Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing another Christmasy book review, and another cosy Christmas crime at that. This time, I’m stepping back a little while to the first publication in 1949, which gave this mystery an almost Agatha Christie vibe.
A classic mystery for the festive season: mulled wine, mince pies…and murder.
Mordecai Tremaine, former tobacconist and perennial lover of romance novels, has been invited to spend Christmas in the sleepy village of Sherbroome at the country retreat of one Benedict Grame.
Arriving on Christmas Eve, he finds that the revelries are in full flow – but so too are tensions amongst the assortment of guests.
Midnight strikes and the party-goers discover that it’s not just presents nestling under the tree…there’s a dead body too. A dead body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas.
With the snow falling and the suspicions flying, it’s up to Mordecai to sniff out the culprit – and prevent someone else from getting murder for Christmas.
This is the fourth book in the Mordecai Tremaine series by Francis Duncan, and this is the first one I’ve read. They can be read out of order, with it minimal spoilers, as each mystery is completely insular, and while I haven’t read the first three books, there was nothing that I didn’t understand by picking up this book.
I was looking for a Christmas mystery, and this provided me with exactly what I was after. Father Christmas, murdered under a Christmas tree on Christmas morning? Brilliant. Add in the traditional trimmings of a stately home in the 1940s and it was a beautiful little step back in history for a real cosy read.
What I found when reading this was that there was something really wonderful about Mordecai Tremaine as a protagonist; with it being 1949, the fact that he reads romance novels is a particular quirk that I really loved, keeping it in perspective with everything else. He comes across as a slightly bumbling character but is actually as a sharp as a whistle, and watching him gather the clues together to solve the mystery was absolutely brilliant. And I hadn’t even figured it out, which is my favourite type of mystery!
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you’re reading something Christmasy – or not! – that is fabulous. Let me know in the comments!