IN THESE TWO HOLIDAY MYSTERIES SET IN VICTORIAN LONDON, CHRISTMAS COMES WITH A HELPING OF MAGIC AND MURDER. A CHRISTMAS PROMISE Three days before Christmas, in London’s East End, thirteen-year-old Gracie Phipps encounters eight-year-old Minnie Maude Mudway, freezing and alone. Only the day before, someone murdered Minnie Maude’s Uncle Alf and made off with his rag-and-bones cart—as well as with Charlie, the beloved donkey who pulled it. Now, Grace and Minnie Maude set off to rescue Charlie. But the path that Uncle Alf had taken to his death was not his regular route, and in his cart, the children are told, was a dazzling golden casket that could very well be a Pandora’s box of evil or a shining prize of hope. A CHRISTMAS ODYSSEY Ten days before Christmas, James Wentworth feels not joy but grief. His reckless son, Lucien, has been lured into a world of drugs and wild passion. Wentworth’s only hope, he believes, is his old friend Henry Rathbone, who volunteers to search for the wayward young man with the help of two new companions—Squeaky Robinson, a reformed brothel-keeper, and Crow, a mysterious slum doctor. As this odd trio gathers clues about Lucien’s disappearance on London’s dark streets, they find themselves on a mission whose outcome they cannot begin to guess.