The welcome return of C. C. Benison's delectable series featuring Father Tom Christmas - "an irresistible addition to the ranks of clerical sleuths" (Julia Spencer-Fleming).
Father Tom Christmas, the recently widowed vicar adjusting to life in the English village of Thornford Regis, would do almost anything to avoid attending the annual Robert Burns Supper at the local hotel. But as chaplain to a traditional Scottish pipe band, Father Tom must deliver the grace - and contend with wailing bagpipes, whiskey-laced parishioners reciting poetry, and the culinary abomination that is haggis.
As snow falls to unprecedented depths, the revelers carry on - briefly interrupted by an enigmatic stranger seeking shelter. Then Will Moir, proprietor of the hotel and a dedicated piper, inexplicably goes missing - only to be found later in the hotel's dark tower, alone and dead from what appears to be a heart attack.
Father Tom's own heart sinks when he learns the actual cause of Will's demise. When word gets out, the flurry of innocent speculation descends into outlandish gossip. And, for all its tranquil charm, Thornford Regis has plenty to gossip about - illicit trysts, muted violence, private sorrows, and old, unresolved tragedies. The question is: Who would benefit most from the piper's death? Suspicion swirls around many, including Will's beautiful widow, their shadowy son, Will's obnoxious brother-in-law, and even the mysterious party crasher, who knows more than she lets on about the grudges she left behind - but never forgot.
Brimming with wit, full of genuine surprise, and featuring one of the most memorable (and unlikely) detectives in mystery fiction, C. C. Benison's second Father Christmas mystery will delight listeners with a puzzle that truly defies solution.
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Multi-layered, character-driven mystery
This is a "village cozy" in the tradition of classic British mysteries. It is well written, with fully developed characters in a wide variety of personalities and tones. The plot is complex and even a touch bizarre, but all the dots connect at the end. I highly recommend this for people who enjoy Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. The narrator is top notch.
It takes a WHOLE village...
- Kathi "Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy."