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Eleven Pipers Piping by C. C. Benison
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Eleven Pipers Piping (2012)

by C. C. Benison

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This second in the Father Christmas series takes place in January, not at Christmas. It gets off to a slow start and comes to a crashing end, but the middle is satisfying and the characters interesting. The book was way too long tough. ( )
  Hanneri | Dec 23, 2016 |
It's January and "Father" Tom Christmas, vicar of St. Nicholas church in the village of Thornford Regis, is scheduled to give the grace for the annual Robert Burns Supper. A freak blizzard keeps many of the Scottish pipe band home, and the host turns up dead in the hotel's tower. At first it looks like a natural death, but of course it's not.

I'm deducting a star because I actually figured out "who dunnit," but there were still some surprises at the end. I'm hooked on this series and am looking forward to the next installment, TEN LORDS A LEAPING (from an airplane).
  bookaholic | Oct 26, 2015 |
This is the second installment of the Father Christmas mystery series and an equally engaging story as the first. An unlikely sleuth (and former magician) is the Anglican vicar of the Parish of Thornford Regis. He is quick to care for all his flock (even the strays) and slow to speak of them openly to others - a rather admirable trait over the previous vicar. I eagerly await the third installment in this charming cozy series, "Ten Lords A-Leaping".

Synopsis:
Father Tom Christmas, the recently widowed vicar adjusting to life in the English village of Thornford Regis, would do almost anything to avoid attending the annual Robert Burns Supper at the local hotel. But as chaplain to a traditional Scottish pipe band, Father Tom must deliver the grace—and contend with wailing bagpipes, whiskey-laced parishioners reciting poetry, and the culinary abomination that is haggis.

As snow falls to unprecedented depths, the revelers carry on—briefly interrupted by an enigmatic stranger seeking shelter. Then Will Moir, proprietor of the hotel and a dedicated piper, inexplicably goes missing—only to be found later in the hotel’s dark tower, alone and dead from what appears to be a heart attack.

Father Tom’s own heart sinks when he learns the actual cause of Will’s demise. When word gets out, the flurry of innocent speculation descends into outlandish gossip. And, for all its tranquil charm, Thornford Regis has plenty to gossip about—illicit trysts, muted violence, private sorrows, and old, unresolved tragedies. The question is: Who would benefit most from the piper’s death? Suspicion swirls around many, including Will’s beautiful widow, their shadowy son, Will’s obnoxious brother-in-law, and even the mysterious party crasher, who knows more than she lets on about the grudges she left behind—but never forgot. ( )
  KateBaxter | Jan 10, 2015 |
A fun series....this one is a bit better developed and somewhat more believable than the first one. I still had a bit of problem trying to sort out the characters, but that may have been due to the distraction of the holidays.

Of course, that problem is one that will always be there since I don't want to be reading Christmas stories in July! ( )
  tututhefirst | Jan 20, 2014 |
A post-Christmas snowstorm leaves many of the roads to Thornford Regis unpassable, but won't stop the Thistle But Mostly Rose South Devon Pipe Band from having their Burns Supper at Thorn Court. Only half the pipers arrive for this haggis feast and when Will Moir goes missing, the men aren't too concerned until a search of the property reveals a body and an unexpected guest. Local vicar Father Tom Christmas ambles his way to an interesting conclusion that covered several red herrings dealing with insurance, adoption and land deals. This one got a little long, but I am interested to see who jumps out of the plane in the next installment, Ten Lords a Leaping. ( )
  ethel55 | Jan 12, 2014 |
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For Marjorie Poor, constant reader
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The Vicarage
Thornford Regis TC9 6QX

10 January

Dear Mum,
I hope you're prepared for snow!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385344465, Hardcover)

The welcome return of C. C. Benison’s delectable series featuring Father Tom Christmas—“an irresistible addition to the ranks of clerical sleuths” (Julia Spencer-Fleming)
 
Father Tom Christmas, the recently widowed vicar adjusting to life in the English village of Thornford Regis, would do almost anything to avoid attending the annual Robert Burns Supper at the local hotel. But as chaplain to a traditional Scottish pipe band, Father Tom must deliver the grace—and contend with wailing bagpipes, whiskey-laced parishioners reciting poetry, and the culinary abomination that is haggis.
 
As snow falls to unprecedented depths, the revelers carry on—briefly interrupted by an enigmatic stranger seeking shelter. Then Will Moir, proprietor of the hotel and a dedicated piper, inexplicably goes missing—only to be found later in the hotel’s dark tower, alone and dead from what appears to be a heart attack.
 
Father Tom’s own heart sinks when he learns the actual cause of Will’s demise. When word gets out, the flurry of innocent speculation descends into outlandish gossip. And, for all its tranquil charm, Thornford Regis has plenty to gossip about—illicit trysts, muted violence, private sorrows, and old, unresolved tragedies. The question is: Who would benefit most from the piper’s death? Suspicion swirls around many, including Will’s beautiful widow, their shadowy son, Will’s obnoxious brother-in-law, and even the mysterious party crasher, who knows more than she lets on about the grudges she left behind—but never forgot.
 
Brimming with wit, full of genuine surprise, and featuring one of the most memorable (and unlikely) detectives in mystery fiction, C. C. Benison’s second Father Christmas mystery will delight readers with a puzzle that truly defies solution.
 
Praise for C. C. Benison’s first Father Christmas mystery, Twelve Drummers Drumming
 
“Splendid . . . An intelligent and empathic protagonist and skillful prose make this a winner.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Benison does an admirable job balancing humor with suspense. . . . Father Christmas’s first case leaves you eager for his next.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“A crime novel that Agatha Christie might have been justly proud to claim as her own.”—Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author of Christmas Mourning
 
“Highly recommended . . . [a] marvelous series debut.”—Library Journal
 
“The perfect treat for suspense fans in a holiday mood.”—BookPage

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When a performer at the annual Burns dinner at Thornford Regis is found dead under suspicious circumstances, town vicar Tom Christmas uncovers generations-old secrets in his quest for the truth.

» see all 3 descriptions

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