A Christmas Garland
Perry, Anne. A Christmas Garland: A Novel. New York: Ballantine Books, 2012.
It's nearing Christmas soon after the siege at Cawnpore in India. A guard has been killed and an Indian prisoner has escaped. A well-liked orderly named John Tallis is blamed for the death because he is the only person lacking an alibi. A very young Lt. Narraway is chosen to defend him. It's an almost impossible case. The investigating officer doesn't like his arrest, but sees no other viable suspect for the crime. Will Lt. Narraway be able to free the orderly for Christmas and give the unit back the gift of a well-liked member of the medical staff. Although the time period is the 19th century, the setting of this novel is quite different from Perry's Monk and Pitt series. I would have liked a little more background of the events that led to the unit's being in the area incorporated into the narrative as well as a little more information on the lieutenant's background before coming to this specific location in India. I'm uncertain as to whether this is a stand alone or the beginning of a new series for Perry. I would probably read additional installments if they do become available. This review is based on an electronic galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review. (3.5 stars)