'This extremely clever country-house murder mystery is the perfect holiday gift for the avid cosy crime fan. It has an aristocratic setting, a dead earl, and a major suspect ... There are loads of clues, red herrings, and twists in a truly classic Christmas mystery with all the golden age patina.' --Globe and Mail
Aunt Mildred declared that no good could come of the Melbury family Christmas gatherings at their country residence Flaxmere. So when Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered - by a guest dressed as Santa Klaus - with a bullet in his head on Christmas Day, the festivities are plunged into chaos. Nearly every member of the party stands to reap some sort of benefit from Sir Osmond's death, but Santa Klaus, the one person who seems to have every opportunity to fire the shot, has no apparent motive. Various members of the family have their private suspicions about the identity of the murderer, and the Chief Constable of Haulmshire, who begins his investigations by saying that he knows the family too well and that is his difficulty, wishes before long that he understood them better. In the midst of mistrust, suspicion and hatred, it emerges that there was not one Santa Klaus, but two.
About the Author
MAVIS DORIEL HAY (1894-1979) was a novelist of the golden age of British crime fiction. Her three detective novels were published in the 1930s and have now been reintroduced to modern readers by the British Library.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The country house murder is a staple well appreciated by mystery lovers. The close setting with a limited number of suspects encourages the reader to match wits with both the murderer and the detective assigned the case. The Santa Klaus Murder is a wonderful example, and a perfect selection for the upcoming holiday season. Every year, Sir Osmond Melbury requires his family to gather for the Christmas holidays. As most are dependent upon his largesse for financial comfort, his whims are quickly if resentfully satisfied. This Christmas, Sir Melbury has decided that Santa Klaus will make an appearance, courtesy of a purchased costume and the cooperation of one of his guests. During the festivities, tragedy strikes. Sir Osmond’s body is discovered by a guest, and clues point towards the only individual who has nothing to gain from Sir Osmond’s death. The family suspect each other and mistrust the police. Fortunately, all the clues to the killer are available, through the recollections of the family members of the days before the tragedy and the observations of the Chief Constable. The murder is cleverly performed, and it takes some thought to determine who the culprit is. Red herrings abound in this enjoyable classic mystery. 4/5 First published in 1936, The Santa Klaus Murder is available for preorder and will be released October 6, 2015 – plenty of time before Christmas. I received a copy of The Santa Klaus Murder from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. –Crittermom