“A Christmas Garland” (Ballantine Books Hardcover, $18) is Anne Perry's 10th annual holiday novel.
It is set in India in 1857, soon after the siege of Cawnpore, and the nation is amid a rebellion.
In the British garrison, a guard is killed and an Indian prisoner escapes, with information that results in British deaths.
A British medical orderly named John Tallis is arrested as an accomplice, with no evidence against him except that he is the only soldier unaccounted for when the incident took place.
Lt. Victor Narraway is ordered to defend Tallis. Narraway is young and new to the garrison.
His superiors want a show trial and don't expect an innocent verdict.
Narraway has a stubborn faith in justice, and he believes Tallis when he says he wasn't involved.
Christmas is days away. The trial starts, and Narraway is still searching for clues.
Ultimately, thanks to a Christmas garland and excellent detective work, the truth comes out.
An excellent gift for mystery lovers, the book is short, only 194 pages, and filled with suspense.
— Betty Lytle