The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra BenedictThe Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict
Published by Poisoned Pen Press on October 4, 2022
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Christmas, Mystery
Pages: 325
Format: eARC
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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three-stars

Twelve clues. Twelve keys. Twelve days of Christmas. But how many will die before Twelfth Night?

The annual Christmas Game is afoot at Endgame House, the Armitages' grand family home. This year's prize is to die for—deeds to the house itself—but Lily Armitage has no intention of returning. She hasn't been back to Endgame since her mother died, twenty-one years ago, and she has no intention of claiming the house that haunts her dreams.

Until, that is, she receives a letter from her aunt promising that the game's riddles will give her the keys not only to Endgame, but to its darkest secrets, including the identity of her mother's murderer.

Now, Lily must compete with her estranged cousins for the twelve days of Christmas. The snow is thick, the phone lines are down, and no one is getting in or out. Lily will have to keep her wits about her, because not everyone is playing fair, and there's no telling how many will die before the winner is declared.

Including additional scavenger hunts for the reader, this clever murder mystery is the perfect gift for fans of classic mysteries, festive Christmas books, and armchair detective work.

I am a sucker for a country house Christmas murder mystery. Lily and her cousins have come to Endhouse for the annual Christmas game, but this time the grand prize is Endhouse itself. But Lily is there to find out the truth about what happened to her mom years ago.

The Christmas Murder is a fun book. The riddles are given in the form of sonnets and they are rather clever. Of course, the group is snowed in and when the first person is killed, they can’t reach the police by phone (the lines are down), by care (there is a tree down across the driveway), or by cellphone (they were confiscated at the beginning of the game so no one could cheat). It’s a claustrophobic atmosphere where you can’t trust anyone.

Yes, the premise is a bit unrealistic and the killer obvious, but it kept me entertained throughout. It would make a good seasonal read.

About Alexandra Benedict

Alexandra Benedict has been a composer, singer-songwriter, actor, and lecturer in crime fiction, and is now an award-winning writer of novels, short stories and scripts. As AK Benedict, she writes high-concept novels, speculative short stories and scripts. Her first novel, the critically-acclaimed THE BEAUTY OF MURDER, was nominated for the eDunnit Award; her short stories have featured in many anthologies; and her audio drama has been shortlisted for multiple awards including the BBC Audio Drama Award 2020, and, twice, for the Scribe Award, winning it in 2019. As Alexandra Benedict, she writes contemporary tributes and takes on Golden Age crime fiction. THE CHRISTMAS MURDER GAME was an Amazon Fiction Bestseller and was long-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger Award. Her latest novel, MURDER ON THE CHRISTMAS EXPRESS, arrives on November 10th. She lives on the south coast of England.

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