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A Christmas Odyssey (Christmas Stories, #8)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,236 ratings  ·  211 reviews
In her beloved Christmas novels, Anne Perry brings readers both the authentic Victorian charm and the nail-biting suspense that have made her Thomas Pitt and William Monk tales bestsellers for a generation. Though rife with intrigue, these special seasonal stories beam with the blessed light of the holiday.
Ten days before Christmas, as an icy wind cuts through London, we
Hardcover, 193 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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 ·  1,236 ratings  ·  211 reviews

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Nope nope nope
Lucian Wentworth is a fine gentleman's son and has lost himself in the London underworld. A murder mystery drives the prodigal's tale forward. However, the path is through such a nasty underworld of drugs and sex that I had to fast forward through the entire middle of the book. I expect clean stories out of Anne Perry. This isn't clean and it isn't Christmasy either. Disappointed.

Content: descriptions of London underworld and what goes on there; heavy drug use; profanities
Amy Yingling
This one was pretty dark for a Christmas story of any kind, but it did include some Christmas here and there. I found it entertaining, but it didn't hold me like A Christmas Guest (#3 in this series) did. ...more
Jason Koivu
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jesus, that was pretty frickin' rough for a Christmas book! A Christmas Odyssey is a gruesome dumpster dive into Victorian London's sewers and drug dens. It's a world of depravity peopled by pimps, whores, transvestites, smackheads, thieves and murderers. The only thing Christmassy about this book is a paragraph's worth of holiday decor description at the very end. So yeah...good stuff! ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, holiday
Other years were better in this series.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
I ran across this book at the library in a Christmas display and checked it out on impulse. It was certainly not what I expected in a Christmas book, when I want to read something uplifting. This was my first Anne Perry book and I was disappointed. I wish I had started with a different one by her as I have heard really good things about her books. I do intend to try another because she writes novels set in Victorian times in London and my favorites are historical novels set in England, Scotland ...more
I checked this book out before Christmas thinking that it was a nice little story of Christmas and redemption in Victorian England. Some of that is true, but it is a very dark tale a wayward son that has been lured into a world of drugs, murder, and wild passion. Most of the story centers on the three men that are trying to track down the prodigal son.
In fairness, this is not the type of book I enjoy reading.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-to-sell
I bought this book because, citing a review from the Glasgow Evening Times, the dust jacket says: "If Christmas puts you in the mood for a good Agatha Christie, try Perry." As a hardcore fan of Agatha Christie, who has read all of her novels, I have to say that, in retrospective, I am offended by this claim. Perry's crime is so boring that I was not able to finish it. I just skipped half of the book and read who the murderer was. That would never happen to me with Christie... ...more
Brent Soderstrum
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the 8th book from Perry's Christmas Stories series-the series that really has nothing to do with Christmas with the exception of the time the story takes place.

A very dark Christmas season is upon you in reading this selection from Perry. We are in the 1800's in London ten days before Christmas when James Wentworth comes to his old friend Henry Rathbone and asks him to find his son, Lucien, who has turned to the dark side of London's underbelly. Drugs, drink and prostitutes abound. Henry
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Longer than it needed to be - liked the idea of a story of Christmas redemption, but not enough of that side of it for my taste
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
There is very little Christmas in this book, but it is a good story. Henry promises a friend that he will try to find his friend's son who had seemingly disappeared shortly before Christmas into the drug infested underworld of Victorian London . Henry has no idea how to go about his search so he turns to Squeaky a reformed brothel owner who now works as an accountant at Hester Monk's clinic. Squeaky in turn asks Crow, a non-licensed but, none the less, practising doctor who treats the needy soul ...more
Nancy Cook-senn
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Henry Rathbone has to rescue a friend's son from a life of degradation, with the help of a reformed pimp and a well-meaning unlicensed doctor. ...more
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a good seasonal read. As always, Anne Perry is a masterful writer with a truly talented ability to develop characters and set a mood for her books that makes you feel that you are standing right next to the characters and experiencing the story with them, rather than simply reading it.

In this Christmas story, James Wentworth is heartsick over his son Lucien, who has taken up with a very bad group of people and left his life with his family for debauchery, drugs and other bad choices.

Nov 22, 2010 rated it liked it
I enjoy reading Anne Perry and was not disappointed in this novel dealing with the darker side of Victorian England. James Wentworth is not feeling the Christmas joy this year. His son, Lucien, has been lured into the world of drugs and sex. He asks his friend, Henry Rathbone, to help him locate his son. With the help of Squeaky Robinson, a reformed brothel keeper and Crow, a mysterious slum doctor, he finds himself in a London that he knows nothing about dealing with people has sunk so low that ...more
A gift from dear friend Bettie which just arrived safely home. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

This is my first book on the series "Christmas stories" and I really liked it.

This is the story of James Wentworth's search for his disappeared son. He asks for the help of Sir Henry Rathbone who was also helped by Squeaky Robinson and Doctor Crow. Their search delves into the underworld of drugs and prostitution in order to rescue Lucien.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
For such a famous author I was expecting a lot more. There was nothing that really intrigued me that much from the beginning and the characters were hard to keep up with. In the end, I just didn't care to wade through the underworld of drugs and sex to try to find this prodigal son. I'd rather read something less dark at Christmas. Okay, maybe just a different kind of dark. I'll try another of her books; I did like A Christmas Beginning, after all. ...more
Nov 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Love Anne Perry--her detailed descriptions from facial expression to mannerisms to dress are incredible. The book was interesting because it really delved into the darker side of life.
Nancy Ellis
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Another delightful entry in this Christmas series! Henry Rathbone searches for his friend's missing son in the sinister depths of underworld London. Thoroughly enjoyable as always! ...more
Kathy Albright
Mar 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Very tedious read. Twist on the Prodigal Son.
May 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not a type of story I would describe as Christmassy. Nor something I'd like to read over festive season. ...more
Ronald Kelland
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was certainly not what I expected. I am familiar with Anne Perry, but I have not rad much of her work and I have not read any of her Christmas novellas. When I pulled this one out of my stocking on Christmas morning I was a little taken aback. Based on the cover illustration and my experience with other authors' special Christmas offerings, I was expecting something maudlin, twee or saccharine sweet. Anne Perry's "A Christmas Odyssey" is none of that. We are taken almost immediately in ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
#8 Christmas Stories
10 days before Christmas, James Wentworth asks his best friend Henry Rathbone to try and locate his son Lucian, who has descended into the very depths of drugs, alcohol, sex and all manner of depravity in London’s West End. His own hopes of finding his son, have only driven him deeper and deeper away. Henry Rathbone reluctantly agrees to try and find the 34 year old man enamored of the beautiful and depraved Sadie. Seeking help from Scotland Yard policeman. William Monk’s wi
Kenneth Hardcastle
Guy asks a guy to find a guy. Finder guy enlists the help of two more guys and a random teenage girl in his quest. They search the gutters and back alleys of 1860s London, interrogating mostly women about the whereabouts of four persons whose existence seems mostly in legend. They eventually find a guy who may help lead them to answers, but can they stomach the truths they will learn?

This book is grossly mistitled, series or not. It is a journey that takes place during Christmas… but there is no
Pamela Mingle
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Many years ago, I was an avid reader of Anne Perry's Victorian mysteries. I drifted away, for some reason and never returned. Unbeknownst to me, she had written a number of Christmas mysteries. One caught my eye at the library recently, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Sorry to say, it just didn't work for me. It involved the rescue of a young man from the hellholes of debauchery in London. Initially, three men are involved in the rescue, but they pick up a young girl along the way. After they fou
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Squeaky Robinson agrees to help Henry Rathbone search for a friend’s son, roping Crow into the search in the depraved caverns of West England of 1885. The search leads them to encounter many lost souls and some vicious manipulators who profit from human misery. Although it is close to Christmas, the festivities of others are far away from the underground searches the team conducts with urgency. The searchers are joined by a young Bessie who exhibits caring and empathy as well as some knowledge o ...more
Kristie J.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The main thing that makes this a Christmas story is that it starts 10 days before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. There are brief references to Christmas, but mostly the story follows three men as they explore the ugliest part of Victorian London, the brothels, opium dens, and worse areas of depravity, searching for a friend's son who is lost in that world. It's told in a genteel style so that it's not too graphic, but still disturbing enough. I found it to be an intriguing story, with an e ...more
Virginia Tican
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
The search for Lucien Wentworth took too much time for me that I was forced to skip several pages and still was able t0 follow the story to a very satisfactory end. The hellish disgusting and nauseating descriptions of the literal labyrinthine underworld that Squeaky Robinson led Henry Rathbone into, while they search for Lucien was altogether too real for me... and since I am claustrophobic, I had to skip a lot of pages. Sadie was too dark... an obnoxious masochist as well as a tragic wasted be ...more
Randy Tramp
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story was different than the rest. It took the reader to the dark places in London. (I'm sure these areas exist in every large city.)

James Wentworth hired Henry Rathbone to find his son, Lucien, who was trapped in the world of drugs.

Henry found people to help him search for the wayward son. Those characters were interesting and added much to the story.

The places they visited were graphic and portrayed a very dark place in human existence. We need to be reminded of how low humans can go, so
Terry Southard
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't see what was particularly Christmas about this. In fact, it is quite dark. I really did like the characters in it - especially Squeaky. And I really liked his arguments with his conscience - and how his new found "respectability" made him feel different and want different things. And Mr. Rathbone was excellent as the example of a man of honor - true to his word, brave in the face of dangers, and kind to his compatriots.

I guess what I'm saying is that the characters were better than the s
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I loved that this was not a typical Christmas read. I read the book jacket and knew that I was delving into a dark mystery that would show me the lower parts of life that Christmas doesn't know exist. The characters were all people that I felt I got to know more about, and who showed their strengths when needed most.
This was a story about people from different parts of society coming together to show us how to be human, and how to help those in need. This story has a happy ending. This is a Chri
Clare Rhoden
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is exactly as it should be, and just what I wanted for a journey read coming up to Christmas. The Anne Perry Christmas series are quick reads designed for holiday spurges, and I suspect that there is alwasy a happy ending involved. It's a bit of a mystery and finishes quickly, but it's the kind of great book that you can give for a present with no qualms. Just enough scariness to make it worth reading; good characters (we are talking Anne Perry after all!); excellent scene-setting. Very enj ...more
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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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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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