Narrator: Ella Lynch
Published by Dreamscape Media on November 7, 2023
Length: 9 hrs 51 mins
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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Eight friends created the exclusive Masquerade Murder Society while in college. The murders they solved were fictional—until their final masquerade, when one of the group disappeared. Twelve years later, the remaining members are invited to a reunion in the Scottish Highlands . . .
Twelve years ago, eight friends ran an exclusive group at The Masquerade Murder Society. The mysteries they solved may have been grisly, and brilliantly staged, but they were always fictional—until their final Christmas Masquerade, when one of the group disappeared, never to be seen again.
Now our young, privileged cast of old university friends are summoned to the depths of Scotland for a Christmas-themed masquerade party. But all are hiding something deep below the surface that could make or break their careers. Charley is a struggling actress who has always been on the periphery of this high-flying group, but has decided to reunite with her frenemies on the promise of career help if she joins the old cast for one last weekend.
When they arrive each is assigned a new identity themed around the "Twelve Days of Christmas"—they become Lady Partridge or Mr. Gold; Lord Leapworth or Doctor Swan. The game begins, and it feels just like old times. Until the next morning, when Lady Partridge is found hanging—dead—from a pear tree.
It quickly becomes clear that in this game the murder will be all too real, and the story is bringing long-hidden secrets to the surface. Will Charley’s discerning eye and outsider status allow her to uncover the truth, or will she, too, fall prey to the murderer among them?
If the group hopes to win the game and survive until Christmas morning, they will need to face the truth about their history together and who they have become—and what really happened on that fateful night twelve years before.
A group of friends who met at university were members of The Masquerade Murder Society where they played immersive murder mystery games. The last Christmas Masquerade ended on badly when Karl, the “victim,” disappeared from a locked room and was never seen again. The police were called in but never found any solid leads. The group disbanded but twelve years later, Karl’s sister, Ani, has invited them all on a Christmas getaway to a remote Scottish hunting lodge, for one more Christmas murder mystery. When the guests arrive, Ani hasn’t shown up yet, but everything has been planned and the murder mystery starts as scheduled. The theme this time around is The Twelve Days of Christmas with characters like Lady Partridge, Lord Leapworth, and Mr. Gold. The group, along with the caterer, is snowed in and, of course, tensions rise and secrets are revealed. Then one of them is found dead and it becomes clear that one of the group is a murderer.
I do love books that come out this time of year, with the Christmas celebrations, snowed-in mansions, and murders with a festive flair, like Lady Partridge being hanged in a pear tree. The Twelve Days of Murder sucked me right in. None of the characters are likable, but they are each stuck in the lives they’ve created, and I did feel a bit of sympathy for a few of them. Beyond that though, it deals with topics like cronyism, class division, and corruption.
I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a fabulous job. She gave each character their own distinguishable voice and while some parts were rather gross, she did manage to keep it all rather light if that makes sense.The setting was perfect, atmospheric, claustrophobic.
It wasn’t my favorite book of all time, but I enjoyed it. The whodunnit wasn’t entirely surprising, but there were a couple of good twists.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: