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A Christmas Escape
Cover of A Christmas Escape
A Christmas Escape
A Novel
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For countless readers, Christmastime means a delicious new holiday mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry. A Christmas Escape, her thirteenth noel to the season, transports us to the Mediterranean island of Stromboli for an unconventional Yuletide adventure—and an unforgettable volcanic encounter.

Lonely Charles Latterly arrives at his small hotel hoping that the island's blue skies and gentle breezes will brighten his spirits. Unfortunately, there's no holiday cheer to be found among his fellow guests, who include a pompous novelist, a stuffy colonel, a dangerously ill-matched married couple, and an ailing old man. The one charming exception is orphaned teenager Candace Finbar, who takes Charles under her wing and introduces him to the island's beauty. But the tranquility of the holiday is swiftly disrupted by a violent quarrel, an unpleasant gentleman's shocking claims of being stalked, and the ominous stirrings of the local volcano. Then events take an even darker turn: A body is found, and Charles quickly realizes that the killer must be among the group of guests.

Captivating in its depiction of untamed nature in all its awesome power, and of the human heart in the throes of transformation, A Christmas Escape gifts readers with Anne Perry's talent for making the season brighter—and more thrilling.

Praise for the Christmas novels of Anne Perry

"Perry's Victorian-era holiday mysteries [are] an annual treat."The Wall Street Journal

A New York Christmas

"A thoroughly enjoyable mystery set against the wonderful historical backdrop of 1904 New York City at Christmastime."—Library Journal (starred review)

A Christmas Hope

"Very much recommended . . . a wonderful story."—Historical Novel Review

A Christmas Garland

"In Anne Perry's gifted hands, the puzzle plays out brilliantly."—Greensboro News & Record

A Christmas Homecoming

"Could have been devised by Agatha Christie . . . [Perry is] a modern master."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Christmas Odyssey

"[Perry] writes with detail that invades the senses."—Lincoln Journal Star
From the Hardcover edition.
For countless readers, Christmastime means a delicious new holiday mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry. A Christmas Escape, her thirteenth noel to the season, transports us to the Mediterranean island of Stromboli for an unconventional Yuletide adventure—and an unforgettable volcanic encounter.

Lonely Charles Latterly arrives at his small hotel hoping that the island's blue skies and gentle breezes will brighten his spirits. Unfortunately, there's no holiday cheer to be found among his fellow guests, who include a pompous novelist, a stuffy colonel, a dangerously ill-matched married couple, and an ailing old man. The one charming exception is orphaned teenager Candace Finbar, who takes Charles under her wing and introduces him to the island's beauty. But the tranquility of the holiday is swiftly disrupted by a violent quarrel, an unpleasant gentleman's shocking claims of being stalked, and the ominous stirrings of the local volcano. Then events take an even darker turn: A body is found, and Charles quickly realizes that the killer must be among the group of guests.

Captivating in its depiction of untamed nature in all its awesome power, and of the human heart in the throes of transformation, A Christmas Escape gifts readers with Anne Perry's talent for making the season brighter—and more thrilling.

Praise for the Christmas novels of Anne Perry

"Perry's Victorian-era holiday mysteries [are] an annual treat."The Wall Street Journal

A New York Christmas

"A thoroughly enjoyable mystery set against the wonderful historical backdrop of 1904 New York City at Christmastime."—Library Journal (starred review)

A Christmas Hope

"Very much recommended . . . a wonderful story."—Historical Novel Review

A Christmas Garland

"In Anne Perry's gifted hands, the puzzle plays out brilliantly."—Greensboro News & Record

A Christmas Homecoming

"Could have been devised by Agatha Christie . . . [Perry is] a modern master."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Christmas Odyssey

"[Perry] writes with detail that invades the senses."—Lincoln Journal Star
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book

    Charles Latterly stared across the untroubled sea at the shore they were fast approaching. The mountain rose sharply, as symmetrical and uncomplicated as a child's drawing. The sky above was midwinter blue. At home in England they would be expecting snow at this time in December, but here, so close to Sicily, the wind off the salt water was mild. The small boat barely rocked.He had been looking forward to this break from the reality of London, work and the routine of his life, which lately had seemed more meaningless than ever. The recent death of his wife had given him an acute feeling of loss, but not in the way he had expected. There was no deep ache of bereavement. It forced him to realize that perhaps he had felt alone for a long time.

    Would three weeks on Stromboli, a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian, accomplish anything, change anything inside him? Would it heal the sense of helplessness, the bitterness of endless small failures? Maybe. It would certainly give him a long time to think, uninterrupted by the petty details of life.

    He was in his midforties, yet he felt old.

    They were almost at the shore. He could see men on the wharfs busy unloading fishing boats. There were small houses along the front, and streets leading inland, climbing quite steeply. It all looked simple and homely, probably much as it had done for two thousand years or more.

    The mountain was bigger than it had seemed at a distance. It towered above them, almost bare of vegetation except for patches of grass. The terrain looked smooth, even gentle from here.

    It was time to pay attention to landing. The boat was only feet away from the wharf edge. Ropes were tossed and made fast. A man shouted in broken English for Charles to get out, to hold on so he didn't slip. They were all cheerful, smiling to make up for the words they didn't know.

    Charles thanked the men in polite English, and accepted a steadying hand so as not to fall on the wet stones. He should make an effort to learn a little Italian. It would be a courtesy.

    Someone passed him up his case. He had brought only the necessities: a minimum of clothes, a pair of boots, toiletries, and a couple of books. His intention was to spend his time walking as much as possible.

    He knew that the hostelry where he was staying was quite remote and a long way from the port village--­too far to walk with a case--­so he hired a pony cart and driver to take him up the side of the mountain.

    It was a pleasant ride, although the rough roads were quite steep in places. As they moved away from the water's edge, Charles realized that the landscape was actually far more varied than he had thought. The central cone of the volcano was not as symmetrical as it had seemed from below, at sea. It towered above them, bare toward the top, as if shorn of its grass and shrubs. Yet it had a kind of beauty that was brave but also almost barbaric.

    His driver nodded. "She sleep now," he said, showing gaps in his teeth as he smiled. "She wake up. You see."

    Charles thought that he would rather not, but it would be impolite to say so. They were passing through rolling grassy country now. He imagined that in the spring and summer it would be full of flowers and butterflies, probably bees. A good place to walk.

    They passed a few small settlements, some of whose narrow streets were cobbled, others, merely dry earth. The limestone houses were whitewashed. They looked as if they had been there forever. Women were busy with picking herbs or gathering in laundry. Children played, running and hiding, fighting with sticks for swords. Old men stood by a fountain on the street corner and stopped their...

About the Author-
  • Anne Perry is the bestselling author of twelve earlier holiday novels--A New York Christmas, A Christmas Hope, A Christmas Garland, A Christmas Homecoming, A Christmas Odyssey, A Christmas Promise, A Christmas Grace, A Christmas Beginning, A Christmas Secret, A Christmas Guest, A Christmas Visitor, and A Christmas Journey--as well as the William Monk series and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series set in Victorian England, five World War I novels, and a work of historical fiction, The Sheen on the Silk. Anne Perry lives in Scotland and Los Angeles.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    June 15, 2015
    In her 13th holiday mystery, Perry shifts settings, taking us to a remote inn on an island off the coast of Sicily. James Latterly--the brother of Hester Monk, from Perry's Victorian-era William Monk series--has fled there after the loss of his wife but finds himself protecting his fellow wayfarers as he hunts for a killer.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The Wall Street Journal A New York Christmas "Perry's Victorian-era holiday mysteries [are] an annual treat."
  • Library Journal (starred review) A Christmas Hope "A thoroughly enjoyable mystery set against the wonderful historical backdrop of 1904 New York City at Christmastime."
  • Lincoln Journal Star "Very much recommended . . . a wonderful story."--Historical Novel Review A Christmas Garland "In Anne Perry's gifted hands, the puzzle plays out brilliantly."--Greensboro News & Record A Christmas Homecoming "Could have been devised by Agatha Christie . . . [Perry is] a modern master."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette A Christmas Odyssey "[Perry] writes with detail that invades the senses."
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