Narrator: John McLain
Series: Peter Shandy #1
Published by Audible Studios on November 6, 2012
Genres: Mystery, Christmas
Length: 7 hrs 42 mins
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For years, Professor Peter Shandy has been badgered by Jemima Ames, Assistant Librarian and Annual Chairperson, to decorate his campus home for the Grand Illumination which is Balaclava Agricultural College's main fund-raising event. Now he can hold out no longer.
Goaded to madness, he buries his small brick house under an avalanche of plastic reindeer, flashing lights, and fake Santa Clauses. Hooks up an amplifier blaring "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," locks the switches at "on", and escapes to sea on a tramp steamer.
Shipwrecked and conscience-stricken, he crawls back to face his irate colleagues, and finds Jemima Ames dead on his living room floor. Police and security guards say it's an accident; Shandy says it's murder. President Thorkjeld Svenson says he'd better find out the truth without wrecking the Illumination... or the next corpse will be Shandy's.
I had never read anything by Charlotte MacLeod until I read her story in Mistletoe Mysteries a couple of weeks ago. When I was looking for a Christmas mystery that I hadn’t read yet, I ran across Rest You Merry. Since her story in the collection had been fine, not one of my favorites but not one I disliked, and this is the first in a series, I decided to give it a listen. I’m glad I did. Peter Shandy is a great character and the way the holiday tied into the mystery was well-done. I don’t want to spoil anything but the way the murder was covered up was very Christmassy.
I loved the beginning. After being begged for years to decorate his house for the annual celebration/fundraiser, Peter finally does, and goes purposely way overboard and tacky – and then leaves town. Perfect. Of course, he has to come back and face the (too loud) music earlier than he expected. He finds a murdered woman in his house.
The mystery was okay. I guessed part of the solution early, but I really liked the reason behind the killings. Also, I love that Arsène Lupin was mentioned, since I just discovered his stories earlier this year.
The characters were my favorite part of the book. Peter is smart and funny and his romantic interest is just a little too perfect for him, but that’s okay. The president of the college kinda feels like a Viking, and most people seem to be reasonably afraid of him. The other professors and staff have their own quirks and habits. I’m actually looking forward to spending more time in this college town.