A smitten young woman is about to marry a dangerous man--unless Detective Hooper and his new girlfriend can prevent it--in this wickedly tangled holiday mystery from bestselling author Anne Perry. Detective John Hooper, William Monks right-hand man at the Thames River Police, is blissfully happy in his new marriage to Celia, the cousin of a victim in one of the river polices recent murder cases. Celia wants the same happiness for her good friend Clementine, whos just announced her engagement to Seth Marlowe, a fellow member of her church. Christmas is nearing, and this should be extra cause for celebration, but when Marlowe begins receiving threatening letters about his first wifes death, it becomes clear that he is far from the devout man Clementine thought he was. In his rage, Marlowe accuses Celia of sending the letters, claiming she wants to ruin his engagement to Clementine. At a loss as to how to defend herself, Celia enlists her husband to investigate the letters claims, and what he finds makes her desperate to show Clementine the truth about her intended. But Celia herself has not always been truthful, especially not during the murder trial following her cousins death. How can she be believed now, when she lied on the stand? Especially when Marlowe knows that she did, and could use it against her. This Yuletide season finds love and faith put to the testand Celias and Clementines lives on the line.
Sometimes the personal story of a particular author seems almost as intriguing as the books they write. Such is the life of British author Anne Perry (aka Juliet Marion Hulme). As a child Hulme was very ill with tuberculosis and ended up being fostered out by a family in the Caribbean. She did get better, and the family moved to a private island in New Zealand, where she describes her life as a Swiss family Robinson type existence. She became ill again and during her bouts of illness through her teen years, she missed most of her childhood education. However, her mother had prepared her by teaching her how to read and write by the time she was four. Her heart always seemed to be in writing.
At the age of 15, Juliet and her best friend plotted and killed her friend's mother. The three went for a walk in the park and Hulme dropped a stone, causing the mother to bend over to pick it up, and her friend hit her own mother on the head with a half brick. They had planned on the strike killing her, but they had to strike her 20 times before she was dead. The girls were put on trial and each served five years in prison. It is said that they never saw each other again after being released. For many years, nobody connected author Anne Perry as the teen murderer, Juliet Hulme. In 1994, the film Heavenly Creatures, portrayed Hulme and her friend Pauline Parker with characters being played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey respectively.
Perry's genre of writing covers Victorian Era Detective fiction for the most part. Her novels have been centered around two main characters, Thomas Pitt and William Monk. She has published 47 novels and several collections of stories.