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Publisher's Summary

A classic mystery for the festive season: mulled wine, mince pies...and murder.

Mordecai Tremaine, former tobacconist and perennial lover of romance novels, has been invited to spend Christmas in the sleepy village of Sherbroome at the country retreat of one Benedict Grame. Arriving on Christmas Eve, he finds that the revelries are in full flow - but so too are tensions amongst the assortment of guests. Midnight strikes and the party-goers discover that it's not just presents nestling under the tree...there's a dead body, too. A dead body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas. With the snow falling and the suspicions flying, it's up to Mordecai to sniff out the culprit - and prevent someone else from getting murder for Christmas.

©2017 Francis Duncan (P)2017 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Murder for Christmas

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

More Please

Murder for Christmas is a great listen. Mordeci Tremaine is a wonderful period detective. This book was originally published in 1949, the second of five Mordeci Tremaine mysteries. The characters are fun, the plot intriguing, and the solution a surprise. This is the only Francis Duncan title available in the US. I hope Audible adds more because I would like to get to know Mordeci better, and find out why he likes to read romance novels.

13 people found this helpful

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Loved this classic mystery

Picture old Sherbrooke House, during the 1940’s, a genteel British country manor, owned by Benedict Graeme—a man who passionately loves Christmas. Among the many guests he invites to enjoy the holiday this season, is Mordecai Tremaine, a gentle older man, a lifelong bachelor with a love of romance, who is also an astute observer of human nature, and known to have abilities to solve mysteries. The reader quickly realizes there will eventually be a murder mystery for him to work on, in his quiet, methodical way.

This book was such a great find! Written by Francis Duncan (pseudonym for William Underhill) who wrote his first detective story in 1936, as a bit of a sideline, while he worked at another job. Lost to readers for many years, he seems to have been rediscovered, and becoming acquainted with old Mordecai Tremaine (the male version of Miss Marple?) was fun.

Do not look for this book to seem modern—it isn’t. The writing has the form popular at the time, in which the characters speak with the somewhat proper, even fussy, sort of polite style that may now sound a little stilted. Yet it’s such a pleasure to listen, keeping in mind that that book was written in an era when that was the norm.

There are lots of characters in this book, but luckily the narrator handles them very well. Everyone has assembled in this Grand house, in the village of Sherbrooke, to celebrate Christmas. Many do not initially know each other. But they all know that old Benedict loves a really big party for Christmas, and all are prepared to help him celebrate, until of course, the inevitable murder occurs, and then the reader joins Mordecai Tremaine in having to figure out the whodunnit part.

This book was fun to listen to. I’m hoping to find more in this short series featuring Mordecai Tremaine. If you enjoy discovering another author who wrote during the great classic British mystery period (think Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and others) you will love this book.

22 people found this helpful

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Loved it

What made the experience of listening to Murder for Christmas the most enjoyable?

The narrator was excellent! The main character familiar and yet unique. The story line held my interest.

What other book might you compare Murder for Christmas to and why?

Any book with Mordecai Tremaine. I am currently doing a search for books with the same narrator.

What about John Curless’s performance did you like?

He is an excellent "story teller" he made me believe he was not just reading the book but telling me an compelling story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not one moment, no.

Any additional comments?

More books with Mordecai please.

4 people found this helpful

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A very unlikely story

An interesting setting, but the story is very thin, and the reader is not given all the clues until the very end, when all is revealed by the detective.

6 people found this helpful

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Boring

I did not manage to finish this murder mystery, I found it so longwinded and in the end boring. A Christmas house party full of uninteresting people. They were behaving in a suspicious manner many of them, but none of these small mysteries were solved by the time I stopped listening.The detective’s full name was stated all through the story. It was just annoying.

2 people found this helpful

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THIS IS IT!

I was looking for a cozy, Christmasy English countryside murder mystery full of intrigue and delight. This is it!! This story is written with the rich words and descriptions of a bygone era, a true representation of the Agetha Christie age. There are many characters but they are distinctive and well described. The storyline trusts the reader to be perceptive and present. What a delightful gem!!

1 person found this helpful

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I didn’t see the end coming

WOW. What a twisted plot. I love the narration by John Curless. I think Mortimer would make a great tv detective. The characters are wonderful. And the story moves along at a good pace.

1 person found this helpful

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Ok.

Story was ok. Bit boring. LOTS of preamble. Narrator was weird. He spoke like he was talking to people unfamiliar with English. I put speed on 1.15 and that helped. Still he was hard to follow and figure out who was talking. Not sure if I will keep or return.

3 people found this helpful

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Christmas!

enjoyed it, but became tedious at the end, with too much review and repetition.

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Boring, Dull, and predictable

I really love what I call House mysteries. Those occur in a house, usually over a holiday, and throw a group of people together. However, this group was dull to the extreme,A house party given at Christmas should be joyous and uplifting yet it was dreary with characters who talked in riddles and seemed to be only there to fill out the story,

The murder was almost an after thought and no one seemed upset. I honestly knew who did it by the half way point. The how and why were the only mystery, In the end the how was not feasible and the why was not very realistic.

The worst part was the main character and amateur detective is in the vein of Hercule Poirot, with his slow, plodding methodology, but none of his flare or reasoning.