Title: That Silent Night (Lady Emily Christmas Story 2)
Author: Tasha Alexander
Publication Date: 2015
It is Christmastime, and Emily and Colin Hargreaves have been enjoying the holiday season at Anglemore Park, their house in the country, with their boys Henry, Richard, and Tom. Their neighbors at Montagu Manor have been a bit overzealous in their own celebrations and invitations, so to escape yet another evening of charades and carolers, Emily and Colin have returned to their house in London for a brief respite and a bit of holiday shopping. Enjoying a quiet evening at home, Emily and Colin’s serene time is interrupted when Emily is convinced that she saw a woman standing across the street from their home at the entrance of Hyde Park. Amidst the snow and freezing temperatures, the young woman seems ill-prepared for the weather. Emily rushes outside to assist the woman only to have found her vanished with no traces of footprints. Convinced that the woman was a product of Emily’s over-active imagination and her current reading of sensational fiction, Colin is uninterested in Emily’s claim, despite the repeated re-appearance of the supposed specter.
While in London, Emily and Colin invite their new neighbors the Leighton’s to dine. Recently returned from their honeymoon, the newlyweds are just settling into their new home but Emily is shocked at the resemblance between Mrs. Leighton and her ghost. Although Mr. Leighton is quite affable, Mrs. Leighton communicates through stilted conversation and seems tense and uneasy. Emily is slowly able to draw the new bride out into conversation, however there is obviously something troubling the young woman. When Mrs. Leighton disappears from her home, Colin and Emily aid in the search to find her, and Emily has to wonder if there is a ghost involved.
This is the second of the Lady Emily Christmas stories. The first, Star of the East, was released in October of 2014. I love these holiday novellas; there are a short treat for the holiday season and stay true to the original series. This novella in particular provides a great opportunity for readers to get a day-to-day feel of Colin and Emily’s lives. Their friendly banter and obvious affection help warm this seasonal story. The plot is well-defined and very fitting of the abbreviated format.
Anne Perry, another of my favorite Victorian authors, has released a short Christmas novel every year for the past twelve years and I look forward to them each year. Just like the first Christmas Carols of the season, these books mark the start of the holiday season for me. I sincerely hope this also becomes a tradition for Tasha Alexander.
Who might like this book:
If you like the Tasha Alexander Lady Emily series, you will enjoy this Christmas novella. Note that this story – along with last year’s Christmas novella Star of the East – is only available in e-book format.