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Eleven Pipers Piping: A Father Christmas Mystery Hardcover

49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0440339847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440339847
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

More About the Author

C. C. BENISON is the nom de plume for Arthur Ellis Award-winning author Doug Whiteway. He studied comparative religion at the University of Manitoba and journalism at Carleton University, in Ottawa, and has worked as a writer and editor for newspapers and magazines, as a book editor, and as a contributor to nonfiction books. He is the author of the Her Majesty Investigates series of crime novels, a stand-alone novel, Death in Cold Type, and, more recently, the Father Christmas series, which includes Twelve Drummers Drumming (2011), Eleven Pipers Piping (2012) and Ten Lords A-Leaping (2013). He lives in Winnipeg.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Aha! I know what you're thinking - it's another Christmas book review. Well....yes and no.

The main character is Tom Christmas - a vicar in England - you could refer to him as Father Christmas. The book is set during the winter. And the title - well, the first book in this series was titled Twelve Drummers Drumming.And if you're looking for a great book for the reader on your Christmas list this year, Eleven Pipers Piping would be a really good choice.

But no matter what, C.C. Benison's latest book is a wonderful, well written, cozy mystery, perfect for reading anytime. (Although by the twinkle of the Christmas lights on my tree seemed fitting.)

Widower Father Tom has been the vicar of the English village of Thornford Regis for a few years now. He's been asked to give the blessing at the local Robbie Burns dinner. But when of one of the members of the The Thistle But Mostly Rose South Devon Pipe Band goes missing and is later found dead, Father Christmas again finds himself in the thick of things. For it seems that one amongst them might be a murderer.....

Eleven Pipers Piping opens with the daily letter that Father Tom's housekeeper Madrun writes to her mother. These letters are full of gossip, speculation and Madrun's take on the goings on in the village. (I quite enjoy them.) Father Tom is very circumspect with what his parishioners tell him - he's known to keep confidences to himself, but Madrun's knowledge sometimes proves useful. His young daughter Miranda is enamored of a fictional French Nancy Drew character and her observations have also been of help to her father.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By druidgirl on November 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery. It was written to keep you guessing as to who did it, I kept getting it wrong until the last part of the story. I loved the characters especially Vicar Tom Christmas, his housekeeper Madrun and his daughter Miranda. The storyline was well written and well developed book.I recommend this book to all who love the cozy mystery genre.

Thanks to Net Galley and Random House Publishing Group.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By HokieChick on December 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't be misled by the cute, gimmicky titles in this series of mysteries. They are not shallow cozies with cardboard characters.

I like the recurring characters and the setting in this novel and its predecessor very much. As a fan of bagpipe music I wanted to like this second book in the series as much as I liked the first one. Father Christmas is an appealing, damaged man, much more realistic and touching than the usual protagonist of this kind of mystery. He changes and grows over the course of the two novels. I am looking forward to further books in this series.

However, the resolution of the plot is so darn tangled that I never got it straight in my mind. Who did what and with which and to whom and why? If I'd been quaffing the single malt as avidly as the characters did as they piped in the haggis, I'd say I was cheerfully cross-eyed and just lost the threads of the tale. Alas, I was cold sober, and so I'm afraid it was the plot that was scrambled and not me. It just didn't hang together for me as well as the plot of the first Father Christmas mystery.

Despite the tangled ending to this tale, I plan to read the next book in the series when it appears. If I have to choose, I'd rather have well-drawn characters inhabiting a somewhat flawed plot than a perfect plot with characters squeezed out of a tube.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel W. Pyle on January 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Eleven Pilpers Piping is the second book of the series of English murder mysteries by C. C. Benison. The protagonist, Father Christmas, holds the Church of England living in a small English village. He lives with his young daughter in a large Georgian vicarage presided over by a live-in cook. All this sounds very cozy and traditional and may sound boring to those readers addicted to edgy Scandinavian mysteries or to the gore of Patricia Cornwell's books. However this English village is very modern, and Father Christmas is more complex that he might first appear. His wife has been brutally murdered some time before the novel begins, he was raised by "two moms" who adopted him, and he lusts after the village "Bobby," a beauty named "Maira."

I have read several recent reviews using the word "cozy" in a way disdainful of the traditional murder mystery. They are deemed too tame, too cerebral, and too predictable. As an adolescent I discovered a pile of musty old Ellery Queen novels which started my love of the traditional murder mystery. At about two thirds of the way through a Queen mystery, the authors, Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee, would challenge the reader to solve the mystery, stating that all the needed information had been revealed. And it was--there were no unbelievable coincidences, no misleading narration, no deus ex machina endings. Compare this to a recent Cornwell "Scarpetta" novel I read where the murderer is introduced in the final five pages. I enjoy a cold Scandinavian tale or a graphic forensic investigation from time to time, but my favorites remain Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie and their ilk.

Bennison is definitely in their ilk and the Canadian skillfully details modern English village life.
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