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Murder sing-along

Holiday-themed mystery adds to series

By Diane Makovsky

For The Free Lance-Star

AUTHOR C.C. Benison  seems determined to  keep readers humming as they enjoy his series of mysteries centered on Anglican priest Tom Christmas.

The series began with “Twelve Drummers Drumming and now adds “Eleven Pipers Piping.” With Father Tom as the main character, fans may be tempted to sing about a “parsonage in a pear tree.” as they await the next installment, “Ten Lords A-Leaping.”

Father Tom Christmas is a likable character: witty and warm, with an unusual ability to assist local law enforcement with investigations.  Father Tom and his young daughter, Miranda, are new residents of the English village of Thornford Regis, having moved there after the murder of his wife.  As the new vicar, Father Tom wants to reach out to his parishioners and neighbors, becoming involved in community events and learning perhaps more than he wants to know about their intrigues.

When Father Tom attends the annual Robert Burns dinner, he enjoys experiencing the Scottish traditions of bagpipes and haggis, but the evening quickly sours when an attendee is found dead in the hotel tower.  A record snowfall hinders the investigation, and soon Father Tom’s natural curiosity and observation skills place him at the heart  of the mystery.

A host of colorful characters people this  mystery. Benison has created a winning character in Father Tom Christmas, one that will appear again in “Ten Lords a-Leaping.”

Diane Makovsky  is a freelance reviewer in Spotsylvania County.

ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING

By C.C. Benison

(Delacorte, $24, 496 pp.)

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/books/2012/11/30/murder-sing-along/

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