Monday, January 29, 2024


A Christmas Legacy

A Christmas Legacy by Anne Perry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mainstream fiction

After leaving her position with Charlotte and Thomas Pitt to get married, Gracie thought her days as a maid were behind her. But when her good friend's daughter, Millie, turns up on her doorstep just before the holidays, frantic because things are going missing from the kitchen in the household she serves, Gracie knows she has to find out what is happening. Millie, whose mother died years before, can't risk being accused of theft and getting thrown out on the street, with no character references for a new position.

So Gracie takes on Millie's job herself, claiming Millie is sick and needs a few days to recuperate. At first, it seems that all is normal in the household, even if the couple's elderly granny keeps entirely to her bedroom upstairs. But Gracie begins to realize that Granny is suffering from neglect--and rather than helping her, the husband and wife have decided she isn't dying fast enough.


I loved this book so much! A Christmas Legacy is part of Anne Perry's Christmas novella series, but it works beautifully for any time of the year. The main seasonal connection is that Gracie wants to have the mystery solved and be home with her family by Christmas.

Although Anne Perry writes murder mysteries, this isn't really a whodunit - other than that two quite unlikeable characters would like to hasten someone's death. It's a contrast of hearts, reflected in actions. Greed, selfishness, and scheming contrasted with kindness, caring, empathy, and a willingness to risk it all in a time when servants could be cast out without references, literally leaving them at the mercy of the streets.

Perry knows how to write a story that flows at a steady pace and captures the reader's emotions from the start. The characters are well developed and we can see into their hearts. Gracie was a character in the Thomas & Charlotte Pitt series, but this story stands alone. And the ending is wonderful, guaranteed to leave you smiling.

** Mainstream fiction, clean

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