The Twelve Deaths Of Christmas by Marian Babson The Twelve Deaths of Christmas by Marian Babson
Narrator: Sarah Nichols
Published by Blackstone Audio on November 23, 2015 (first published 1979)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 4 hrs 44 mins
Pages: 170
Format: Audiobook
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two-half-stars

Maude Daneson's rooming house is festive, the perfect setting for an old-fashioned Christmas. But someone has been very bad. Each killing in London is more senseless than the one before and the killer is far closer than they know.

It’s twelve days until Christmas and all of the lodgers in Maude’s rooming house are getting ready for the holiday – shopping, decorating, expecting guests. Outside of their door, there’s a killer loose in London. The police are clueless, the victims seem random and a different method is used each time.

The writing was clever. We have scenes from the boarding house, scenes with the police and their investigation, which are in the third person. Interspersed among them are chapters from the killer’s first-person point of view, showing what they are feeling and thinking, but without giving away their identity.

I didn’t love The Twelve Deaths of Christmas, the senselessness of the crimes that kept the police from catching the killer was also what kept me from really enjoying it. The end tied things together alright, but I tend to enjoy traditional puzzle mysteries and cozies more than serial killers, even when it’s Christmas.

About Marian Babson

Marian Babson was the pseudonym of American mystery writer Ruth Marian Stenstreem, born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1929. She died in 2017. She lived most of her life in London, England. Babson’s books are usually under two hundred pages and often involve cats. Her publisher’s tagline for her is “Murder Most British”. She was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association “Dagger in the Library” award in 1996 for her body of work. She is also an Agatha Award winner.

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