“A Christmas Message” by Anne Perry is a beautiful seasonal mini-novel that features Vespasia and Victor Narraway, whose journey to Jerusalem, at a time considered pivotal for Christian religions, is imbued with far more significance than a pleasant travel interlude. An unexpected encounter with an elderly gentleman enmeshes them in a series of events that prove that evil is still alive and well in the world, threatening mayhem during a pilgrimage that is considered holy by many. The juxtaposition of mystical implications and pragmatic concerns underscore the ongoing struggle between good and evil.
The author creates a vivid word-portrait of an earlier era in an exotic land with unique forms of transportation even as she reminds us of the previous roles the main characters have played on the world stage. The gradual escalation to the main crisis is enhanced by the vivid characters who appear and I confess that I was put into the holiday mood despite the heat of summer. Despite the murder that takes place, this has a gentle feel and evokes the journey undertaken by the Wise Men, and I think those in search of a mystical Christmas tale will enjoy the story.
In the spirit of the season, New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry presents readers with the gift of another holiday mystery, taking them to the Holy Land for an intriguing and miraculous journey of discovery.
The year is 1900, and Victor Narraway is giving his wife, Vespasia, an unforgettable Christmas present—a trip to Jerusalem. Vespasia is enchanted by the exotic landscape of Palestine, and charmed by a fellow traveler the Narraways meet at their hotel in Jaffa. But when the man is murdered over a torn piece of ancient parchment he was taking to Jerusalem, Victor and Vespasia risk their lives to finish his mission and deliver the puzzling document to its home. Pursued by a shadowy figure with evil intent, they embark on a dangerous yet ultimately enlightening pilgrimage to the holy city, where the mysterious message on the parchment may finally be revealed.
Rich in suspense and wonder, A Christmas Message is at once a breathtaking adventure story and a poignant meditation on faith and spirituality.