Eleven Pipers Piping : A Father Christmas Mystery

Walmart # 560127775

Eleven Pipers Piping : A Father Christmas Mystery

Walmart # 560127775
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The welcome return of Benison's delectable series featuring Father Tom Christmas. The recently widowed vicar reluctantly attends a festival when a huge snowfall begins. The festivities are interrupted by an enigmatic stranger seeking shelter.

About This Item

Hardcover, Thorndike Pr, 2013, ISBN13 9781410458612, ISBN10 141045861X
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Aha! I know what you're t

Aha! I know what you're thinking - it's another Christmas book review. Well....yes and no. The main character is Tom Christmas - a vicar in England - you could refer to him as Father Christmas. The book is set during the winter. And the title - well, the first book in this series was titled Twelve Drummers Drumming....(my review) And if you're looking for a great book for the reader on your Christmas list this year, Eleven Pipers Piping would be a really good choice. But no matter what, C.C. Benison's latest book is a wonderful, well written, cozy mystery, perfect for reading anytime. (Although by the twinkle of the Christmas lights on my tree seemed fitting.) Widower Father Tom has been the vicar of the English village of Thornford Regis for a few years now. He's been asked to give the blessing at the local Robbie Burns dinner. But when of one of the members of the The Thistle But Mostly Rose South Devon Pipe Band goes missing and is later found dead, Father Christmas again finds himself in the thick of things. For it seems that one amongst them might be a murderer..... Eleven Pipers Piping opens with the daily letter that Father Tom's housekeeper Madrun writes to her mother. These letters are full of gossip, speculation and Madrun's take on the goings on in the village. (I quite enjoy them.) Father Tom is very circumspect with what his parishioners tell him - he's known to keep confidences to himself, but Madrun's knowledge sometimes proves useful. His young daughter Miranda is enamored of a fictional French Nancy Drew character and her observations have also been of help to her father. Thornford Regis reminds me of one of those English village displays you'd see on a mantle at Christmas - a tea room, the church, the local meeting hall, the corner store, the manor house and more. Benison has populated his village with quite an eclectic cast of characters, providing us with a wealth of choices for whodunit. (He's also thoughtfully provided a Cast of Characters reference at the beginning of the book) Each reader will find a favourite in this cast of many. Christmas is a wonderful protagonist whose character has more depth than just the local curious reverend. His personal story is ongoing, believable and engaging. His demeanor and dialogue are pitch perfect. I thought I had figured out the culprit early on, but there are lots of red herrings and my initial hunch was proven wrong. The strength of this series is in the characters, setting and interactions among the population of the village. Those who enjoy cozy mysteries will love Father Tom and his congregation. And there's more to come - Father Christmas is planning a charity skydive to raise money for the new church roof.....in Ten Lords A-Leaping...watch for it in late 2013.

This is the second instal

This is the second installment of the Father Christmas mystery series and an equally engaging story as the first. An unlikely sleuth (and former magician) is the Anglican vicar of the Parish of Thornford Regis. He is quick to care for all his flock (even the strays) and slow to speak of them openly to others - a rather admirable trait over the previous vicar. I eagerly await the third installment in this charming cozy series, "Ten Lords A-Leaping". Synopsis: 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.

A fun series....this one

A fun series....this one is a bit better developed and somewhat more believable than the first one. I still had a bit of problem trying to sort out the characters, but that may have been due to the distraction of the holidays. Of course, that problem is one that will always be there since I don't want to be reading Christmas stories in July!

A post-Christmas snowstor

A post-Christmas snowstorm leaves many of the roads to Thornford Regis unpassable, but won't stop the Thistle But Mostly Rose South Devon Pipe Band from having their Burns Supper at Thorn Court. Only half the pipers arrive for this haggis feast and when Will Moir goes missing, the men aren't too concerned until a search of the property reveals a body and an unexpected guest. Local vicar Father Tom Christmas ambles his way to an interesting conclusion that covered several red herrings dealing with insurance, adoption and land deals. This one got a little long, but I am interested to see who jumps out of the plane in the next installment, Ten Lords a Leaping.

I really enjoy this serie

I really enjoy this series written by an author from Winnipeg, where I live. Of course, there is nothing about Winnipeg in these books but it's just nice to know that there are good writers here. Father Tom Christmas has been the Anglican priest in a small village in England for a little less than a year. He moved there from Bristol after his wife was brutally murdered in the church that he worked at then. Her killer has never been found but Tom and his daughter have tried to move on. That gets a little hard to do when bodies keep popping up. This time it is the owner of the local hotel who is found dead during the local pipe band's Burns Supper. He appears to have been poisoned with a toxin from the yew tree. Madrun, the vicar's housekeeper, is known to use yew berries in her pastries and she provided some for the Burns Supper. Madrun is very careful to remove the seeds from all the berries before she freezes them but perhaps she made a mistake. A big snowstorm that closed down the highways and took out the power doesn't make it any easier for a proper investigation to be done. That's just the main mystery in this book. There are others such as why a woman who lived in the village as a child 40 years ago picked that particular night to show up? And who sent the note to Madrun asking her to provide the tartlets for the Burns Supper? Father Christmas has a lot on his hands this time. There is a fascinating chapter about the Wassail Night in the local orchard. I had never heard of this tradition which involves lanterns, a king and queen in the orchard trees, pouring cider on the roots of the trees and shooting guns off to wake up the orchards. It sounds like it would be fun to visit one.
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