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Eleven Pipers Piping: A Father Christmas Mysteryby C C Benison
Synopses & Reviews
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 readers with a puzzle that truly defies solution.
Praise for C. C. Benison’s first Father Christmas mystery, Twelve Drummers Drumming
“Splendid . . . An intelligent and empathic protagonist and skillful prose make this a winner.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Benison does an admirable job balancing humor with suspense. . . . Father Christmas’s first case leaves you eager for his next.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A crime novel that Agatha Christie might have been justly proud to claim as her own.”—Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author of Christmas Mourning
“Highly recommended . . . [a] marvelous series debut.”—Library Journal
“The perfect treat for suspense fans in a holiday mood.”—BookPage
"Canadian author Benison successfully applies a classic Agatha Christie framework to a contemporary setting in his impressive second whodunit featuring Rev. Tom Christmas (after 2011's Twelve Drummers Drumming). Christmas, who has been vicar of St. Nicholas Church in Thornford Regis for less than a year, finds himself in the midst of another murder investigation. Some months earlier, Will Moir, coach of a cricket club for teenagers, 'flared with rage at Harrison Kaif in language unbecoming to an adult charged with children's welfare' during a practice. This unfortunate incident may have led the 14-year-old to commit suicide soon after. When Moir is poisoned, the obvious suspects are members of the dead boy's family. The vicar provides solace as best he can, while employing his empathic gifts to the crime-solving. The interplay among the residents of Thornford Regis creates a rich psychological background and gives this entry even more depth than its predecessor. Agent: Dean Cooke, the Cooke Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
C. C. Benison has worked as a writer and editor for newspapers and magazines, as a book editor, and as a contributor to nonfiction books. A graduate of the University of Manitoba and Carleton University, he is the author of five previous novels, including Twelve Drummers Drumming and Death at Buckingham Palace. He lives in Winnipeg, where he is at work on the next Father Christmas mystery, Ten Lords A-Leaping.
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