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Twelve Drummers Drumming: A Mystery | [C.C. Benison]

Twelve Drummers Drumming: A Mystery

Tom Christmas came to picturesque Thornford Regis with his young daughter to escape the terrible experience of losing his wife in the city. Her murder sent him packing to the bucolic and charming town, where violent crime isn't supposed to happen and the greatest sin is supposed to be nothing a member of the clergy can't handle. Then, at the town fair, a woman is found murdered. Tom soon learnsthat everyone in Thornford Regis has a secret to hide - infidelity, theft, even past murders. Twelve Drummers Drumming showcases a lovely place to live and/or die....
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Publisher's Summary

Introducing a series utterly perfect for cozy fans of Alan Bradley, Alexander McCall Smith, and Louise Penny. The Reverend Tom "Father" Christmas, the newest vicar of Thornford Regis, an idyllic rural town in England, turns detective when one of his parishioners turns up dead in a drum, and everyone in town seems to have something to confess. Tom Christmas came to picturesque Thornford Regis with his young daughter to escape the terrible experience of losing his wife in the city. Her murder sent him packing to the bucolic and charming town, where violent crime isn't supposed to happen and the greatest sin is supposed to be nothing a member of the clergy can't handle. Then, at the town fair, a woman is found murdered. Tom soon learnsthat everyone in Thornford Regis has a secret to hide - infidelity, theft, even past murders. Twelve Drummers Drumming showcases a lovely place to live and/or die, and marks the debut of a planned twelve-book mystery series featuring the brilliant Father Christmas.

©2011 C.C. Benison (P)2011 Random House Audio

What Members Say

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3.8 (36 )
5 star
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3.6 (32 )
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3.8 (33 )
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  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-26-11
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-26-11 Member Since 2007

    trying to see the world with my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3343
    ratings
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    1458
    395
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    139
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    Story
    "intelligent cozy with series promise"

    For once the publisher's summary gets this right: I think fans of Penny and McCall Smith would enjoy this character- and setting- driven Brit cozy -- though it's not quite up to the humorous musing of McCall Smith or to Penny's prose -- but it's also only the first in the series. Despite the comparisons, it didn't play as derivative - more of a re-mix, re-set: Throw in an English village instead of Quebec and add elements of the cozy subgenre, Anglican sleuth.

    I liked the narration - West is very "vicar like" in his languorous delivery of Father Christmas' observations and deductions, and there are hints that there is much still to learn of the Reverend in later installments. Gilpin - her sections are briefer- provides the counterpoint (kind of stereotypical) traditional housekeeper's voice. The "stereotype" might extend to the setting -- but it is a cozy -- and the variety is in the village characters, moving about among the usual elements (a May fair, the "Colonel," etc) with their 21st century secrets.

    Readers of Alan Bradley will need to weigh in on whether the 9 year old Christmas daughter's perspective resembles his Flavia .

    This is not a Christmas novel, despite the title, but it is cozy reading for such a holiday. While I'm not breathlessly waiting for the next book in the series, I will keep downloading.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Virginia USA 01-03-13
    Amazon Customer Virginia USA 01-03-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    4
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    "Sad story but interesting characters"

    It was a bit long and a lot of internal monologue by Father Christmas. I am Catholic so found some of the attitude of the Anglican priest disturbing especially confession and the sex life of a priest. I really didn't need to hear the thoughts of a priest lusting for women. I also found it almost comical at how easily life is for a priest to marry a Jewish woman and now raise a Jewish girl. Real life is not that simple.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 12-31-11
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 12-31-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    312
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    "Main problem: just too long"

    I had thought that the first Maisie Dobbs novel seemed dragged out at 10 hours of series setup, with the mystery plot secondary, but this book being 50% longer suffered even more. I didn't find the village setting particularly "charming", nor the characters particularly likeable or interesting. Father Christmas himself seemed slightly on the dopey side, and his daughter a tad precocious. Apparently, Tom had agreed to raise her as a Jew, with the aunt taking on that role after the wife's murder; I would've liked to have heard a bit more on this. As a plus, he does mentioned being taunted at school for having a lesbian couple as parents (his aunt and her partner). A not-so-plus: late in the book Tom asserts medical knowledge, crying "I was married to a doctor!" I wasn't buying that physician spouses generally discuss their work in that much detail. Moreover, I found the author's assertion that "informal" euthanasia is a common practice among British doctors rather a brash statement.

    I'm neither sorry, nor regretful, about having dropped a credit on this one. If Benison can tighten things up next time, there's a future for a Christmas series. Tom's audio voice struck me as a bit posh for a kid who went to state school, though he is an Oxbridge grad (like almost all characters in British books it seems). The housekeeper's "voice" consists entirely of daily letters to her mother, which, although a bit "telling" rather than "showing" worked out okay ... except for the device where she often strikes through words (she's not entirely sure of) to use a simpler one; that might look okay in print, but on audio it grated a bit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Seattle, WA, United States 12-31-11
    John Seattle, WA, United States 12-31-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Main problem: just too long"

    I had thought that the first Maisie Dobbs novel seemed dragged out at 10 hours of series setup, with the mystery plot secondary, but this book being 50% longer suffered even more. I didn't find the village setting particularly "charming", nor the characters particularly likeable or interesting. Father Christmas himself seemed slightly on the dopey side, and his daughter a tad precocious. Apparently, Tom had agreed to raise her as a Jew, with the aunt taking on that role after the wife's murder; I would've liked to have heard a bit more on this. As a plus, he does mentioned being taunted at school for having a lesbian couple as parents (his aunt and her partner). A not-so-plus: late in the book Tom asserts medical knowledge, crying "I was married to a doctor!" I wasn't buying that physician spouses generally discuss their work in that much detail. Moreover, I found the author's assertion that "informal" euthanasia is a common practice among British doctors rather a brash statement.

    I'm neither sorry, nor regretful, about having dropped a credit on this one. If Benison can tighten things up next time, there's a future for a Christmas series. Tom's audio voice struck me as a bit posh for a kid who went to state school, though he is an Oxbridge grad (like almost all characters in British books it seems). The housekeeper's "voice" consists entirely of daily letters to her mother, which, although a bit "telling" rather than "showing" worked out okay ... except for the device where she often strikes through words (she's not entirely sure of) to use a simpler one; that might look okay in print, but on audio it grated a bit.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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