- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 17 hours and 5 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 30, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009WTTE3E
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Eleven Pipers Piping: A Father Christmas Mystery Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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. The villagers are often small-minded, heedlessly cruel, funny, and vulnerable. Bennison fully populates his village, perhaps as a way to distract the reader from the murderer, but also as a way to add interest and texture to his story. Father Christmas is not an active investigator like Lord Peter Wimsey or Ellery Queen, and I think this passive approach while more realistic, slows the narrative. But the twists and turns of the story maintain interest, and when violence occurs, it seems even more shocking than that in murder mysteries where every page seems bathed in blood.
I purchased this novel believing it would be a Christmas tale. While the story has little to do with the holiday, it still made a great read!
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.
There is humor and pathos, drama and some unusual facets to each of the three interconnected stories which make each one worth reading. But keep in mind the length of each and find some other books for light relief in between.
Each book has a detailed list of characters; a map of the villages would sure help to orient the reader!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of quirky characters. Very thoughtful portrayal of effects of sudden loss of loved ones.Read more