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Twelve Drummers Drumming: A Mystery (Father…
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Twelve Drummers Drumming: A Mystery (Father Christmas Mysteries) (original 2011; edition 2012)

by C. C. Benison

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1271394,816 (3.54)29
Member:19anne44
Title:Twelve Drummers Drumming: A Mystery (Father Christmas Mysteries)
Authors:C. C. Benison
Info:Bantam (2012), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Twelve Drummers Drumming by C. C. Benison (2011)

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This book wasn't what I expected. I'm sure others thought it would have a Christmas theme because of the title and because of the other titles in the series. Father Tom Christmas is the name of an English vicar who has recently located to a small English village called Thornford Regis. Father Tom has recently lost his wife to a violent act and it happened in the church he was posted to in the city. He moved to the small village with his young daughter in order to try to raise Miranda in what appears to be a sleepy, safe little village. But it appears that after two short months, murder has seemed to follow them to the village when a young girl is found dead. in the village hall. Her body had been stuffed into a large Japanese drum that was to be part of a planned concert for the town fair. Tom Christmas uncovers a whole pile of village secrets that include theft, missing persons, infidelity as well as murder. The sleepy little village has lots of unsavoury surprises that come to light while the investigation to the murder is conducted. There are lots of interesting and unique characters introduced in this first book of what is to be a 12 book series. The mystery is fairly complex and old and buried secrets are revealed as the village learns what actually happened to young Sybella. I found the book to be a bit long as compared to other English village cozy mysteries. ( )
  Romonko | May 10, 2015 |
In the English countryside, in the little town of Thornford Regis, Father Tom Christmas is the new vicar, almost by accident, as he showed up for a funeral the day the previous vicar went missing. He is still recovering from the murder of his wife and a change to a small, sleepy town seems in order for him and his daughter, Miranda. Until the murder of Sybella, a 19-year-old with a past. Father Tom is part sleuth, part shepherd of his flock and a wonderfully written character.

This is a great story to sink into, and the beginning of the Father Christmas series. Two more are already published. I love the balance between mystery and character-driven story, as well as painting Tom as a priest who genuinely is trying to live his vocation. The element of faith feels natural and well placed. There are twists and turns, as any good mystery has, and the feel of it is very warm and cozy. ( )
  amaryann21 | Jan 5, 2015 |
Surprisingly complex. ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
The cover is misleading this is not a Christmas book, but a delightful British cozy mystery. The wife of the central character, Tim Christmas, was murdered. He retreats with his daughter to a small village only to have murders happen there as well. I hope this writer will continue this series. I really liked the characters. I also hope that there will be some resolution to the murder of Father Christmas's wife. It was a wonderful read. Great company for a rainy afternoon. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
I wasn't as impressed by this book, the mystery is okay but I thought the writing a flat at times. Having the main character's last name; Christmas, seems lazy, but the list of sequel possibilities endless. 'Christmas comes but once a year, Do they know it's Christmas well there is thousands of possibilities. I don't think I'll be reading any of them. ( )
  charlie68 | Feb 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
In Benison’s first series, Queen Elizabeth II helped out with the sleuthing. This new book begins a trilogy featuring a clergyman named Christmas in the role of detective. Father Christmas, nudge nudge. The scene is Thornford Regis, which may look like a piece of picturesque English countryside but is really a cover for all kinds of nasty thoughts and deeds. For readers who love cozies, the book represents a form of paradise, even if its imaginative author — Benison is a pseudonym — happens to be a native of Winnipeg, Man.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Jan 14, 2012)
 
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Thornford Regis TC9 6QX

26 May

Dear Mum,

When I sat down to write this morning's letter, I couldn't help but think about that May Fayre 30 years ago when I moved back to Thornford R from London, you all dressed up as always in that red shawl Dad found that time at Newton Abbot market and your pink brocade turban with Grannie's ruby broach stuck in.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385344457, Hardcover)

Introducing Father Tom Christmas, the wise, warmhearted new vicar of a picturesque English village that seems to be a haven of peace. But appearances can be very deceiving. . . .

Thornford Regis has never been lovelier: larks on the wing, lilacs in bloom, and the May Fayre in full swing. But inside the empty village hall, the huge Japanese o-daiko drum that’s featured in the festivities has been viciously sliced open—and curled up inside is the bludgeoned body of Sybella Parry, the beautiful nineteen-year-old daughter of the choir director.

That she was too young to die, everyone agrees. But did Sybella’s apparent affinity for Goth and the black arts, and her rumored drug use, attract a shady element that led to her distressing demise?

Father Tom Christmas, still haunted by the tragedy that has left him a widower and his nine-year-old daughter motherless, soon realizes that this idyllic village is not the refuge he’d hoped for. He also comes to a disturbing conclusion: Sybella’s killer must be one of his parishioners. No one is above suspicion—not Sebastian John, Father Tom’s deeply reserved verger, nor Mitsuko Drewe, a local artist, nor irritable Colonel Northmore, survivor of a World War II prison camp. One by one, infidelity, theft, and intrigue are exposed. And over all, like an approaching storm, hangs the long-unsolved mystery of a sudden disappearance, one that brought Father Tom to a picture-perfect place to live—or die.

Smart, funny, edgy, and packing a terrific emotional charge, Twelve Drummers Drumming is a brilliant launch for C. C. Benison’s series starring Father Tom Christmas, an appealing new detective on the mystery scene.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Thornford Regis has never been lovelier: larks on the wing, lilacs in bloom, and the May Fayre in full swing. But inside the empty village hall, the huge Japanese o-daiko drum featured in the festivities has been viciously sliced open-- and curled up inside is a bludgeoned body. Father Tom Christmas, still haunted by the tragedy that has left him a widower and his nine-year-old daughter motherless, soon realizes that this idyllic village is not the refuge he'd hoped for... and that Sybella's killer must be one of his parishioners.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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