8/12 - A simple, unsophisticated historical mystery. I had just finished A Christmas Hope and was expecting this to have some of the same characters, but A Christmas Promise was completely different. This may be considered part of the Christmas Stories series, but only because it's set around the time of Christmas, as far as I can tell it has no other association with other books from the series.
This one features Gracie Phipps and her newly made friend Minnie Maude. Gracie comes across Minnie Maude searching for her lost donkey after her uncle and favourite person has died. Everyone tells Minnie Maude, and eventually Gracie when she starts to help, to forget about Uncle Alf and the lost donkey but Minnie Maude can't ignore the strange events surrounding Alf's death - where have the donkey and Alf's cart gone, exactly how did he die, and why is everyone ignoring these important questions.
Perry's writing evoked the era A Christmas Promise was written in perfectly, I could even hear Minnie Maude and Gracie speaking in my ear, with their dreadful diction and strong accents. It took a little getting used to, reading all that dialogue with so many contractions - 'ow instead of how, 'e instead of he, wot instead of what, and many more - but once I got the flow of it, it became quite fun to listen to (in my head). I look forward to reading the third and final book from this series, which was part of my borrowing splurge.