A New York Christmas by Anne Perry
Released: 23rd October 2014
Available in Hardback and on Kindle
December, 1904. Jemima Pitt, now twenty-two, agrees to act as a “suitable companion” to her friend Delphinia, who is traveling to New York to be married to Brent Albright, toast of New York high society. Jemima is excited about the prospect of a Christmas adventure in a strange big city, but little does she expect to be enlisted on a top secret mission by Brent’s brother Harley, to track down Delphinia’s estranged mother. After some detective work and a little luck, they manage to locate her lodgings—but to their horror, they find Maria dead. Truly her parents’ daughter, Jemima is determined to unmask the killer, and enlists the aid of handsome young police officer Patrick Flannery to do it. And along the way she comes to learn an important lesson about staying true to oneself, no matter the cost. Once again, as only she can, Perry delivers a darkly suspenseful, ultimately heart-warming novel that truly captures the essence of the holiday spirit.
Jemima Pitt, I’m assuming the daughter of Inspector Pitt in one of Perry’s others series’ is heading to New York to accompany her wealthy young friend Delphinia Cardew to New York to marry into the Albright family, who are the cream of New York society. On arrival Jemima finds herself mixed up in the murder of Maria, a women believed to be Delphinia’s estranged mother. Jemima must use all her detective skills picked up from her father to help her out of trouble.
I really wanted to enjoy this story more than the previous Anne Perry novel which I read, but sadly I did not. I found the characters weak and the plotline bordering on ridiculous. The first thing that bothered me was that Jemima at twenty-three is considered past-it and only useful as a chaperone to nineteen year old Phinnie. Jemima herself came across very easily led, all Harley Albright had to do was smile at her and she followed him round New York on a silly quest, later on in the story she meets Patrick Flannery again who again pays her a little attention and she’s smitten, which made her seem a little desperate. I found Phinnie to be an incredibly annoying character; she was so smug about her fancy wedding, if I was Jemima I would have smacked her.
There was no mystery around the murder, it was obvious who has done it and why and I really couldn’t understand why Jemima was unable to see what was right in front of her nose. It lacked any kind a depth which makes a good crime novel. As for this being a Christmas novella, well the only link to Christmas throughout the whole book is the fact that New York is covered in snow, a very weak link to Christmas.
I’m glad that this was a short novella as it only took me an hour to read, any longer and I think I would have given up. I know Anne Perry has a huge following and has written a great number of books but they are not for me. I would like to thank bookbridgr for sending me a copy to review; sadly I can only give this book 1/5.