Murder After Christmas by Rupert Latimer
Welcome to Day 2 of #12booksofchristmas!
If you missed yesterday's #12booksofchristmas then the link is below:
One of the inspirations behind #12booksofchristmas is Jolabokaflod, the wonderful Icelandic tradition of giving a book on Christmas Eve. My husband and I do this and the first Jolabokaflod he ever gave me was a British Crime Classics novel. And so, I have the fondest memories of this series.
Good Old Uncle Willie, rich, truculent and seemingly propped up by his fierce will-power alone - has come to stay with the Redpaths for the holidays. It is just their luck for him to be found dead in the snow on Boxing day morning, dressed in his Santa Claus costume and seemingly poisoned by something in the Christmas confectionery. As the police lock to the house, Willie’s descendants, past loves and distant relatives are drawn into a perplexing investigation to find out how the old man met his fate, and who stands to gain by such an unseasonable crime.
Murder aside, this is an absolute hoot! Rupert Latimer or by his real name Algernon Victor Mills became an author following his career as a stage actor . And it is this experience treading the boards that shines through.
The Redpaths themselves are immense fun, coming from a theatrical background themselves, you want to spend time with them, celebrate Christmas and partake in all the Christmas activities and games that the family host. I loved the descriptions of a 1940s Christmas, set during World war 2 and providing small glimpses into a family determined to have fun.
Uncle Willie is a great murder victim, married many times and rich as Croesus, it’s a small wonder he’s not been bumped off years ago.
The investigation is a lesson in mis-direction, how exactly was Uncle Willie poisoned from a seemingly single chocolate…or was it the mince-pie? Why are there other mince-pies hidden in cupboards around the house and just exactly what was Uncle Willie up to?
It’s a blast! The Redpaths are delightful, the setting is interesting and the Christmas portrayed is good fun.
If you don’t fancy eating a mince-pie at the end of reading this, then you may need help! Great fun!
I'll be back tomorrow with a romantic author who really does write about Christmas beautifully.