Friday, December 4, 2015

A Christmas Homecoming

by Anne Perry
December 4, 2015

Each year I choose a couple of Anne Perry's Christmas mysteries to read.  They are novellas and feature peripheral characters from the Monk and the Pitt series.  They're usually simple little mysteries and often take place in a "locked room" situation.  In this case the characters are snowed in at a country estate. No one can leave and the police can't come in to solve the crime.

This year's choice was actually a blind pick. I closed my eyes and just pointed to one on the shelf.  Turns out, it's centered around the novel Dracula!

Joshua and Caroline Fielding, from the Pitt series and the rest of a company of actors have arrived at an estate in Whitby to produce and present a play based on the "new book" by Bram Stoker.
The playwright is an amateur - Alice Netherington, the daughter of a wealthy benefactor of the theatre.  None of the actors relish the task and all consider the play to be poorly written.  But in order to receive funding for the next season in London, it must be done.  A small production simply for an audience of friends and neighbors. Even so, it's a little unrealistic that Joshua and Co. plan to learn the script, rehearse the play and design lighting and sets in a week's time.

Still, I really enjoyed the Dracula theme.  The mystery itself is almost inconsequential. It's the setting and season that drive these Christmas mysteries.  A Christmas trifle.

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