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If are looking for a good historical fiction book to get you in the holiday mood, Anne Perry’s new book, A Christmas Revelation, will take you to London’s past to solve a mystery. Worm is a 9-year-old boy who has lived as a river urchin, but was recently given a great opportunity to live and help out at the Hester Monk’s clinic. It’s the first time he has had a family environment to live in. A clinic volunteer, Miss Claudine Burroughs, treats Worm with kindness and gets him a bed of his own at this location in Portpool Lane. Worm makes another close relationship with Squeaky Robinson who takes care of the bookkeeping at the clinic. Squeaky has a questionable past that he doesn’t often share, but it is his past that he uses to help his young friend when Worm comes asking for help.
At the start of the story Worm sees a woman who is one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen. It’s a dark London day, but a sudden ray of sunshine lights up her face, making her seem even more special to Worm. He is compelled to follow her at a distance, and he soon sees 2 men abduct her. Worm doesn’t know what to do, so he returns to the clinic before it gets too dark, and tells Squeaky about what he has witnessed. Squeaky’s first inclination is to tell Worm to leave it alone, but he sees how serious the boy is, and so he agrees to help Worm the next day. After backtracking to the location that Worm saw the abduction, they find a series of homes that could be hiding the woman. They obtain some good information and find the mystery woman, whose name is Eloise.
The story that Eloise tells them does not make sense, and she begs them to leave her alone, and let her deal with things. She makes them promise not to come back, but that request doesn’t sit well with either Worm or Squeaky, for very different reasons. Squeaky tries to take Worm’s mind off of the situation by telling him about the Christmas celebration that they will have at the clinic. He set’s Worm to work with Claudine on tying bows of red ribbon, and working on the meal that will be served including several Christmas Geese. Worm has never celebrated Christmas before, so his curiosity is building as the holiday nears, but he just can’t forget about Eloise and wonder what kind of danger she is really involved with. Will Worm and Squeaky continue to investigate Eloise’s kidnapping, or leave it alone as she asked?
This book is a fun read, and the details about the Christmas Holiday in London bring the scenes to life. I must admit, I even needed to start researching on some recipes that were referenced in the book that I was not familiar with. A dessert by the name of spotted dick was mentioned, and it is a steamed pudding made with currents (the spots) and topped with an English custard. That sounds like a holiday treat that would be interesting to include in this year’s celebration. Happy Holidays!
Disclosure: Thank you to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.
You can purchase your own copy of Close to the Bone here: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Revelation-Novel-Anne-Perry-ebook/dp/B079R64JN7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541783636&sr=8-1&keywords=christmas+revelation
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