Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Twelve Drummers Drumming - review
The books I review are for a local publication ... I do not get to pick and chose what I want to read ... I mostly get the British mysteries the editor doesn't want to read (he is seriously into Danielle Steel ... cough!)
Twelve Dummers Drumming – C. C. Benison (c. 2011 Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House 374 pages $25)
Anyone who has read a mystery novel set in an “typically idyllic English village” will instantly realize that the phrase is the ultimate oxymoron. "Twelve Drummers Drumming" is no exception as author C.C. Benison introduces us to the Devon village of Thornford-Regis and to Father Tom Christmas, the newly arrived vicar of the parish.
Despite the title, this isn't a Christmas novel – it is the first of a series of books featuring the above-mentioned Rev. Tom Christmas, a former magician turned Church of England priest. Christmas, recently widowed when his wife of ten years is murdered, arrives in Thornford-Regis to take over pastoral duties at St. Nicholas Church after the vicar, Peter Kinsey, goes missing. Christmas then discovers the body of a young woman, Sybella Parry, inside a Japanese taiko drum at the village hall. Her death is ruled a homicide, and he begins quietly asking questions to find the killer.
Although Sybella was a former drug addict, Christmas discounts drugs as the reason for her murder. He begins to dig into the past and finds that the small village of Thornford Regis has many secrets. Because he is vicar, people confide in him, and due to the confidentiality of the confession, he cannot reveal their sins. Miranda, the reverend's 9-year-old daughter, is an avid Nancy Drew fan, and is on the alert for clues
Twelve Drummers Drumming showcases a lovely place to live and/or die, and marks the debut of a planned twelve-book mystery series featuring Father Christmas. The pace of the novel moves at a snail’s pace at times while the denizens of the village are introduced in preparation for the forthcoming eleven sequels. Once that is done, the book ends with a bang- too quickly in my opinion. If you are going to invest the time to read all twelve of the books once they are published this is an enjoyable read. But, if you are a casual mystery reader you may find this book drags out way too much towards it eventual conclusion … on that basis I am awarding it 2.5 out of five bookmarks.
I mostly get the mysteries the editor doesn't want to read (he is into Danielle Steel ... cough!)