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The Santa Klaus Murder (1936)

The Santa Klaus Murder (1936)
3.31 of 5 Votes: 5
0712357122 (ISBN13: 9780712357128)
British Library
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The Santa Klaus Murder (1936)
The Santa Klaus Murder (1936)

About book: Aunt Mildred, sister of Sir Osmond Melbury, declared that no good could come of the Melbury family's Christmas gatherings at their country residence, Flaxmere. She did not realise how prophetic her words were to be.Sixteen members of the family plus servants and a few other guests arrived to celebrate the festive season. Sir Osmond had organised for a Santa Klaus to distribute presents to everyone but Santa's suit, ordered in good time, did not arrive. Another was hastily ordered and specially delivered so everything was set to go with a swing.Sir Osmond then visited his study but did not return and the door was discovered to be locked when his family went to look for him. Fortunately the adjacent library had a communicating door so entry was made that way but when Sir Osmond was discovered, he had a bullet hole to his head.The police are called and investigations reveal that most of the family, apart from the youngsters, had something to gain by Sir Osmond's death. Suspicion, therefore, falls on each of them in turn but the murder remains a mystery.The story is related by various members of the house party and as such this helps to maintain the suspense throughout. After one or two false trails, details emerge that change the police thinking and eventually, as in all good mysteries, the perpetrator of the crime is unmasked.Mavis Doriel Hay provides a very 1930s seasonal setting, which is one very definitely to be read whilst awaiting the visit of Santa ... but do be careful! This is one of the most slow moving novels I've ever had the misfortune of encountering. The first 50 pages are family background, and if mid-upper class English domestic relations are your cup of tea, I certainly won't spoil it for you. One reviewer compared this tome favorably with the likes of Agatha Christie's greatest mysteries. I find this claim to be as far from reality as the Oort cloud is from my back yard. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, rather like the New Testament. Same story, different angle, and No, that does not make it anything like Murder on the Orient Express.When I first opened this book, it surprised me to find that it was printed in China. After having read it, though, it is more of a surprise that the British Library ever decided to extricate The Santa Klaus Murder from its well-deserved oblivion.
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Enjoyed this one way more than I expected given how old it is. Very fun and didn't feel too dated.
Brilliant, a fine example of a country house murder mystery.
Very enjoyable early mystery in golden age.
A very engrossing cosy crime novel.
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