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Eleven Pipers Piping
Father Christmas Mystery, No 2
C. C. Benison

Delacorte Press
ISBN: 0385344465/ October 30, 2012
British mystery / Amateur sleuth / Holiday: British - Roberts Burns Supper (January)

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

It’s Christmas time in the small English village of Thornford Regis. There is a Robert Burns Supper at the Hotel and the local Vicar, Tom Christmas, is only going because he’s Chaplain to a regional band and Roger Pattimore the pipe sergeant expects him. So why is Father Tom so glum about celebrating? Well he didn’t eat at the wedding he just preformed and his housekeeper Madrun won’t let him have a quick bite of his daughter’s dinner. Now all he has to look forward to are bagpipes, poetry and haggis.

In the first mystery, Twelve Drummers Drumming, Father Tom Christmas inherited – more or less - this English village. He’s grown to love his little church and his modern vicarage. Once at the dinner Tom discovers there is nothing typical about this Robert Burns supper. Curry is served after the Haggis, there’s lots of arguing, but nothing witty -- and worst of all someone ends up dead. Believe it or not the author finds ways to add humor to this unusual storyline. Detectives Bliss and Blessing make a return. As well as the Village Bobby (Mairi White) who sets the widow vicar’s heart fluttering. I have to say, I was stunned at the conclusion of the mystery itself and glad there was a bit of humor to lighten the storyline.

This is the second in series and I enjoyed it so much I looked up the first in series. I may have read them out of order but it really didn’t matter. The Father Christmas series is now a favorite. This particular mystery flows; the characters are likable (with the exception of a couple); and the village as a whole is entertaining. I highly recommended it all year round.

Reviewed 2012