Murder Most Festive
November 5, 2020
Summary: It’s Christmas at Westbury Manor and amateur detective Hugh Gaveston must unravel a fiendish mystery…
Christmas Eve, 1938. The Westbury family and assorted friends have gathered for another legendary celebration at their beautiful country house. The champagne flows, the silverware sparkles and upstairs the rooms are ready for their occupants.
But one bed will lie empty that night. On Christmas morning, David Campbell-Scott is found dead in the snow. There’s a pistol beside him and only one set of footprints.
Yet something doesn’t seem right to amateur sleuth Hugh Gaveston. Campbell-Scott had just returned from overseas with untold wealth – why would he kill himself? Hugh sets out to investigate…
What I Liked: I’m shocked that this is Moncrieff’s first book because her writing is sharp and her sense of the time period was spot on. The characters had personalities and felt as if they could be real, something I very much enjoyed. Hugh is the star of the book, but the secondary characters didn’t feel like they were there just to take up space. I also liked the moments of humor that were sprinkled throughout the book, from the siblings banter with each other to the inept police officer. The humor didn’t feel forced and it added to my enjoyment of the story.
What I Didn’t Like: As a reader, you can probably guess who the murderer is but a lot of the clues were discovered off the page or the writing would hint, but not reveal, things that would inevitably be used to figure out the killer. So if you’re a reader who likes to try and solve the crime as you go along, this may not be the book for you.
Who Should Read It: Cozy mystery fans, especially those that enjoy golden age stories will like this one, as will fans of Agatha Christie.
Review Wrap Up: This was a fairly conventional who-dun-it…but I found it very enjoyable, with sharp writing and entertaining characters. Those looking for an Agatha Christie-esque mystery will enjoy this one.