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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Mariah Ellison, Charlotte Pitt’s paternal grandmother, travels to St. Helens in Dorset to spend Christmas with her old friend Sadie Alsop. However, when she arrives, Sadie is not at home, and her husband refuses to allow Mariah in, seemingly unconcerned with Sadie’s absence. Mariah finds a place to stay with acquaintance Gwendolyn Cooper, and they and the villagers find it strange that Sadie is missing when she was clearly expecting Mariah. Concerned, Mariah and Gwendolyn, along with help from bookseller Oliver Mallard, investigate. They uncover information that makes them believe Sadie may be in grave danger, and they mount a search to find her before it is too late. In her eighties and lonely, the well-drawn Mariah does a lot of soul searching, regretting her previous self-absorbed and ill-tempered behavior due to past trauma, hoping to change and build a new life for herself in St. Helens with friends and even a possible romantic interest. All ends well in the late Perry's twenty-first Christmas cozy (after A Christmas Deliverance, 2022) firmly set in late Victorian England.

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