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Twelve Drummers Drumming
Father Tom Christmas Mysteries, #1
C. C. Benison
Read by Jean Gilpin

Book: Deckle Edge / Audio: Random House Audio
October 25, 2011/ ISBN: 0385344457
British Cozy Mystery / Audiobook - Unabridged /14 hours and 5 minutes / Holiday: British -May Fayre
Amazon = BOOK / AUDIO

Reviewed by
Brenda Weeaks

Father Tom Christmas is our main character. After assisting with the services of the late Ned Skynner, Father Tom (a widower) takes over the church of a missing vicar. His young daughter Miranda comes with him. Miranda adds a youthful spin to this new series. Mrs Christmas was murdered some time ago. Included with this Church is a village (Thornford Regis), a modern vicarage and a housekeeper (Mudane). Mudane entertains readers and updates them on the mystery as she writes letters to her deaf mother. The title of this mystery comes from the twelve Japanese Taiko drums in the May Fayre. There are angry feelings when a sleeping Sybella is found in a broken drum but with a second look they realize Sybella’s not sleeping - she’s actually dead. Rumors run rampant and much is revealed. Father Tom’s concern is that a murderer is among them. Wisdom leads this kind-hearted man as he searches for clues. Will his discovery change his mind about this little village?

As the saying goes ‘it takes a village’ and it actually does in this series. The many sub-characters like Mudane and the other villagers make this series work. You don’t really dislike anyone; you just take them as they are because they bring charm and quirkiness to the series. Readers/listeners can expect introductions since this is first in series. But the mystery ends up taking a strong lead.

I bought the audio version of this title after reviewing the second in series. Am I glad I spent the money? Yes! Narrators Steve West and Jean Gilpin bring Thornford to life. Twelve Drummers Drumming is well-written; it challenges the mind and entertains. If you like cozy British mysteries, you’ll enjoy this new series.

Reviews of other titles in this series

12 Drummers Drumming [ review]
11 Pipers Piping [ review ]

Reviewed 2012