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Download A Christmas Beginning Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Christmas Beginning Audiobook, by Anne Perry Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (541 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Perry Narrator: Terrence Hardiman Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781482977288
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Superintendent Runcorn—who Anne Perry fans will remember as William Monk’s ex-boss—is feeling rather lonely during his holiday on the remote, snowy island of Anglesey, off the north coast of Wales. However, he is suddenly called into action when the sister of the local vicar is discovered murdered and draped over a gravestone in her brother’s churchyard. Investigating this tragic crime with the assistance of the beautiful Melisande gives him just the opportunity he needs to spend time with an upper class woman who normally wouldn’t give him the time of day. Interweaving the original Christmas story with her own holiday tale, Perry also explores the meaning of Joseph’s secondary role compared to that of Mary and Jesus. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Perry manages to keep the seasonal charms of Victorian England and still solve the case. She also builds the plot around the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph in an unexpected and quite lovely way.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Mystery author Perry returns to holiday fare and sends rumpled London policeman Runcorn to a lonely Welsh island for Christmas, where he gets pulled into the case of the murder of Olivia Costain, the town vicar’s lively single sister…Runcorn’s modest, unflashy ways carry this moody, understated mystery.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This leisurely paced murder features a perceptive look at class differences in Victorian England and an engagingly introspective hero forced to take stock of himself and the safe choices he has made in his life.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 2/20/2014

    " I like the other books in this series but I found this one dull and hard to get through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathie | 2/17/2014

    " A good mystery story involving the death of a lovely young woman and the investigation into her death. I liked how the story was written with the investigation and also an underlying tormented love situation between the visiting investigator and a woman in the village planning to be married to the police officer he has to deal with. I really liked how it ended and liked the main character, Runcorn. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 2/15/2014

    " I enjoyed it but found it a bit confusing at times. It was written in the third person but from the perspective of the officer investigating a crime. I had trouble following his line of thinking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joyce Haner | 2/11/2014

    " I was very very disappointed in the ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hapzydeco | 2/4/2014

    " The ending triggered in my mind Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. The Mounties "always get their man." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 2/4/2014

    " Each time it is a more wonderful story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Atlantis | 2/3/2014

    " This was a pretty good story-it doesn't seem very "Christmasy" until I got to the very end. It was a very neat and tidy book that moved along quickly and didn't spend much time spreading doubt or intrigue. It almost felt like a "town gossip" spent by the fire with a cup of tea while it snows outside. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/17/2014

    " There was a lot of detail and description then it seemed like the author run out of steam and wrapped it up in five pages or less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 12/20/2013

    " We listened to this as we traveled to San Diego on a pre-Christmas vacation. It was really enjoyable and a nice little mystery with a bit of a love story mixed in. The inspector character is someone I want to meet in a novel again. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 12/19/2013

    " Something about murder and mystery in a Christmas story just doesn't work for me. I only finished this because it was an audio and I was driving a lot this weekend! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Boyle | 11/26/2013

    " Another great Christmas story to add to my collection. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 11/24/2013

    " A good mystery and love story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret | 11/19/2013

    " I like these mini-Christmas mysteries by Anne Perry. They do depend on your knowing the characters from her other books, however. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa C | 9/10/2013

    " Clearly a book written for fans of an existing series of which I have never read, and given the weakness of plot in this "valentine," now won't bother with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ariana Jang | 6/9/2013

    " im such a sucker for fluufy moments like the ending of this book! but who doesnt love a happy ending!? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 4/24/2013

    " Very good, I am catching up on my Anne Perry books, and am now on the next Christmas one, A Christmas Promise. I think I have read this one, but it is good reading it again. She is that good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 benebean | 2/15/2013

    " good decent murder mystery. pleasant read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 10/3/2012

    " Novella in Perry's Christmas series. Features Inspector Runcorn (side character in the Monk novels) on vacation and solving a murder while falling in love. Haven't read Perry in a while. Enjoyed this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 9/21/2012

    " I always like to read books set at Christmastime during December and found six this year-- all short(100-200 pages) mysteries set in Victorian Britain, by Anne Perry. Fun, easy reads for whiling away the cold hours 'til Christmas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Nuss | 9/7/2012

    " Fun read for the very busy Holiday season. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 3/7/2012

    " Very evocative of a Victorian Christmas "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cathy | 12/22/2011

    " This book has almost no character development except for the dead girl. It was way to easy to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 7/23/2011

    " Another treat. It really gives the author a chance to develope other characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alice | 3/16/2011

    " Runcorn who is Monk's superintendent at Scotland Yard while on vacation stumbles on a woman and solves her murder. Short story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 3/15/2011

    " An average mystery with repetitive information. Also, the author said the same thing over and over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 12/31/2010

    " I always like to read books set at Christmastime during December and found six this year-- all short(100-200 pages) mysteries set in Victorian Britain, by Anne Perry. Fun, easy reads for whiling away the cold hours 'til Christmas. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise | 12/13/2010

    " Book was okay - don't know if my evaluation was influenced by knowing the history of Anne Perry. Will be interesting to see how 2 senior book groups like the book. Ending seemed a bit quick and predictible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 4/13/2010

    " I find myself enjoying these who done its from this author. Like the others, that I have read, it has a christmas time setting but it's not really christmassy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Summers | 1/14/2010

    " Listened to audio. Very short, but still interesting murder mystery. Enjoyed Runcorn as a human being; not his usual self as in all the Monk series. Surprise ending! Enjoyed it very much!

    P.S. I haven't read any of the others of the series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 12/17/2009

    " A different feel than the other Christmas books I read this year. All very stiff-upper-lipped. All sentimental Christmas feelings were kept in check. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/8/2009

    " There was a lot of detail and description then it seemed like the author run out of steam and wrapped it up in five pages or less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 3/25/2009

    " I like the other books in this series but I found this one dull and hard to get through. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa C | 2/24/2009

    " Clearly a book written for fans of an existing series of which I have never read, and given the weakness of plot in this "valentine," now won't bother with. "

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About the Author
Author Anne Perry

Anne Perry is the New York Times bestselling author of a number of holiday novels, two acclaimed mystery series set in Victorian England, and a series set during World War I. She has also written several stand-alone novels and novellas, and her books have been finalists for the Agatha, Edgar, and Macavity awards. Born in London, she now lives in the Scottish highlands.

About the Narrator

Terrence Hardiman has worked extensively in theater. He began at the Old Vic, went on to repertory at Bristol, and then spent five years as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has played the title role in BBC TV’s The Demon Headmaster, while other his other television appearances include major parts in Secret Army, Miss Marple, Hannay, and Inspector Morse. Among his film credits are Mask of Murder, Loophole, and Gandhi.