sealed letter written before Gwendolen’s death, as they truth wil
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian, christmas

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
Dec 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
3 stars.

We have a much younger Lady Vespasia (from the Thomas Pitt series) at a pre-Christmas house party where another female guest was found drowned in the lake. Everyone believe she committed suicide because of some cruel remarks by another female guest. The host then suggests a journey of expiation for that female guest to deliver the news of death to the mother, who lives in north Scotland. Vespasia decides to go as support and we eventually learned the reasons why the woman committed suici
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
An unconventional mystery, but a satisfying one, as a young Lady Vespasia from the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series accompanies another young woman on a difficult trip. An exploration of guilt and redemption, as well as the troubling consequences of the social and economic limitations on women in the Victorian era.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
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.
Valerie Campbell Ackroyd
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am so glad I found this book on Chirp audiobooks! After reading it, I went to my library and borrowed all of the other Anne Perry's Christmas stories that they had and also bought the most recent one on Kindle.

I used to be a huge fan of Anne Perry's Victorian mysteries. Then, about five years ago, I grew tired of them and took a break. But this one showcases every thing I always liked about her novels: she describes the scenes of upper class Victorian society so well, so like the old PBS Maste
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Anne Perry novel, and I'm impressed!

It's like an Agatha Christie plot, with an entire house-full for a cast of characters. An unexpected death occurs, and fingers soon begin to point among those in their midst. Once a particular person is charged, an option of mercy is granted. But the task appointed, it is not for the faint of heart...

A journey of expiation is presented. In hopes to silence any gossip, the hazardous mission deep into the Scottish Highlands is accepted by the guilty per
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
Don't let the title fool you, this book isn't really about Christmas! It is, however, a pleasant story to spend an evening with if you're a fan of historical mysteries. I read this in a single sitting and have already requested the next two from my local library. It would be hard to describe the plot without giving away the main events of the whole story, but here's the gist: when a group of friends gathers at a country house for a weekend party, one of the guests ends up dead. Our protagonist e ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christmas, mystery
There is really not much about Christmas in this tale, and not much of a mystery, either. Readers of Anne Perry’s Victorian era books will recognize a character or two in this one. And while the writing is typical Perry, this short novel has little beyond that to commend it. A widow in the upper ranks of society commits suicide after an unkind remark by another party goer. It is decided by others attending the festivities that a letter left to her mother by the dead woman must be delivered to th ...more
Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)
Lol unnecessarily bizarre and only slightly christmassy. Like only a teensy bit.
Nancy Ellis
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Anne Perry is one of my favorite authors, and I love re-reading her Christmas novels, although I guess they're considered more novellas since they are quite short. This is the first and is a story about one of her favorite characters, Lady Vespasia, in her younger days, who accompanies a friend on a journey of repentance and expiation for her part in bringing about the suicide of another young lady. An enjoyable "escape" read for the holidays!!
Betty Strohecker
I really enjoy Anne Perry's Christmas books. After seeing one in the store several years ago, I have made it a point to try to read all of her Christmas selections. They are all different, have an air of mystery or suspense about them, and use the Christmas season as a backdrop to the story.

A Christmas Journey is the first of her Christmas books and takes two women on a journey through the wilds of the Scottish Highlands in an attempt to seek redemption for an act deemed to cause the death of a
This was just an OK read for me. I thought it might get me into the Christmas mood but it didn't. I thought it was more of a mystery instead of a warm and cozy Christmas time type of book. It made me feel chilly with all the huge rooms and the ladies running around in crinoline type dresses or whatever they wore back in those days. This novella has Lady Vespasia as a young woman involved with a mystery. This story is about mercy and forgiveness. Loved the BBC series Downton Abbey but this just d ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is Anne Perry's first Christmas novel and features two young women, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould and Isobel Alvie. After another young woman commits suicide, they set out on a journey to inform the young woman's mother of her daughter's death. It is a mission of expiation for Isobel, who feels somewhat responsible, since she had made a particularly cruel remark to the young lady shortly before her death. The two ladies find the trip much more of a struggle than they could have ever anticipat ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was my first Anne Perry novel and I thought her writing ability was exceptional. I was a little frustrated with her characters who thought that keeping their word of honor was an unbreakable law yet who were quite cavalier about breaking their marriage vows.

The mystery was pretty interesting but got lost in a gobbledygook of odd ideas about sin and redemption.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This was well ok. Not as much mystery as I hoped but honestly fun as I love to read about the wealthy of the past with their pretense and pomp. I’m going to try one more in this series before I judge and lose interest.
I enjoy her books, part mystery, a little romance, and a lot of atmosphere. These are a quick read (or listen) as they are fairly short, but the perfect Christmas choice because of that. One can get through it quickly, enjoy the distraction, and get back to all the demands of the season.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas, mystery, 2003
Not really a mystery....and not very Christmasy..
It's not a bad story, it's just nothing to do with Christmas except for a mention on the last page...
Nov 19, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Geraldine Gust
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by the fascinating tale and journey that followed. Such a gripping story of courage & friendship between two women who were thrown together because of words that were spoken on a fateful night.

I was surprised by the fascinating tale and journey that followed. How two women were thrown together because of a fateful event that bound them as friends forever.
Donna Simpson
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Please note that the description of the book here at Goodreads has a significant name wrong; Gwendolyn is the young woman who commits suicide. Isobel is the young woman who sets out on the journey of expiation. The 'Christmas Journey' is much more about a journey to forgiveness, self-awareness and friendship than it is about a journey to Scotland and back.

This is the first I have read of Perry's Christmas stories, and it won't be my last. If you are expecting a puzzling mystery or a sweet Chris
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 will be ...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 rated it it was ok
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.

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Mystery Madness: 12/18 Whodunits Pick: A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry 4 9 Dec 26, 2018 04:26PM  

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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.

Other books in the series

Christmas Stories (1 - 10 of 17 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)

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