Cover Image: The Christmas Murder Game

The Christmas Murder Game

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this, it’s set around a family returning to the family home to win the deeds to the house by winning the game….obviously from the title there is also a lot of murder…

It’s a good old fashioned murder story, family secrets, Christmas, twists and turns, a little bit of everything you need.

My thanks to Netgalley and Bonnier Books uk for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review
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This is a very atmospheric Christmas mystery.  Clever and engrossing, this book will certainly get you in the mood for the festive season.
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Unusual premise, and very atmospheric. I wish I'd saved it to read at Christmas!
The puzzles were an added dimension but I didn't manage to solve any - too busy pressing on with the story!
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My thanks to NetGalley and Bonnier Books Uk for a copy of “ The Christmas Murder Game “ for an honest review .
I really wanted to like this book As a fan of mysteries, and really enjoying a seasonal read , from the premise for this book it sounded ideal.
Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the style of writing , too many similes and metaphors, and a totally unbelievable storyline , with outlandish clues to try to decipher 
I read to the end in case things improved, sadly , for me, they didn’t , and I’d guessed from the start “ whodunnit .
Sorry such a negative review , when others seem impressed with the book , just not for me.
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Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.

<i>"Follow the clues. Find the fortune. Solve the Mystery. This Christmas is to die for. Let the game begin . . ."</i>

Lily is an impoverished artist who reluctantly returns to her family's manor home for the Christmas festivities. The games this family play are far different from that of most others, however. Twelve clues are dropped on the twelve days of Christmas and twelve keys are scattered throughout the house for Lily and her relatives to find. This has long been a tradition but the prize this year far exceeds all others. The first individual to uncover the secret room will receive the entire house, and the land it resides upon, as their own. Lily's prize differs however, as she is playing to discern which, amongst all those gathered, are keeping secrets about her mother's death.

This read like the adult version of [book:The Inheritance Games|52439531], which is a YA thriller series with a similar premise, mixed with the beloved game of Cluedo, given the setting and dual mystery that is presented. I was immediately invested in guessing the answers to the riddles, anagrams, and clues that featured throughout this, as well as discovering who, amongst this large cast, could be trusted. Answers to both were definitely had fought for.

I did guess most of what the ending would contain and did find the trajectory a little predictable in places, but this did not detract from the fun I had whilst reading it, nor did I feel let down by all the conclusion consisted of.

The plot initially captured my attention, but it was the quality of the writing that entirely captivated it. This may not be a style for all readers, as it relies heavily upon simile and metaphor throughout, but I adored how inventive Benedict was with her prose and how vividly she conjured each scene, setting, and character for the reader.

The plot included <i>"twists and turns like a conversation</i>". Lily describes a family member as <i>"talk[ing] so quietly, as if he doesn't want his words to disturb the world. His voice [was] loam-rich and grave-deep as he read of the dead."</i> Interactions are depicted as containing <i>"the restful quiet of two people who can be silent with each other settl[ing] over them like an extra duvet. Darkness tucks them up tight."</i> And similarities between setting, character, and plot are continually drawn:

<i>"His voice is monotone, as flat as the pane of glass between him and the freezing fog that haunts the grounds. 
Lily can't see the woods or any trees at all. Everything is a mystery in white. 
'Is this how you feel?' she asks. 'As if you're covered in mist?'
Ronnie nods. 'Cold. Numb. Like there's nothing in front of me.'"</i>

This all combined to completely enchant me and ensured that Alexandra Benedict is an author I will read anything, and most probably everything, from in the future.
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I was hooked on this book from the opening chapter. This is a clever and captivating read. Being set at Christmas gives it a cosy vibe but the tension  is served up from the first chapter.  I would highly recommend this novel.
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Twenty-one years ago – twenty-one Christmasses ago – Lily Armitage found her mother dead, her wrists cut open, in the maze in the grounds of Endgame House, the grand house that has been in her family for years. Now she has returned for the first time to play a game, like the Christmas games her aunt held many years ago. This time, though, there are much higher stakes – the deeds to the house itself and, the one thing that Lily cares about, the truth about her mother’s death. But after the plans for the game were put in place… Lily’s aunt is also found dead. But the game goes ahead…
Twelve days of Christmas, twelve clues and twelve hidden keys. As tensions run high between Lily and her estranged cousins, it becomes clear that some of them have some very ruthless plans for the house should they achieve it. And at least one of them is willing to kill for it. As the snow begins to fall and the house is cut off, it becomes clear that Lily is trapped with a killer. The only way out is to win the game – and even then, it’s no guarantee of survival…
Yes, it’s time for the annual attempt to find a decent Christmas mystery novel. Last year wasn’t much of a success, but I had high hopes for this one. I’d come across the author, under the vague pseudonym of AK Benedict, as the author of some rather good Doctor Who audios for Big Finish, most recently The Lost Resort, so I was intrigued what sort of murder mystery she would produce. As it happens, it’s a rather interesting one.
The central theme is games, and there are plenty for the reader to take part in. The text for each day of Christmas, for example, contains an anagram of the line from the song for that day – “A Partridge In A Pear Tree” for example. I’m not convinced how well that works – I didn’t bother with it after a little bit because looking for it took me out of the narrative and it’s a very engrossing one. The easier game to play for the reader is the hidden titles (not as anagrams) of classic Christmas crime novels, although points off for including the retitled Murder In The Snow by Gladys Mitchell – it’s Groaning Spinney – and for not including that rediscovered Christmas classic, The Murders Near Mapleton by Brian Flynn, so good it’s even been translated recently into German.
The closest book I would say it resembles stylistically is The Smart Woman’s Guide To Murder by Victoria Dowd, with its troubled female narrator coping with the events of the present while recalling the events of the past. It’s a strong narrative, and while the situation does seem a tad artificial, the author does a very good job of rationalising that artificiality. The tension, as people start dying and disappearing, kept me gripped throughout, and while I feel that the in-plot puzzles weren’t really play-along puzzles, as they are personal to the family, but the puzzle solving is a highlight of the book. The idea that Lily is the most likely to solve the puzzles, but the others are willing to use her (or just cheat) to win works well, and the various cousins are a distinctive group.
So, overall, an entertaining read, but I should say, the identity of the villain of the piece is… well, disappointing I suppose is the right word. It is a surprise, but only in the “is that it?” sense. After the complexities riddled throughout the rest of the tale, I was expecting more of the central mystery.
Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining read with a lot to like, and I’d definitely try another book from the author. Oh, and it’s pretty Christmassy too…
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I really enjoyed The Christmas Murder Game. It had interesting twists and surprises and a great ending. Liked the authors descriptive style of writing.
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This is one of those books which is a little too clever for its own good. It felt somewhat self-indulgent in places and a lot of suspension of disbelief had to occur for me to really buy into the premise and mystery. It's a fun little bit of escapism if you like a modern take on Agatha Christie locked room type murders, but I didn't think it was amazing and was ever so slightly disappointed by what promised to be a great book. 

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.
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When Lily’s aunt, Liliana, passes away she has no choice but to return to Endgame House.  She has to go back to play The Christmas Game in order to find out what really happened to her mother.

I literally sped-read this one, it was so good!  With the members of a dysfunctional family all locked in a house with no phones, in a snowstorm for 12 days it results in nothing short of a page turner.  The characters are all lovable, well maybe not Sara, but the rest!  With added games from the author for readers to play as we go along it is a brilliant read for anyone coming into the festive season.  I highly recommend!
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Lily Armitage hasn’t been back to Endgame House since her mother’s death when she was young. But, following the death of her aunt Lillian, she has no choice but spend Christmas in the family home with her estranged cousins for the reading of the will and to take part in the traditional Christmas Games. Starting on Christmas Day and for the next twelve days, Lily and her cousins will have to solve the clues left by their aunt to find the keys and win and inherit Endgame House.

Lily has always been good in solving the clues in the previous games, but she is not playing to win the house, but because, in a letter, her aunt promised that winning the game would reveal who really killed her mother. As a snowstorm cuts them off from the outside world, people start dying and, unless someone managed to get into the house, it means that the killer is one of them. But who can Lily trust?

I really enjoyed The Christmas Murder Game. It is suspenseful, full of twists and surprises, and so well-written that I found it difficult to put it down. I liked the setting of a big remote house, with its many rooms and also a maze, where it become very easy to get rid of someone.

The characters are intriguing and suspicious. Everyone has its own motive to take part in the game, inheritance aside, and, at one time or other, I suspected everyone and I didn’t see the truth coming.

Thrilling and unpredictable, with strong Agatha Christie vibes – like in And Then There Were None, who will survive? – The Christmas Murder Game is the perfect immersive read to enjoy as the days turn colder and in front of a fire with a nice cup of hot chocolate.
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This book is a tough one for me to review. I loved the premise of it - making it sound ver Agatha Christie, and who doesn’t love a puzzling mystery.

I found the pace to be quite slow, however, I was eager to keep reading. I managed to guess the who myself, but I just HAD to find out the why.

This was a good read if you enjoy trying to figure out whodunnit for yourself, and there’s even some readers’ challenges to keep your mind ticking over.
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This is the perfect perfect fun book to read to the family. Imagine reading a book in front of a blazing fire while everyone guesses and argues who has done it. Loved the clues but I’m no good at guessing but I loved it. Fantastic.
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Wow, what a book. The option of the reader to solve the daily clues seemed like a good idea, but unfortunately I did not manage to solve one. However as the book went on I was able to determine who the murderer was, but it was not so obvious that it ruined the book. I have to say I really enjoyed this book and agree that it would be a fantastic read over the Christmas Holiday season, curled up in front of a fire. I will be interested in reading more from this author if the books were in the same vein. A good read.
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A great who dunnit! 
This book is a great read the writing is of a high calibre and full of clever twists and turns.  The book is very much in the style of Agatha Christie  and just as congenial. 
I can’t really describe the plot it really needs to be read with no prior knowledge to fully appreciate it.
A wonderful read on a cold snowy winters day , sit back and enjoy the ride.
Highly recommended!
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Joy of joys
Cluedo in a book!

There's not much I can say about this title as you have to read it without previous knowledge really. Suffice to say its a lot of fun and a game of puzzles. Some clues are easier than others but it's a fine and intriguing novel and the perfect read for a cold winters night beside the fire. A cup of hot chocolate perhaps. But no candlestick or lead piping haha
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3 ½ stars I think.  Clever and has taken a few tricks from Agatha Christie I think.  Despite noting down the rules at the beginning of the book I just kept forgetting to look for the anagrams and book titles.  As is so common with these books, murdering one's relatives seems to be a regular occurrence.  The author also writes as AK Benedict (I think).  Not sure if they are a different genre.  Thanks to Netgalley.
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The Christmas Murder Game is wildly entertaining- a chilly, locked room mystery that echoes a classic Agatha Christie tale and offers the reader their own game to play within the novel.

A family gathers, one of them will walk away with an inheritance but first they must solve the clues..then a killer strikes and the stakes are suddenly much higher.

Fun to read, fun to unravel , with excellent writing and plotting- darkly delicious as the bodies pile up and the snow keeps falling, there's a cosy sense of menace to the whole thing which sounds contradictory but is true none the less.

I loved it. I found nearly all the hidden elements and also guessed the killer so I'm pretty smug all in all.

Recommended.
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I love me a great Christmas mystery, and this one brings to mind the closed-room mysteries by the insurmountable Agatha Christie. A multitude of guests, and everyone falls under suspicion upon the murder of one of the guests. Totally recommended!
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A very entertaining and intriuging murder mystery, set in a remote country house in a snowstorm. Just my cup of tea! There is a difference to this story in that there are clues and anagrams and extra puzzles for the reader to solve along the way. You don't have to though, it reads just as well without the need to stop and unpick word puzzles if you prefer.. I liked the traditional big country house environment but with the modern day setting. It's pacy, there are plenty of twists and bumps in the night. I enjoyed the characters and it's a great plot. If you like the sound of it, you'll probably enjoy it, great fun!
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