Narrator: David Thorpe
Series: Lord James Harrington #5
Published by Soundings on November 2, 2018 (first published 2015)
Genres: Mystery, Christmas
Length: 8 hrs 11 mins
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Meet Lord James Harrington and his delightful wife, Beth; residents of the tiny village of Cavendish, deep in the heart of West Sussex in England. They adore hosting seasonal events, running their country hotel, keeping the local folklore alive and listening to the latest murder mystery on the wireless. But mysteries don't always remain on the airwaves....
It's Christmas and James and Beth are preparing for Harrington's festive dinner and dance. This year, famous diva Olivia Dupree is singing; a wedding is taking place and they're hosting a reunion of Pals - ex-army comrades from the Great War. When Olivia falls ill and claims she's been poisoned, James puts his sleuthing hat on. But things take a sinister turn when a further attack takes place.
Has James' recent investigating made him a target? Are the guests who they say they are? What secret is Major Carlton hiding? Who is writing evil poison-pen letters? What relevance does the discarded diary have? And what links the two victims? James fears the criminal is unhinged and has a race against time to stop multiple murders taking place. Will he succeed or will Christmas in snowy Cavendish be overshadowed by these disturbing events? Join James, and the Cavendish regulars, as he battles to solve the crime and bring a ruthless killer to justice.
The Christmas Mystery is the first of the Harrington series I’ve read. James and his wife Beth live in the small village of Cavendish and have converted the Harrington manor house into a hotel catering to the well-to-do. It’s Christmas time and the Harrington’s are hosting their annual Christmas dinner and participating in events around the village. Then one of their guests is killed, poisoned, and James, along with I assume are the regulars, decide to investigate. After all, they can’t have people worry about ending up dead if the stay or eat at the hotel.
This was fine. I enjoyed the Christmas in a small town setting. The solution to the mystery reached back to the Great War. A lot of folk in town either fought themselves or had relatives who did. It looks at PTSD and acknowledges that not everyone who was on the right side was a hero.
Overall though, it was just fine. It works as a stand-alone, but James just didn’t grab my attention enough as the lead character. And I’m not sure justice was served at the end. Yes, the killer was caught, but the truly guilty parties can’t be punished.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: