The Christmas Murder Game – Alexandra Benedict

Published By: Zaffre
Pages: 400
Released On: 30/09/2021

Follow the clues. Find the fortune. Solve the mystery. This Christmas is to die for. Let the game begin. Endgame has kept our secrets for half a century, now it’s time for it, and its secrets, to have a new owner.

When Lily returns hone to her aunt’s manor house, she discovers that in order to inherit, she and her estranged cousins must stay together over the Christmas week and take part in a family tradition: the annual treasure hunt. But as they are drawn deeper into the game, the clues seem to point not to the deeds to the manor house, but to the key to a twenty-year-old mystery: what really happened to Lily’s mother?

As a snowstorm cuts them off from the village, it becomes apparent that the game has turned deadly and that Lily is fighting for more than just an inheritance: she is now fighting for her life. Does she have what it takes to survive?

12 clues, 12 keys, and 12 days of Christmas for the heirs of Endgame House to find their inheritance, but how many will die before Twelfth Night?

*****

Thanks to Zaffre for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Controversial statement incoming: I personally think this is as good, if not a slightly better murder mystery than Agatha Christie. I admit, I’ve only read one Christie book in my times, but if I compare one book with the other, this definitely trumps it. There I said it.

There’s not much I can say about this book without spoiling it, so I’ll leave it at the bare minimum – just enough to entice you.

It is eery and fast-paced and tentative and chilling and thrilling and unassuming and surprising and keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing right up to the last page. There are several main characters – Lily, Tom, Sara, Philippa, Isabelle, Rachel, Holly, Mrs Castle, Ronnie, and Gray – and each one is so well developed, and each of them could be the murderer or a red herring. They are lovely, kind, concerned, lustful, loving, timid, brash, nasty, grieving – they are very human.

It is such an unusual mystery – clues laid out in poems and sonnets, most which are far too difficult for my brain to even begin to figure out. Good thing Lily’s got her wits about her.

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