Friday, October 25, 2019

Christmas at Pennington's (Pennington's #3), by Rachel Brimble

Aria Fiction, September 2019

Elizabeth Pennington and her husband, Joseph Carter, have continued their remaking and revival of Pennington's department store, but their lives and the lives of their employees and friends are also continuing.

Joseph becomes even more distressed and frustrated over the never-solved murder of his first wife, Lillian, when another kind and charitable woman is killed in exactly the same circumstances--attacked while bringing food to the homeless.

Esther Stanbury, now married to Lawrence Culford, is pregnant with their first child together. Lawrence's sister Cornelia has left her abusive husband, David, taking her two children with her. She's now living with Lawrence and Esther, and working in the jewelry department at Pennington's

And Pennington's has another new employee, Stephen Gower, formerly a Scotland Yard detective, has left the department after a case that ended tragically and made him feel that he had failed those who were killed. He took a job as a watchman at Pennington's. He isn't at all happy when Joseph, aware of his former occupation, asks him to help investigate  Lillian's death.

And though David Parker doesn't want his wife back, having a younger and more compliant lover in waiting, he does want back his children, and will do whatever he can to get them back--even though he has no interest in actually parenting.

These are all great characters, and it's enjoyable and satisfying to follow them as they work through their problems as Christmas approaches, and learn a bit more about accepting themselves, helping each other, and not blaming themselves for being human and fallible.


I received a free electronic galley from the publisher, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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